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Goodbye Season « Jodie Swallow's Blog

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Goodbye Season

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog ‘When Foot Takes Over’- a rip off title from the famed classic ‘When Love Takes Over’,  by Someone Shit.  Brett didn’t comment about it.

There was a reason for this.  Three weeks later I’m in South Africa, resting and recovering from a nasty season of injury frustration.

One of the difficult dynamics of having an injury is the mind games that incur.  The best part of  my day is run training, the best part of my race is running, these two factors combined with the fact that racing is my livelihood, my income and my sanity – it becomes pretty important in the big scheme of things.

When you are injured you can train at triathlon- when you have a race dynamic like me -you can even still race triathlon.  That is what we were concentrating on……swimming and biking away and hanging on to finish the run.  No doubt, once my foot was strong enough, I could have won a few races, got a few pay cheques and made my day a little better.

That is the difference though.  It wouldn’t have made my week, or my year.  Anyone who saw my reaction at South Africa 70.3, in January, can confirm that I wasn’t happy on the finish line.  I was in pain.   A year later I realise that I wasn’t happy because that pain hurt more than my boost from winning.  For someone as competitive as me – someone who races warm ups and warm downs – who relies on race results as measurements of self worth- there is a major problem here.

The months of questioning have taken their toll.  Many questions and scenarios play on my mind.  I have even considered that I only want to race on my own terms-  that I don’t want to win tough or fight through pain.  Then I stop….are you f**ing kidding me?  I have run on stress fractures, got up after crashes.   I raced in the Olympics in 2004 with a bruised rib and a hole in my Achilles, I’ve trained through a broken rib, foot and mind. Racing through adversity is something I could almost specialise in- what I should have realised- is that there is a difference between perserverance and stubbornness.

What I have learnt about injury (and injury categorisation is an impossible concept) is- that when thought, diagnosis and time pressure is taken away- then intuition is usually right.  My legs understand what is tightness and what is damage.  Damage needs recovery, tightness needs strength.

So foot has officially ‘taken over’ ,and while it recuperates, my mind and body is getting ready for next year.  I have been through much worse and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Thanks J x

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