The Hardest Ever

May 2011, the injury that took out the season.

So just when I thought it’s going to be a pretty straight forward road from here on out, I’ve resolved my right heel issue, got my fitness back, am feeling in good shape to get ready for the outdoor season, then I’ve picked up an injury on my left foot.


I thought I played it smart, took a couple of days off earlier in the week because my joints were feeling sore and I was tired, but during Wednesday’s ‘easy’ run, I was clearing 500m in 1min35s easily, never feeling that fit in my life, but during one of the reps I felt a twinge on my left foot. I stopped not too long after and didn’t think too much of it because I get little aches and pains here and there regularly, but by the evening I was limping around seriously and it hurts to even walk.

It’s scary because it’s so close to the outdoor season now. I know I’m just 1 injury away from a very disappointing end to my athletics career. My mind immediately brought me back to when I pulled my hamstring during the decathlon last year. That effectively wiped out my season and I never did get a performance to show for the work I’ve put into this.

And wondering if this was just a repeat of last year really got me down.

The truth is sometimes in life you can make all the right moves but it just doesn’t turn out the way you want it to.

You will realise, as I did, that at some point in life everyone will get knocked down and everybody will feel down. The difference between the champs and everyone else is that they go through the down phase very quickly and start focusing on getting back up again, rather than wallowing in their own self-pity.

Pulling my limping arse back on to the track the day after to do my rehab work, my fellow dec whipped me back into focus and highlighted the things I can do whilst I’m dealing with my foot injury so that I do not throw my outdoor season away.

There are 206 bones in the body, injuring 1 or 2 of them doesn’t mean you can’t work on the other (give or take) 150 if you limit that area of movement.

I’m focused on doing my speed endurance sessions in the swimming pool, replacing actual running with aqua jogging. Whilst it’s not the same, I can assure you it’s still one hell of a workout.

And double session still remain, in fact now that my speed endurance sessions are not pounding on my joints, I can afford to increase my weights and med ball session to work on power transfer into implements.

Plans unfortunately have to change, next weekend I was really looking forward to the pentathlon and finish my indoor season on a high, but looks like it is highly likely that I either have to miss it completely or just do 1 or 2 events.

Shit happened, deal with it.

You can stay down and blame the world/others/yourself/higher powers, but by doing that nothing’s going to change.

It’s always a choice you have to make on how you respond to life, make that decision a good one.

Staring myself in the gym mirror earlier I realise the choice I have to make even with this foot injury is still the same.

You can go hard, or you can go home.

This song came on in the gym when I was doing my hamstring curls, something which I have been doing since last year’s injury to strengthen my weakest link then, gave me what I needed to finish that set strong.

Find your weaknesses, make it into your strengths.

Never give up.


  1. Somtimes, undertraining is better than overtraining says:

    I still remember 9 years ago when I twisted the elbow of my throwing arm during training. Unbeknownst to me, the injury also came at an unfortunate time as my throwing career started to go downhill due to shaky technical foundations and an absolute focus on strength, which was the philosophy we were ingrained with ever since we starting throwing. Maybe it was a need to prove myself again after a successful showing at the nationals prior to the injury, so I threw and lifted harder than ever despite the injury. But my elbow never got better and in fact became stiffer by the day, despite the physiotherapy sessions.

    Looking back, my elbow did eventually recover but it was a long, tenuous 2 or 3 months and it only really felt “normal” again after an entire year. Perhaps it would have been smarter if I listened and responded to my body’s needs rather than trying to force it my way.

    In any case, while you continue on doing alternative training to work on your speed endurance and speed strength levels, do remember to listen and properly respond to your body’s needs! Do take the necessary precautions to ensure that the alternative training does not hinder with the recovery of your left foot.

    Here’s an article on one of the best and most inspiring olympians of all time, and how he overcame it all:

    God speed with your recovery!

    • Yong Sheng says:

      Well bro, now that you know what to do, it’s time to build you up to the discus champ again. Good to have you back on the circuit!

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