There’s no easy way to put it. Dealing with an injury or getting sick sucks. Especially when you are training for an event such as a HIM. In my case, I knew the 'injury' that could potentially slow me down was coming, but there was NO WAY I could prevent it -- the last week of July I had a quarterly skin check with my trusted dermatologist, at the appointment I had two biopsies done, one on my left calf and the other on my mid right back. The pathology came back as insitu (Stage 0 Melanoma) which required wide excisions and sutures in both locations. I've been down this road before, and it's not the worst. Sure it sucks getting chunks cut out of my body, but it was all caught early so I count my blessings.
The friday of the scheduled surgeries I got up early and went for my prescribed 11 mile run. Determined not to let anything slow down my training momentum I figured that I could take Saturday off and binge on Netflix in bed to stay off my leg and back. Then come sunday morning I would be good to go for my three and a half hour ride. Mind you, my doctor said she recommended that I take at least ten days off from my training to let both sites heal. Ummm, sure doc...
I've mentioned in a previous blog that I wasn't going to let melanoma control my life. I sure as heck was not going to let it slow me down on the road to my first HIM! Well, saturday morning came, the pain meds and local anesthetic wore off and I could barely walk! 'OK' I thought, 'I still have a solid 24 hours to relax and I'm sure the pain and swelling will be good by tomorrow morning'... Sunday morning came and there was absolutely no way I would be able to get though the ride, who was I kidding?! I was finally honest with myself and knew I would have to take off some time like my doc said.
I threw myself into my pillow and started to cry. The anger set in; I was pissed. Pissed at my body, pissed at my doctor for being so good at picking out suspicious spots (Crazy, right? She's basically saving my life one biopsy at a time! Real talk, I am so very grateful for her!), pissed at the people trying to support me, just pissed at the world.
I talked with my coach and she reassured me everything was going to be OK. I was at a good place with my training, I shouldn't be worried about this small set back and I need to focus on the positive (catching the melanoma early, I'm still winning!) and letting my body heal. OK, easier said than done...
A few days without training went by and I found myself in a funk. Training gives me such a rush of emotions and a high after finishing hard and intense workouts. It had only been a few short days but I desperately missed that feeling. My coach told me instead of focusing on what I was going to miss out on over the next week or so, I should focus on what I had already accomplished and fill my 'STOKE tank'. One big thing that stuck out for me was the fact that I have done EVERY SINGLE prescribed workout coach had given me since I started on this journey. Even on mornings when I was exhausted and didn't want to get out of bed, or worked all day and didn't want to get on the trainer or get to the pool, I DID, and I think that's pretty amazing. Over the next week while I healed, I kept filling my STOKE tank with positive thoughts -- it really got me psyched to get back out there and not dwell on the minor set back.
Some people may read this post and not understand how a small 'injury' like this could have such an impact on someone, but I think if you are really invested in the sport or have a passion like I do, this may ring true to some. I am healed now and getting back on track with training. And wouldn't you know, the day I got my stitches out my Tri Sirena Mermaid kit came in! Here's to pushing forward and looking REAL good while doing it!
Have you ever had a set back that challenged your mental training? Tell us in the comments below!
Written by Lynsey Capone-Smith
Follow Lynsey on Instagram! @rylyn.tri.hi