Yes, I’m being dramatic. Because I want to explore the emotions and reactions that are revealed when an athlete is injured and has to pull out of a race. And how ridiculously dramatic such reactions can be. And how we all need to get some perspective. You may consider me harsh and emotionally stunted, to which I answer yes, I probably am. And for good reason. Wallowing in self-pity never got me anywhere.
You may recall my excitement when I received THIS note back in…can’t even remember, May?
On Tuesday I mailed my withdrawal letter. The folks at JFK are old-fashioned and you have to write them a note requesting withdrawal. What’s nice is that they refund most of your money, something that few races do these days.
Anyway, boo-hoo. I’m not running JFK this year because I tore a calf muscle training on the Appalachian Trail for this race. This was my 40th birthday present to myself. It’s also the 50th Annual JFK. But guess what? They hold the race every year. OK, it won’t be my 40th next year, nor will it be the 50th running of the prestigious ultramarathon, but it this really something to bawl about? I think not.
Life throws us plenty of curve balls. Athletes get injured all the time, even the really good ones. It’s time to have a little perspective.
My friend broke her collar bone the week before a race for which she’d trained all year; she allowed herself 1 day of self-pity, and that was the day the race took place.
And then there’s All-American Triathlete and Kona finisher Amy Gluck, who was hit by a gravel truck and is in a coma. (Sorry I can’t find a more recent story.) The pic below is Amy with Chrissie Wellington.
And of course there are all those people who cannot run, bike, swim, or participate in any sports because their bodies won’t function well enough to allow them to.
In 29 years of racing I have learned that injuries don’t last forever, you get to race another day, and the faster you get past denial, anger, and “why me?” the sooner you reach acceptance and the road to recovery.
So go ahead, have a pity party because you’re sidelined for a short while or your training isn’t going well or you didn’t PR or get into Boston. You’ve got 3 minutes.
Go on, tell me how you really feel in the comment section below. If you like this post, please share on Twitter!