“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got…”

Change is something a lot of people don’t like and I’m definitely one of them. If I can’t find the spoon I use for my morning bowl of porridge, you better stay out my way for the rest of the day. If my bike is hanging up on the wrong hook in the garage, well, the whole ride will be different! Don’t get me wrong, a bit of spontaneity never hurt anyone, but who doesn’t love a good old routine? My whole life is based on a structure. Alarm goes off at 5.15am, I swim, I come home, I eat breakfast, I cycle, I eat lunch, I study (occasionally ;)) I run, I eat dinner and I sleep. Standard. I’m not some kind of social recluse by the way, but sometimes you can get stuck in a routine, life becomes monotonous and boring, and progress is somewhat stalled.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently (dangerous I know), and being on my end of season break has allowed me to come to some pretty big decisions. I’ve been based in Loughborough for 3 years now, and every single one of those years has been hampered by injury and injury after injury. I’m not gonna lie, its been THE most frustrating time of my life and it hasn’t been easy at all. I finally start to feel some form after a slow return from injury and then BAM my life turns upside down and the roller coaster ride starts up again. Fan-bloody-tastic. There’s only so many times someone can deal with the poo that life throws at them, and the number of times I’ve wanted to take the easy route out and quit has been all too frequent. But with something you love, something that becomes your life which over the years triathlon has done, you continue your fight to reach wherever you want to get to. Leave the quitting to the weak, and carry on pushing.

Having been stuck in this rut of injury with no progression there’s only one thing to do. CHANGE. That big, scary, ridiculously meaningful word. Change. Change, change, change. Even saying it and writing it scares me. But for me, it became a necessity and something I had to accept. Me and Mr. Change have made friends! I’ve made the decision to change my coaching and therefore change my whole daily routine. I know I know; MENTAL. But no, on a serious note, things are going to be a little different from now on. I haven’t left my coach as such, but I’ve sought help and advice on my training programme from my first ever triathlon coach. He was the coach that took me from an absolute chopper of a triathlete at the age of 15 to racing at the Youth Olympic Games and winning medals at European Cups at the age of 17/18. I personally feel that this was the last time I was really truly on top form and returning to this coach was the only real answer to my problems. I’ve been returning to training slowly but surely over the last couple of weeks, structuring it around the all important freshers week of course and I’m looking forward to starting to the proper programme tomorrow.

Next year is a big year what with the potential of Commonwealth Games qualification so I guess you could say I’m taking a risk. I personally feel it is a risk worth taking, and any change is a good change right? Things worked all those years ago when I was just a little nipper triathlete so why can’t it work again? It might not be the biggest change someone could make and without wanting to sound like the ultimate cheese ball, but for me its the beginning of a new me. I don’t feel like I’ve wasted the last 3 years; I’m sure I’ll look back on my injury plagued years in the future and be grateful for the learning curve I’ve been on. But I won’t lie, its not been the greatest party. I feel so much more positive going into the period of solid winter training than I ever have before, and am looking forward to seeing what happens.

You’ll be pleased to know, I’ll be keeping the same porridge spoon. Some things just don’t need to change.

Over & Out,

eli_teee

xox

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