What I can do.

It feels like lately all I’ve been able to talk about is what I can’t do, and honestly, that has felt very disappointing. I couldn’t swim freestyle comfortably. I couldn’t finish my goal event this year without severe pain. I couldn’t train and haven’t been able to train properly for months.

Couldn’t, can’t, haven’t. It’s all been so negative, so down, and that’s not who I am or what I am about, so this entry I want to talk about what I can do.

I can recover. I have been seeing doctors, a physio, and developing my best recovery plan. I have been gathering information from various sources to educate myself and ensure I am well informed to be a part of the decisions made about my body. So, I can stretch, I can bend, I can do a lot now that I had been nervous to do for fear of damaging my back further.

I can plan. I have been gathering up all the programs I’ve been given by various coaches, all the tips I’ve been given by friends and pros, the things I’ve learnt throughout the process to develop the best plans tailored to me moving forward. I’ve determined a series of goals for my future and through my experiences, the people I’ve met, what I’ve achieved, I know where I am going and how I want to get there.

I can organise. This year has been an international bonanza, Hawaii, Sri Lanka, Hong KongSamoa, and within a week of returning from Samoa, I’d booked a holiday for Japan in 2016! I’ve been very conservative with holidays and spending throughout my education, and now I’m in a position where I can take advantage of a suitable income and earnt holidays, so I shall be doing this in the coming year.

I can volunteer. I may not be able to run very much right now, but I can still be a good guide for vision impaired runners in my running club. I can still attend the Refugee Language Program where I help people learn English. I can still work with The Smith Family mentoring school kids. I have also been inspired to develop further volunteer work moving forward, for 2016 or 2017 depending on the opportunities that arise.

I can be active. I can still swim, I can still walk and gently, I can still climb, and I can even dance. I’m learning patience, I’m learning to slow down and to not get frustrated at what appears to be lack of progress. Our lives are rollercoasters, ups and downs, plans that get derailed, and we need to learn how to cope with that, accept that, and even embrace it. Mentally and physically it takes practice, but I remind myself that there is not one single reason to not be happy. We’ve got one chance at this, things may not go to plan, but we can’t keep thinking “oh, it’ll get better later”, or “I’ll be happy when…”. I want to embrace now, whatever that means, and do what I can, what I want, as best as I can and even with injury.

I want to, no, I can take it all in my stride, and above all, keep smiling.

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