Nine weeks ago I sustained a bad knee injury in training and 7 weeks ago I had significant knee surgery to repair it. My hopes of qualifying for Rio were suddenly shattered as was my ACL which, according to my surgeon, was in “smithereens”. The best laid plans of my coach and myself have gone very much awry. For most athletes nothing is more motivating than an Olympic games so with the loss of that goal it is easy to become aimless. In light of my new circumstance I have had to set new goals. The ability to “move the goal posts” is an important one and over the years my ability to do this on a large scale has been tried, tested and honed.
The last 9 weeks for me have regularly been physically painful, debilitating, boring and frustrating. However, I am continually moving forward through a series of small goals and with each new achievement I look to the next one. For now I want to walk, crutch free and uninhibited, I find this thought particularly motivating. Attaining this is on the horizon and every day I am meticulous in my rehab to ensure I am moving towards this goal.
Despite intensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation, I find myself with a lot more free time than usual due to limitations in training and inability to get around. In previous instances I have filled this type of free time with volunteering, however, for the next 12 months whilst I return to normal training and competition I will study full time and finally finish my psychology degree. I find it incredibly useful to occupy myself by focusing on other aspects of my life which are normally sidelined when in full time training. These also become goals to focus on and ones not linked with my currently inhibited athletic ability. Due to my unexpected change in circumstance, and the loss of my major career goal, I’ve had to move the goal posts. Setting goals is a simple and effective tool I have used in this time of limbo to remain focused and motivated to aid my return to full fitness.