We’re a few races into the season now and I feel great physically. Being healthy just gives me a lot of confidence that I can get back to the times I was running before I got injured. I can hit those times I did when I was coming out of college and even go faster. I’m able now to push my body to the limit.
Injuries are something that comes along with this sport. It can happen to anybody. I’ve seen many great hurdlers or athletes period be setback by injuries. You can be having a really promising season and injuries will just totally shut you down. It happens it can make you have to come to a complete spot, that’s the unfortunate part.
There are definitely things you can learn from being hurt. It’s a little hard sometimes to watch your teammates competing because you wish you were out there running. It was hard to see everybody else progressing while I was sitting there feeling like I was going backwards. But you can learn a lot about your body in recovery. I picked up different things I can do to get stronger and better now that I am healthy.
Sometimes I catch myself looking back and thinking about what I should have done differently. But you live and you learn. I had never really been in that position before, dealing with injuries. I picked up a lot of things that I can do to prevent myself from going down that route again. I learned to err on the side of caution instead of pushing through pain and not really getting proper treatment.
For me, it’s about listening to my body and doing the things I need to do to stay healthy: icing, getting treatment, stretching a lot, not being so active all the time and allowing my body time to rest and recover. I used to move around a lot, do a lot of different activities when I was younger, but as you get older, you don’t recover as fast.
The preparation and recovery aspects of the sport are just as important as the training itself. You can’t just walk out on the track and train. The things that you do before and after are just as vital. After you put in hours of training, you still have to get treatment. You have to ice, you have to rest and you have to stretch out. That’s all a part of being an athlete.
I’ve learned to keep my body stretched out, always get worked on or get treatment and just really listen to what my body is telling me. If I’m feeling kind of funky, I’ll take a day off to rest, do something light or cutback on my routine. When your body is sending you a message, you have to listen.
Having a supporter like Shawn is a definitely a difference maker for me. He’s honest with me about what he sees and it’s very helpful. He’s the one who told me in the beginning of the year to stop wearing heels and sandals, just find a good pair of Nike’s so I’m taking care of my leg muscles and feet. I’m trying to do everything the right way this year so I can really see what I’m capable of and he helps me with that.
We do whatever we can to be a support system for each other. He watches video. I watch video. He’s helped me with my sprinting this year. He built an ice bath for me in the garage so I can jump in there right after practice, making life convenient for me. I’m thankful for that.