Sunday, May 19, 2013

NOLA

I finally went to visit Ty at UNO!  He was hired as the head coach there last fall, and has done a super job setting up a brand new track and field program.  Two of his athletes head to the NCAA East Regional this weekend, and he's set to welcome lots more talent in the coming academic year. 

I was so excited to have a reason to go to New Orleans, and the trip did not disappoint!  I've been focused on rehab and supplemental training all year, but was fully cleared to throw at higher speeds (as I can tolerate) three weeks ago when I was in San Diego, so I booked a ticket to go see my coach and get some quality throwing work in.  I could not be more encouraged!

I had been throwing on my own (with Chris, Jamie or Russ watching) for two weeks before visiting Ty.  It was going okay, but there's a lot that has to become familiar again, and the basics didn't feel like the basics anymore.  I tried so hard to focus on simple things, but I expected to struggle in the first few weeks of regular throwing, so my trip south seemed perfectly timed.

It was amazing the difference a few cue words made in my first session with Ty last Monday!  It was even more amazing how well my second throwing session of the week went, especially because other parts of my body are trying hard to keep up with throwing again, too.  This is my favorite throw from my second session (filmed by Lucais MacKay). 

video

I'm a little open and slightly slow to my toe-first plant foot, but I am thrilled with this and the connection that I feel to the javelin.  I'm going to slowly work more speed onto the runway and focus on stabilizing my block leg with my glute: Trusting my left leg is obviously the priority.  I'm excited.

New Orleans is a fabulous place to look forward to having training camps next year!  I had a blast exploring the area and eating as much seafood as possible.  Some photos from the week:

Crawfish boil at Ty and Marie's.

Lake Pontchartrain sailboat at sunset.

Pony!  Equest Farms in City Park had a fundraiser yesterday.

This horse wouldn't keep his tongue in his mouth.  So funny.

There was a donkey race!  Hilarious.

Sunset over the lake last night.  Saw as many of these as possible.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Tough Times

Huckleberry, one of Drake's most beautiful bulldogs!
I traveled to Drake Relays last week to hang out with the awesome ASICS people, cheer Russ and all the other competitors on, and see my Mom and Grandpa.  It turned out to be such a fun week, but it didn't start out great, and I wanted to talk about that a bit!

Throughout this recovery process, I'm proud to report that I've been really strong!  Yes, there have been times when I've had to choose my positive attitude, but it has been way easier than I expected to stay that way.  I generally am just excited to do new things and get stronger physically every day, and that has been really fun to experience.  Once I can do something again (box jumps, blocking drills, etc.), I just consider that new exercise to be part of my repertoire and move forward.  It's awesome. 

Thankfully, I've only gotten really upset about four times in the past seven months, but when I get discouraged, it hits me kind of hard.  I'd like to say it comes out of nowhere, but emotions are completely normal!  There have also been warning signs, but it's not like I could have avoided releasing those emotions.  I think everyone who has gone through major injury can understand that emotions sneak up on you in your quest to stay positive through a recovery that is bound to have its ups and downs.  Traveling to Drake kind of did that for me.

Upon arrival last week in Des Moines, I told Russ,
"I hope I don't freak out since I'm not competing and everyone else is." 
I wouldn't call what I did "freaking out," but I broke down at a bit of an inopportune moment.  I obviously knew I was feeling kind of weird about entering the early months of Track and Field season not knowing what it will bring, or I wouldn't have mentioned anything to Russ.  Good thing I have a fabulous support system to help me through, and I spent the rest of the week with some of the most positive people that I know.  I also got to spend all day Sunday with my Grandpa! 

Stacey and me :)
Whenever these emotional moments have happened, some good thing follows that shows me just how well things are going to turn out.  Whether that good thing has been increased knee flexion in the early days, making new friends in Colorado, or actually having a blast being a spectator at a meet, it always gets me re-energized for the future. 

What do you do to get yourself back on track?  Don't let a few moments of being emotional (for good reason) derail you; talk it through, choose a happy thought, and move forward!  I'm excited.