Being an elite athlete has been filled with incredible highs and devastating lows for the entirety of history. I would be very shocked if someone could prove to me that athletes as far back as the Ancient Greece Olympics didn’t feel the devastation of a loss or injury as much as they felt the happiness of athletic success. This is what being an athlete is all about, and unfortunately for some, the lows are more prevalent than the highs.
At the beginning of my career as a cross country athlete, I experienced every success possible. For the first ten years I spent every waking hour training to become the best, and I did become the best. However, all that training has taken its toll on my body and I now suffer a number of physical health issues because of it.
I first noticed that something was amiss with my feet when I began to look into common foot conditions. Cheltenham, the suburb I bought into when I retired from professional sport, has many facilities appropriate for athletes, including rehabilitation centres and gyms. This suburb was the right choice for me as its close proximity to the beach and relevant facilities meant I could fast track my rehabilitation and hopefully run again.
I was sad to find a few years ago that I suffer from Achilles Tendinitis and that I would need adult orthotics. This was a significant blow for me, as it meant I would be unable to race, or even train for a significant amount of time. I still feel the effects of the Achilles Tendinitis years later, but I have experienced a definite reduction in my original pain. Now that I’m older I’ve realised that I will never race at a professional level again. Retirement from injury is quite a devastating way to go out, but it’s happened to the best of us.
I now spend my days coaching my daughters athletics team, and I am proud to be sharing my talents with the next generation.