Monday, 23 January 2017

Starting all over again

It's almost been 4 months since the accident and a lot has happened since then. My recovery was incredibly slow to start with and after numerous appointments with a whole range of doctors they had me pretty scared that my return to triathlon was not certain.
I have no memory of the accident, my week in hospital and the following week at home. The doctors were very surprised with how I was that first time they saw me, according to what it said on paper the speech therapist didn't expect me to be able to communicate with her. I struggled at the start putting sentences together when meeting with friends but it improved slightly each week and only have the odd slip up now. Was also annoying having met with someone or talked on the phone to then realise the next time I spoke with them I didn't recall a thing. The biggest shock was when the report came out saying I wouldn't be able to run for 4 months, I couldn't believe it at first but when I got home it hit me a found myself in a state of depression for the next few weeks considering life.
It wasn't until I was able to get in the pool and do some hydrotherapy that my mood changed for the better and was able to find some happiness and enjoy the days. I was in every morning, building up each day. The JT5 Aquabuoys were a massive help with my recovery and don't think I would be where I am today without them. Another start of my recovery was walking on the beach, I started at 10mins and gradually increased my way up to my longest being 2 hours 30mins. Living on the Gold Coast just meters away from the beach made the walks a lot easier and enjoyable. It wasn't long till I was back on the windtrainer in the garage building up the cycling and at week 5 I was back in the pool, first time was only 2 laps. Come mid December it was time to have my first run, I was a little nervous as there was the possibility of a seizure but ticked off 1km with no dramas. Back doing all 3 I couldn't be happier, was still along way to go and still had to build steadily but I was now confident that I would be back.

I brought in the New Year with my first ride back on the road with the Camino Apparel crew, I couldn't of had a bigger smile on my face riding outside after being stuck indoors for the past 2 months. I have also joined a swim squad at Miami pool big thanks to Rackley Swimming for getting me in and am still building the running up. I was confident with how the training was going and entered my first race back, a sprint distance triathlon at Robina which is just up the road. I was so excited the week leading into the race, it was like I was starting all over again, trying to remember everything I needed and going through the process in my head. I layed all my gear out on my bed the night before to ensure I had everything for the morning and instead of not being able to sleep because of nerves it was excitement keeping me up this time.

I was lucky to get a start in the Mates wave as all my focus was getting through each leg of the race and remembering what to do the morning of, through transitions and during the race. It all seemed new to me, going through registration, numbering the bike, setting up transition and warming up. I was ticking everything off as the morning went on. Was now in the water ready for a 0730 race start and after 5 months since my last race, it had all come down to this.

 The feeling of excitement sat with me pretty well and was off to a good start in the swim. I felt comfortable throughout the swim and was fine navigating and weaving my way through the waves that had started before us. Exited the water and ran up through transition, was probably one of my slowest transitions but was making sure I remembered what to do. Out onto the bike and the mount was very cautious, feet into the shoes and I was underway. Having just picked up the new P5X I was super keen to give that a run but having been on my Cervelo road bike for the past 3 months I felt more comfortable just sticking to that. I think I had a bit too much fun hooking around the course on my R5, I enjoy every minute I'm outside riding. Got through the swim and bike, now just the 5km run to tick the last box. The first km was a bit hard on the legs not having done much running off the bike but pulled it together after the first turn around and settled in nicely. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face, having a bunch of my mates out on course cheering me on and knowing that I was about to finish my first race back. Coming down the finish chute I couldn't be happier, having mum and dad at the finish couldn't be better because they have supported me everyday since the accident and have got me to where I am today.

I can't thank my family, friends and all my sponsors enough for sticking by me over the past few months, really appreciate their support and am so fortunate to have been able to finish my first race back. This has really boosted my confidence now and will allow me to get stuck into some harder training in the lead up to my next race which will be an 70.3 Ironman.

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