with Erik Mata
The first time I have had to deal with an acute injury was, during my prep for the European Championships. 18 days out my SI joint on the left side popped during a deadlift session.
Seek professional advice ASAP
I was able to see Ross (@rossteoopath) my Osteopath 3days after it happened, he did all the manipulations necessary to reduce pain and ensure it doesn’t go again. This was a huge part of the recovery process, having someone to look after you when stuff like this happens is extremely valuable. I strongly encourage everyone to invest into a good professional who knows the ins and outs of your sport.
Psychologically it is difficult for everyone to go into a competition injured. I found the fact that there was no expectations kind of took the pressure off, but also took the enjoyment out of the competition, especially considering it was my final competition as a junior. (Ultimately, we’re at the competition for 2 reasons, to place well, and to PB) Regardless, I’ve learnt so much about myself still turning up to compete at Euros, that is a positive that developed from the injury.
During the rehab process, you have to be patient, careful and really make sure you’re doing the right things in order to get back to 100% both physically and mentally. Rehab work is absolute priority post injury, and if possible, I would not recommend competing with an injury. Also, I cannot stress this enough, if you are unsure on how to rehab your injury, seek professional advice!
The truth is, you just have to accept that it will take some time to get back to full health, and that the process is going to be a struggle, it’s going to be extremely frustrating at times, taking 1 step back before taking 2 step forwards. It’s unlikely your injury is life long, so just get on with the rehab process and focus on doing things you can, and don’t worry about things you can’t do just yet!
My JNR Career
I remember ageing out of the Sub-Juniors I was excited to have higher level opposition and compete in a super competitive weight class. During the 5years, I got to learn a lot about what works, and what doesn’t work, and also just gained a ton of in-competition experience nationally and internationally.
I have similar feelings now, competing against the open guys, it’s exciting to me to go head to head with genuinely the best this country and world has to offer.
Long term battle
Ultimately, I have to be patient it is my first year as an open lifer. Although, that’s also no excuse for me to slow down because there’s a ton of upcoming talent in the UK.
Plan to stay 93
I feel like I have a ton of room to grow in the 93s, but that also means I am only looking to do 2 competitions/year for the foreseeable future, likely only 1 competition in 2020 being the British Classic.
Enjoy the process
I am excited to be at the bottom of the ladder again, not being one of the best in my respective weight class is extremely motivating to me.
Ultimately, I don’t think anybody should be discouraged by having to work a few years before they’re up there with the top of the weight class. As the sport grows, the standard rises, and it’s up to us young ones to continue to raise that. Just enjoy being at the bottom again!