Stuff happens. Slipping and falling or unexpected surgery, these are just a couple examples of situations that may make an athlete have to come to an unexpected and sudden stop in training. How, as an athlete, do you adjust mentally and physically to this?
Now is the time to focus on the positive, and refocus your energy. The sudden stop has been described as post-race blues on steroids. You do not want to go down a potential downward spiral that will be very difficult to battle up from.
Here are some ideas of some things you can do to help you refocus (or distract) and remain positive:
• Hone in on proper nutrition
• Read some good books
• Watch a movie
• Get caught up on past seasons of The Walking Dead (or other shows you have always wanted to see)
• Take up a new hobby. Coach Christina swears by knitting
• Get a massage
• If physically capable, embrace, and practice Yoga.
These are just some ideas to get the wheels turning in your head for backup.
Plan for it, have a backup plan in place so you can embrace the sudden stop if the unexpected happens.
What if this happens and you have signed up for a race you can no longer do? Contact the Race Director, ask for deferral. You never know until you ask. Many races are becoming more open to this, but don’t expect it, most do not. Some races now offer “race cancellation insurance” for a small fee $5-$7. You can purchase insurance that will offer you a registration refund and/or guaranteed deferral in the event of the unexpected prevents you from racing.
If the inevitable happens and you can’t defer or get a referral, write it off in your head. It’s a race, a medal, and a t-shirt. There will be others. Easier said than done, but if you accept that, you will make your “time off” easier to bear.
Start looking forward to and get excited for your “come back”.
I say this a lot: If you don’t plan for it, it will happen. If you do plan, it won’t. One can only hope.
One this is for certain, if you take care of yourself, you will come back from your sudden stop stronger than ever before.
So, all this being said…what is your backup plan?
I wrote this 3 weeks ago, little did I know (as I post this) I would be day 6 into mandatory rest due to unexpected surgery. Now…I practice what I preach.