Well I thought it was time to write something a little personal about the last few months.
Leading up to that fateful day I was doing ok, and I say ok because it really was just ok, not fantastic not the best I have ever felt but just ok. I am definitely a very intense athlete, not intense person just an intense athlete, some people may not agree with me on this but the way I feel off the track is completely different to how I feel on the track. I know people struggle to be around me when I am Sally the athlete because I am really quite intense and can be quite intimidating. This is who I am and I am not apologising for it again. I have apologised way to many times in my life for being myself, I feel if I am not being myself I cant get the job done nearly half as good. Athletes are all different, we handle situations differently to one another, some are quiet, some are loud, some are shy and sensitive and some are very defensive. For me I feel I can be all of these in one. For different situations I take on one, some or all of these personalities. I am now allowing myself to say that this is ok. It’s ok to have your own personality, its ok to grow into the person you were meant to be and it’s ok to not grow into the person other people want you to be. I can’t control how other people feel or think I can only control my feelings and my thoughts and today, I am telling myself that its ok.
After the Doha Diamond League I was feeling a little down and disappointed in how I ran, I definitely felt really shaky and not myself during the race. I’m not sure why but I have put it down to just having a bad day on the track. The training week that commenced after Doha was amazing. I trained so well and was running really fast in my reps and I was lifting really well in the gym. I couldn’t have asked for a better training week. The second week of training that was also about 10 days out of running at the Rome diamond League was very inconsistent. I’m not the type of person to want to let personal issues get to me when I am at training but sometimes even the strongest person struggles with issues. My dog Oscar had broken his tail while I was over seas, my In-laws were absolutely amazing in making sure that they did everything they could to help Oscar, but they said that he was just in way to much pain. Initially the vets said to maybe wait a few weeks to see if his tail starts to sort itself out and start to heal on its own. Kieran and I thought that maybe Oscar could wait until we got home which was another 3 weeks away before we decided what to do. Kierans parents rang up two days later and said they didn’t think it was wise to wait any longer, Oscar is in a lot of pain and we should act now, Kieran and I said yep go to the vet and if the tail needs to be amputated then do it. The next day his tail was amputated, I was so sad for Oscar more for the fact that I couldn’t be there for him because I know how much he hates the vets. The day after his operation he came home and the first thing he did when he jumped out of the car was roll around on the grass, that’s when we knew he was feeling so much better again.
The day after we found out Oscar had broken his tail we went to London with my aunt and uncle to the Cutty Sark museum, we were having a really nice relaxed lunch. Before we were about to leave to go to the markets I ducked into the toilet and didn’t realize that I came out without my phone, it wasn’t until about half hour later that I realized and raced straight back to the museum to the lost property which is directly outside the toilet where I had been and asked if they had seen anything, of course they hadn’t. A lot of people would think these two things don’t seem much of a big deal but when you’re over seas competing and not on a holiday you tend to miss your family and home life a lot more. This really built up inside of me and made me quite anxious and a bit on edge leading into the new week of training. The second week of training in England didn’t go so well, I was really down and upset about what had happened on the weekend and then started to doubt my ability and I became quite negative. I tried to put it out of my mind and not deal with it, this tactic did not work well at all and I just kept spiraling down. After that week had finished I was so happy to be moving on to Rome and get in some warm weather and prepare for the last few days before the Rome diamond League. I had a few sessions and was starting to feel good again and starting to feel like my normal self, I couldn’t wait to get out there and race.
Race day arrived. I warmed up well and was ready, did all my normal things stretches, exercises went through call room and out onto the track. The gun sounded, something didn’t feel right, my calf started cramping up but I thought I could push through it and by the time I was about to stop it was to late, I felt a twinge leading into I think was the third or fourth hurdle and it was to late to stop, I had to make quick decisions in the space of about 1.5 seconds obviously my decisions weren’t the best, I was trying for a body slam to the ground so that I wouldn’t have to land on the leg that I had already twinged and make that worse. Obviously arms are there for a reason, to protect you and mine did exactly that, but maybe a little to much. The funny thing is I didn’t actually feel that I had hurt my wrist the reason why I was screaming is because I looked down on my arm and noticed it was bent the wrong way and new something bad had happened, it felt like an eternity before someone came to help me. I was finally in the ambulance and on my way to hospital; I think I had retired from the sport about 10 times before I got there because I was so upset. Kieran didn’t let me use his phone incase I announced to the world that I was leaving the sport on social media, thank god he was thinking rationally. When the doctor said she needs surgery that’s when I knew my season was over and I wouldn’t be competing at the world championships in Beijing. I was devastated and really sad but also told myself, at least its not RIO! I was in hospital for four days before they did surgery. I was a bit nervous going into the operating room as I had never had surgery before or have never had stiches. Once I was out I had no pain what so ever in my arm, it was such a nice relief to not be in pain. My next goal was to get out of hospital and get home! The day before I was due to leave I asked the doctor am I ok to go home and tomorrow and he said “no” I couldn’t believe my ears and I said. “Well, yes I am, ill discharge myself if I have to” he went away to think about and said “if you can move your fingers tonight then you can go home tomorrow”. When you give an athlete a task to do and they know there is a reward at the end, then that athlete has to do what they have to do, and I bloody wiggled those fingers as hard as I could with no expression on my face. It got me on my flight home the next afternoon! Two days after the operation, I was getting the hell out of that hospital.
When I got home I had some more surgery 4 days later. The next few weeks after that were really hard for me, everything that had happened started to hit home and every morning for a few days I would have a cry and feel sorry for myself, then I would pick myself up and get on with it. I haven’t really let this injury get to me to much, yes it was really hard seeing the results from the world championships but at the end of the day I am still here I am happy, I have a great family and great friends and my two beautiful dogs that get me through each day.
The people that I need to thank the most while I was over there are my Coach Ashley Mahoney, Agent, Maurie Plant, The Doctors at the IAAF who made sure everything went smoothly I’m sorry I cant remember their names but they know who they are, the Rome Diamond League meet director, my physio Kerrie Evans who was a god send for Kieran and I while were in hospital, she made sure all the right questions were asked and never left my side, lastly my husband Kieran Pearson, I cant imagine what it must have been like for him seeing me in so much pain. Kieran worked so hard to make sure that everything was sorted from the paper work to re booking flights, changing hotels in the middle of the night and making sure that he was by my side for every minute I needed him, I couldn’t have done it without him. Thank you every one who has sent in supportive messages, they really were helpful and cheered me right up.
I am not sure what next year brings as yet except for the obvious, the BIGGEST sporting carnival in the world THE OLYMPICS! I am going to make sure that I am the fittest, the strongest and the fastest I have ever been leading into these games, they really are going to be special and I cant wait to be a part of it.