In case you hadn’t noticed me moaning about it perpetually, I have picked up some annoying horrible little bastard injuries in the past year or so. It started with breaking my elbow back at the Jenson Button triathlon last year – it’s never really recovered and proper upper body work (pulls up, tricep dips, press ups) have been put on the back burner in an effort to give it time to heal.
Post triathlon bandaging
Next up was a pretty aggressive shoulder dislocation playing netball in Dubai at the beginning of the year. Turns out ambulances/hospitals in Dubai aren’t too well equipped to deal with shoulder dislocations, or at least the ones dealing with me weren’t. It ended up being over two hours (without pain relief) before they finally reduced my shoulder (they also, for some strange reason, decided to put me under general anaesthetic to do this, but that’s another tale). All that time with the joint out of place has caused me no end of pain and problems in my neck and shoulders, which has further reduced my ability to exercise properly.
Then, in April, my knee gave in during the London Marathon, and hasn’t really been playing ball since. My friend Simon suspected a tight lateral quad muscle and prescribed me lots of hot water bottle and massage love for my quads.
I think it’s difficult to overstate the effect that injury can have on your confidence. Exercise has always been my release; something to do to fix myself in body and in mind. There’s nothing more depressing than not being able to do that. Heading out for a run only to limp home a few short miles later feels humiliating. Hitting the gym and having your arm collapse under you during a shoulder press is depressing. Losing strength and fitness and then having to face up to feeling like you’ve never run a mile in your life is pretty soul destroying. I started to find running embarrassing – I felt useless, fat and lazy – and I started avoiding it. Same went for the gym. All at sea and with no idea of how to even start making a comeback. I am a huge champion for healthy body image and have started feeling uncomfortable in my own skin – it can’t go on like this.
So, when SIX3NINE got in touch and asked if I wanted to train with them with the aim of getting back to full fighting form, I felt like they were my guardian angels. As if the world had taken pity on me and thought “I’m going to have to step in here”. SIX3NINE is a personal training gym in Covent Garden hidden behind a discreet grey door near Drury Lane. I was met at the ungodly hour of 7am by the practice manager Dan. I explained all of the above and more (the time my ankle gave way during a routine on the trampoline when I was 14, my daily diet, my exercise routine, my goals…) before having a full medical grade body composition analysis.
The analysis revealed what I pretty much knew – I had lost quite a lot of my muscle mass (my legs were still showing as ‘developed’ though – quads for days) and my body fat percentage has increased. Although I don’t have any specific aesthetic goals, I would like to get leaner again so that I feel comfortable in my body and also a bit lighter on my feet. It’s no secret that getting leaner is key to getting faster.
Dan recommended I train with Jen, one of the PTs at the gym who has experience with endurance sports (triathlons to be precise) and also experience with eating disorders. I am so impressed to have been assigned a PT with a proper understanding of this subject and feel really optimistic about getting realistic advice about training and eating given my disordered eating background. I’m due to have my first session with Jen this Thursday and I really can’t wait to get started.
I’ll be posting regularly about my time training with Jen and (hopefully) my return to proper training – it is long overdue! I can’t wait.
Spectacular studio floor!