Everyone around me was affected by my terrible moods, I wasn’t happy I was just sad. Of course there were a few things happening that contributed to this and I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty details since this is really about obstacle racing.
2016 did actually start off well, taking part in The Suck, a 12 hour overnight endurance event. Although I wasn’t 100% confident when starting it, I was extremely pleased that I completed it. Of course I also had every good intention when it came to my food, reading a lot about giving up sugar and eliminating it from my diet. Everything was on track.
The Sadness begins
Muddy Hell was not long after The Suck, I was still not in the right frame of mind and just took the race in my stride and enjoyed the race. It wasn’t long after this that my spiral of sadness began when I was helping out at an event, and thought it was great to show off my strength by lifting, carrying and moving 17.5kg base plates (doesn’t really sound like much) and it wasn’t really, but just the movement of having my feet firmly planted to the ground whilst I picked this up and twisted and turned was enough to tear my calf. Luckily for me it was only a grade 2 and not a grade 3, but still it was quite severe in the fact that I couldn’t really do anything using my legs.
Now this isn’t any excuse, but I sort of took it upon myself that I could use it as an excuse, so I ‘rested’ and ate (ice cream), combining no exercise and bad eating habits isn’t a good thing, believe me as I am now paying the price. I did a minimal amount of exercise for about 3 months and if I did, then this was an excuse to eat more unhealthy stuff ‘I worked for it, why not’?
I did have Oxfam approaching and I hoped that I wouldn’t let the team down and end up tearing my calf again, for the whole time this just played on the back of my mind. My training wasn’t really up there, with only a few walks incorporated in the month prior to the event. As it turned out, I was a complete and utter bitch, not really giving much sympathy or encouragement to my other team mates. Thankfully we had the most amazing support crew, as if it wasn’t for my team and support crew, my Oxfam journey would have been a totally different one.
My OCR races were becoming few and far between, as I took on Spartan in preparation for Enduro again, at this stage I was still playing it cool, and not focusing on what I needed to do. My time was astounding, I don’t think I even bothered running, I was truly feeling sorry for myself as I trotted along. I did however, finish in one piece but this is not entirely surprising, I didn’t really push myself.
6 months had already passed and Enduro was fast approaching and as usual my lack luster efforts at diet and exercise were not going to help me complete this monstrous event.
Of course I didn’t really feel prepared or organised for Enduro, especially not compared to the previous year, I just kept finding excuse after excuse, so I finished my race after 3 laps. My confidence was really not there nor the enthusiasm, and my calf was playing on the back of my mind (the last thing I wanted do was tear it again). By this time, I was actually getting quite good at excuses, usually blaming my calf for most things. I knew that my fitness levels had plummeted (this is what happens when you stop training), my body fat increased a lot (this is what happens when you eat crap) and my attitude was worse.
This really didn’t even improve over the months that followed. I know I had no routine or motivation, no schedule or enthusiasm. I wasn’t really sure what was happening to me, apart from I just couldn’t be bothered. I just hid from the world and didn’t want to take any responsibility.
Wild Card Selection
Somehow during my miserable state of mind, I was selected as a wild card entry for the OCR Worlds Team Australia.
A mix of emotions ran through me, I was excited and overwhelmed. I couldn’t quite believe I had made it onto the team again and this time Dave was joining me. I knew that this was the motivation I needed to carry on. I had something to focus on, something to achieve, something to prove, not to everyone else but to me.
I can do this, I wanted to do this!
The hard part for me is I never really felt good enough, this really didn’t help me with my current state of mind. I couldn’t help comparing myself to others, not even intentionally but just to have the constant feeling of not being good enough to compete, not being fit enough, or thin enough, the feeling I didn’t work hard enough to achieve my goals. Unfortunately these feelings can be empathised when others are trying to help, or mentioning that I had put on weight or I shouldn’t be doing what I was trying to achieve as it wasn’t worth it. I do have some amazing support, but its funny how you stop listening to the encouragement and only listen to the negatives, no matter what they did, it didn’t make me feel any better about myself. Self loathing and doubt is not a pretty thing, and unfortunately this is something I am still working on.
Too much too soon
Slowly things were starting to fall into place I found a new job, signed up to F45 Highett. I was beginning to get into a routine again. I was enjoying training and slowly getting fitter, until I felt that familiar tear in my calf. I was hoping that it was just a cramp (feels nothing like a cramp) but I knew what I did. Just when things were going right, and then I just got another slap in my face to slow me down. Too much too soon.
This time wasn’t as severe as the first one, but it did limit my training. I still could not run, and anything that involved my legs was just a big NO NO.