So today ‘should’ have been a manically busy day of rushing around, finalising my packing, triple checking lists. That mixed feeling of excitement and terror in equal measure that comes when you are about to embark on a MASSIVE challenge that is going to push you to all of your limits!
Sadly, it’s not to be. After injuring my achilles in a previous bike challenge in Ireland back in June, I spent a number of weeks resting my ankle before continued physiotherapy, stretching and strength work. I then had to pull out of my next two challenges, ‘The Tour De Mont Blanc’ bike race and my ‘24hr distance time trial’ PB attempt, in the hope that my ankle would recover in time for my biggest challenge of the year, due to depart this Saturday (12th Aug) from Paris.
A few days ago I had to except that the pain in my ankle was still too severe and that it would be unfair on myself and the support crew to take to the start line, knowing I would be lucky to cycle more than a couple of days let alone several weeks! The adventure had to be called off.
To say I am disappointed would be a huge understatement. Having spent hours and hours route planning, researching, preparing kit, organising nutrition, speaking to authorities, my family giving up weeks of their summer to help make it happen, I suddenly felt lost.
The physical pain from my injury is such a small part of the problem, I find the emotional pain caused by the setbacks far more difficult to deal with. Adventure and challenging myself is an integral part of my life, I suppose it’s a sense of my identity, without it I feel like life is just passing me by and that I’m not experiencing it to it’s full. I find enjoyment and self-satisfaction in mastering new skills, overcoming ever more challenging obstacles and progressively getting stronger and challenging myself to new heights.
When this is taken away from me I quickly start to feel lethargic, physically tired, stressed and grumpy, and most importantly have this feeling of being ’lost’. Without these big goals ahead of me I can’t seem to focus positively.
So following a few days of wallowing, it’s time to get a grip and pull my socks up! Set new goals and turn the disappointment into an opportunity to make some changes for the better.
Setbacks, injury and disappointment are inevitable in anything worth achieving so I must accept them. I must find ways to learn, improve and better myself. In particular I must become physically stronger. I am well aware that I already ask too much from my body, without doing anywhere near enough strength and conditioning work, this year I am paying the price from this.
“Every setback is a platform for a comeback”