Coming back from an injury is something I've never experienced in my early running and triathlon career, but I can happily say that the stress fracture in my left foot was the best thing that has ever happened to me. As an athlete (and coach now), I've grown in more ways than I can count on my fingers and toes ... most of which has been psychological.
I am writing this post now because its not only long over due for me to get back to this AWESOME BLOG, but in addition I am quite exhausted from waking up at 4 am to carpool down to Tybee RunFest! Today was our first Official "A" Race, which means the athletes of CrossFit Hilton Head completed their first cycle of CrossFit Endurance training since the inception of our running specific classes in November. To tell you the truth, it's been a lot for me to handle. I end up going to CFHH before my amazing day job that I am very passionate about at Hilton Head Health and I usually wind up there in the evening coaching or training. All I have to say is Day's like today make it all worth it.
Why is it all worth it? Well to start off everyone was ON TIME today :) We also legitimately looked like a team repping the CFHH Endurance Singlets for the very first time! Overall its been totally worthwhile because today I got more excitement seeing almost all my Endurance athletes PR in straight up classy fashion. The athletes trusted the training and posted 2 to 3 minute decreases in their personal records. Vlad even rested this week (Nutzzz I Know?!) For some athletes this was also their first ever 10K or HM. My take from today is that the enjoyment of others successes (when genuine) is always far greater than any self-achievements. Of course we're happy when we hit our own PR's, but its even better when you see individuals who train hard and accomplish things that they didn't think were possible.
It's also all worth it because today we were the definition of a team. The support was there on and off the race course. One of the CFHH athletes even came down just to photograph/video tape the event. He even drove us. Athletes warmed up together, watched one another and hung together post race. In a word, we were SELFLESS.
So how have I grown since the injury? Before stress fracturing my foot, I thought it was all about racing every weekend. I thought if your body is healthy why not push the limits as much as possible? The feeling in a race is like no other in the world, but what I've learned is that satisfaction and enjoyment from races can come in multiple fashions. If I never had sustained that injury I don't know if I would have taken the time to form the first official CrossFit Endurance team in all of South Carolina (had to throw that in because its pretty cool). I don't know if I would be coaching endurance classes Tues/Thurs/Sunday. I don't know if I would have gone and got my level one. The fact of the matter is that the injury gave me a different focus.
Instead of improving myself in my own training, I've been able to share with my fellow athletes a better way to train. I now have more control over how many races I decide to compete in (even though its tough to say no) and I also picked up yoga 1-2 times per week. Also, I recognized today how much 2 two guests from HHHealth really care about me. They woke up early, came down with beautifully designed signage, and provided immense support for me at the finish line. Its weird that they look at me as an inspiration, but again its a feeling far greater than any personal PR. I feel like I am getting better at recognizing the people in my life that truly matter. The people that lay it all out there on the table with you. The ones who are Selfless and at times put me before themselves. The people that treat me with such respect that I can't even imagine not doing the same. Often times in life, you have to do things that are tough and take a step back. It allows you to see the people that ultimately matter.
I may have posted a :48 Second 10K PR today and a 3rd Overall Finish (35:18); however the PRs that really matter for me today were the smiles of our athletes. The 2 selfless guests from HHHealth and above all the perspective I've been fortune enough to unravel over the last 3 months. I am stronger now than ever and I look forward to what's in store.