Your Life, Your Book.
I used to let people dictate my decisions because I didn’t trust my own judgment. This was probably due to lack of knowledge and not believing in myself.
The most important part that was missing: How do I feel? What does my gut tell me? Don’t listen to what others think, is was what my coach told me.
It’s your life, your book. Make your own decisions by listening to what your body tells you.
When I started to get shin splints in training I would always ask my coach, “do you think I can run on them?”
My coach responded, “we are all working for you, we provide information and advise you, but you make the call”. That was a scenario where I should have listened to my body and made the call.
When I collapsed under my feet doing bounding (jumping) drills from the pain I realised how important listening to my body and making decisions based on the information provided by various professionals was.
Instead of seeking help to make a decision I listen to what my body tells me first then fill the gap with the advice/information from the professionals I see.
I see the professionals as a team of advisers working for me and giving me information about my body but I have to make the last call based on what my body tells me.
My coach will always say, “I will train your body and mind to be tough, but you will have to be the one to use them to your advantage to win.”
In November I felt a strange pain in my lower hamstring during training and for a few days after I was limping.
Having rested for a few days I went back to training but knew something wasn’t right and I couldn’t explain the feeling in my leg.
My coach recommended his physiotherapist who doesn’t tell you what to do, he teaches you how to manage it yourself based on what you’re feeling.
My physio and I both agreed to an ultrasound test, which came back as tendinitis (50% thicker than my left side).
Complete rest wasn’t an option given I was about to start my competition season.
I was taught how to gauge the level of pain and at what level I need to stop, push through or if I’d overdone it. This was very valuable for me.
The best way I managed it was to train on Monday then rest till Friday or Saturday to let my shins and hamstring heal, then I could compete.
I am happy I managed my injury so well I could compete in the remaining competitions based on the information and advice received from my physiotherapist.
After my last competition I was told I could keep running to the end of the season but I knew straight after I crossed the line it wasn’t a good idea. I therefore I pulled out of the remainder of the season and my coach was proud of me for making that decision.
Listening to my body has been one of the most valuable lessons learnt over the past year.
Anyone can tell me what to do, how to fix the problem, what to take to help the pain. I may or may not utilise the advice I was given but that doesn’t mean its invalid at all; it just wasn’t for me at that time.
No one understands your pain more than the body that wears it. Trust your body and listen to it, it knows you better than anyone.
Written by Cloë Neophytou @cloeneophytou