I.am.over.the.moon… to finally be back competing again, it seemed like an eternity since the last time I stood behind a white line and took my clothes off under the orders of a man with a gun in his hand. The patient wait was finally over about a fortnight ago as the Birmingham Games in the National Indoor Arena marked my long awaited return to competition.
As diligent and disciplined as an athlete ensures their rehabilitation programme is carried out, I don’t think you’re ever completely convinced that everything is ‘back to normal’ until you’ve been ‘battle-tested’. Which hopefully provides some kind of perspective for the confused onlookers in the Birmingham crowd, who, judging by my reaction to crossing the line in 1st place, probably thought I had mistaken my preliminary heat for an Olympic Final!?! To be fair, after the best part of a year spent in rehab, the overwhelming sense of accomplishment and relief you feel when you cross the finish line (with all your limbs still safely attached) isn’t something I’d anticipated.
It was a real boost, to not only race through the rounds without so much as a hitch, but to also go on to place 2nd in a very competitive final. With it being only a few weeks since I had been allowed to start hurdling again and having missed so much of last year I had little expectations of my first race back. Off the back of such a promising performance I’ll admit I did dare to think ahead of what could be possible over the weeks that were to follow, at the UK Indoor Championships and British Indoor Grand Prix…
…“Not so fast!” it yelled.
>>> Okay, so for those of you unfamiliar with the sound of that voice, it was ‘Sods Law’ – whilst I’m not usually one to join in with those bashing the government of the day, I’ll happily go on record and say it’s not a great law, probably one of the worst I’ve come across. Who the Scrooge was that helped enact it? I don’t know. Why any parliament would give it a thumbs up? I’m not sure. But if you don’t already know, ‘Sods Law’ smugly proclaims: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”.<<<
And a fortnight before the Birmingham Games I fell victim to this ruling – within the space of 4 hours I went from having a headache and feeling a little queasy –> to waking up in A&E with tubes stuck up my veins and suspected Pneumonia flipping me the middle finger. Less than ideal race preparation you might say. And predictably, leaving hospital full to the brim with anti-biotics and pushing my body (and my luck) to still attempt to race at the Birmingham Games [primarily so I could at least test-out my knee before the Outdoor season] only hastened my return to hospital the following week:
A word of advice: listen to your doctor
Fast forward 2 weeks of bittersweet bed-rest. The bad news is that I was forced to miss the UK Indoor Champs and the Grand Prix, but the very good news is I now have a clean bill of health and a proven pair of race-ready legs! Spring training is about to begin ahead of the 2013 Outdoor season in May and I’m more keen than ever to get back into the blocks under starter’s orders!