On The Road Again – PART 11

Illnesses and injuries (thank you!)

Recently I have been plagued with illnesses and injuries, BUT I’M GLAD.

I have chronic medical conditions which, put bluntly, completely floor me. They totally zap my energy, to the point that I can’t even walk, talk, or even hold a thought sometimes. So, as you can imagine, at times like this, completing a workout is the last thing on the ‘to do list’!

I have also unfortunately picked up a couple of injuries, including a broken finger which won’t heal, and a damaged quad tendon (super ouch!).

At first I was extremely annoyed and disappointed. I was so angry. I had finally got myself back in to the swing of things. I was training again. And training well. I was really enjoying it.

I was making good progress, my body was responding to the increasing difficulty of the workouts I had been planning for myself and I had even starting to do some serious HIIT sprint workouts as well as creeping up to my 5k running target.

But, when illnesses and injuries strike, you have to listen to your body. So, I accepted that I needed to rest. I wasn’t going to be silly and try and push through it. I’ve done that many times before, and learnt the hard way that it rarely helps the situation! Rest and relaxation for a week or so is all that it would take for my body to recover and repair. A week away from my training schedule wouldn’t be the end of the world.

However, that week turned in to two, and then three…you get the picture. Time started passing me by. My body still wasn’t ready. My mind was very willing, but my health just wasn’t up to it. My rest period started to then feel like I had fallen off the wagon. And I WASN’T going to let that happen.

Before this set-back, I was in a place where I was concentrating on giving myself a good push. I was stepping things up a gear. And then suddenly it all stopped. Now, I’m the sort of person who has to tackle either exercise or nutrition first, and then filter in the other. I can’t tackle it all head on. Therefore, as I became to realise more and more that I wouldn’t be able to resume my sprints, jogging or heavy muscle training any time soon, I would have to shift my focus. I wasn’t going to just go back to doing nothing!

So, I changed the focus of my efforts towards my nutrition. If I couldn’t step things up a gear with exercise, then I’d have to focus on my diet instead. I also changed my training targets to low impact routines, and have been taking the time to focus more on my core – which is in desperate need of some love and care.

And guess what? I’ve had results. Without the crazy sprint sets and muscle blasting workouts! I have lost inches and have dropped a dress size.

If you have illnesses or injuries, as I know many of you do, I totally understand how you feel. I totally get the constant ‘drained’ feeling, and the despair, and the annoyance, and the wave of ‘I just can’t do this’ feeling that comes over you. But, please remember that you don’t have to give up. There is always another way to keep working towards your goals.

I am actually now very thankful that I got floored with illnesses and injuries, because although I was really enjoying my intense workouts again and celebrating the fact that these could once again be a part of my life, it forced me to concentrate on other areas of my health and well-being.

I now have my nutrition back under control (which is the hardest part for me!). I feel proud of myself for not giving up and adapting my workouts to become low impact but still ensuring they provide great training sessions. I am pleased that I have given myself more time to concentrate on slow, deep core exercises, as I’m feeling stronger with a better posture. I’m chuffed that I have dropped a dress size and starting to feel better in my own skin never mind clothes. But I am probably most thankful for more ‘me time’ and embracing more mindfulness. As I have been walking more (low impact!) and giving myself more alone time to re-think my goals, I have massively benefited from time in nature to reflect on everything. We often forget how super important this is!

All in all, I am fitter, healthier and much happier. So thank you illnesses and injuries. For once, I am actually glad you came.

Chief Nikki xx