27 Mar #lifeasarower
There’s a first time for everything.
Yesterday was the first time I had to withdraw from a race because I was medically unfit to row. My coach pulled me out from my Final B of the Open Lightweight Women Single Scull race in the Australian Champs because the physio suspected that I have a stress fracture on my ribs. Today, my coach had to withdraw me from my World Rowing Cup races which is supposed to start tomorrow.
So I heard that this stress fracture on the ribs is a pretty common injury amongst rowers but noone said it was this painful. It hurts to breathe, it hurts to laugh, sneezing and coughing feels like my chest is about to explode, the worst is that it hurts to row. And hello hello I am in Sydney to row and I can’t row and thus it is making me go crazy. And yes, you wonder, I wonder, everyone wonders, “Why does it always have to be me?”
The worst thing for a lightweight rower to do is to go for a regatta not being a lightweight. I had to find that out the hard way. I am not ashamed of admitting the fact that I was a little overweight for the period nearing the race. Usually I would have been around 1-2kg over my weight limit in the week before but this time round God knows why despite my long hours of running and trainings, my weight doesn’t seem to decrease and I came to Sydney being around 4kg over my weight limit having one week to lose the remaining weight and you tell yourself that you’re gonna lose them in the next few days and you try but it just doesnt seem to drop and then you freak out. I totally freaked out I swear.
I thought about my weight every day, throughout the night, I am afraid to eat, I don’t drink enough because I was worried about water retention, I had to put on layers and layers of clothings every morning, doing anything and everythinig I can do shed off the water weight. I sat on the rowing machine so much I’m having blisters on my butt. I got sick of running. I hated every morning when I had to step on the scales. I was beginning to hate rowing. I hated racing. I hated it so much I cried everyday it made me feel like a total loser. A fat loser. An awful person. An unprofessional. It made me want to give up on everything. It was that bad.
Whenever I finally made weight, which means I managed to lose 2kg in 2hrs (thats the most that I had to lose), you could see the immense relief of my fatigued face. But my body was tired, it was screaming for me to stop, little did I know that I was damaging myself.
On the first stroke of my third race of this season, I felt the sharp pain below my right armpit. First stroke. And could you imagine going through at least 240 more strokes? I thought it was just me being a weakling, so I continued rowing. I ended up last in that race. So last, I never want to be in that position ever again. When the pain got worst the next day, that was when I found out that my rib might have a stress fracture, or a fracture, or whatever it is, some sort of crazy-ass pain.
The bone scan will be tomorrow and I am just hoping for the best.
I guess I had enough of crying over this. Yes, I am always the one ending up in a hospital bed or having my x-ray taken or some mri or scan of any sort and it always have to be in a foreign country. Yes, I am the one who always gets into heaps of trouble and causing so much inconvenience to the people around me. Yes, I am the one who got last for my last race and how dare do I even tell the world I won the SEA Games? But I am going to be the one who will be sitting on the stationary bicycle for the next few weeks because that is the only form of cardio that I can afford to do at the moment. And I am going to be fitter, stronger, faster and better without having to train on the boat. I am going to qualify for the Asian Games despite this rib thing that I have and I am going to win a medal in that games. I am tired of being slow, sick, tired, useless, injured, what have you. I am better than that.
I am going to miss the World Cup tomorrow but like they say you learn something constructive from every defeat. I’ve learnt to come prepared the next time I want to race.
God has funny ways to test your patience and perseverance. But He will only throw challenges at you because He knows you can overcome them. I’m pretty sure I can.
Bring it on, I say. Bring it on.