Sent from an emotional place. Excuse the typos (and foul language).
Fuck. Dickhead. Shit.
All of that hyperbole and more.
I’ve invested so much time and energy this year training for Rapha Manchester to London and four days before the event, I’ve pulled a muscle in my side. I would class myself as quite a positive person, but, seriously, for fucks sake.
It happened at the weekend and immediately I began crying. It was if my body knew I’d done something before my mind had time to catch up. Over the 48 hours that followed it increasingly felt worse, leading up to this morning where breathing or sitting up from bed was an excruciating movement. Pensive. Anger. Sadness. Frustration. Confusion. It’s difficult to explain, but the emotional rollercoaster I find myself strapped into is one ride I was not wanting to be part of this week.
There’s no covering the fact it’s a shit situation - the days that were meant to be filled with resting, preparing and feeling excited, are now a slow countdown to see whether with each 24 hours I can heal in any way.
You question whether you should still do it. My stubbornness answers that quickly. There’s no way I won’t be on the start line but with my head now well and truly in a dark place, I’m not sure how far my legs will take me. Pain is tiring and over 220 miles you can’t afford to lose any energy. I then get angry - why am I so upset about something that in the grand scheme of things is nothing? There are much worse issues going on in the world right now, but, being completely honest and selfish, in the little world that I’m in, this is really important to me.
This afternoon I’ll go to the walk-in-centre and after being angry at how long it takes to be seen, I’ll sit waiting for the doctor to say something that will give me some sort of hope. A magic pill? An x-ray which says it will be healed in 2 days? A lollipop which turns the clock back?
It’s my body. I should be able to control it. Surely with all the training, it’s only fair that I wouldn’t be injured. But life doesn’t work that way. You can plan till your blue in the face (which I do), but an injury the week prior to the event is something my to-do lists can't control. Acceptance needs to be the first emotion I reach for, but (especially with a pulled muscle in my side) I can’t stretch to get it; I’m worried about letting others down, even though I know friends and family will be incredibly supportive. I’m worried about letting myself down, about not achieving, about missing out on that emotion when you cross the finish line, about having to explain myself and losing face. I'm worried that I won't be good enough. Thinking about it all really fucks me off. Why didn't I appreciate full health when I had it last week - I was probably busy planning, training or eating recovery ice-creams.
My packing list and hour-by-hour agenda for the weekend is sorted. My friends are all ready to be at the finish line (with my requested gin or champagne). All I need now is for the doctor to give me the go ahead. The start line still has my name on it, as does, hopefully, a box of very strong painkillers.