D’accord… c’est cassé…..
Although it has been 8+ years since I studied French in high school, one particular unit always stood out to me. Sitting in my grade 9 French class studying injuries and illnesses seems a long time ago and although I have forgotten a lot of French in the years between, I have always remembered this unit and in particular, this sentence.
I must admit it took me a little while to really understand the meaning of racing on a French Grand Prix team. Yes, I have been a part of three college tennis teams and understand what it means to be on a team but racing triathlon as a team is something I have never experienced. My trip to Les Sables started well enough. Although I was in more of an individual mentality when we arrived, while sitting around a large table for dinner the night before the race my mentality changed. As I looked around the table at everyone talking and laughing with each other over a meal, I couldn’t help but feel they were a family. I had met them all less than a week prior and although I barely speak any French, they had included me in their family. This is the why the first DNF of my career stung the most.
Lining up to start the race I felt a sense of anxiety yet also a calmness that I don’t often feel before the swim. The beach start and substantial swell coupled with 100 athletes fighting for the first buoy 300m out set the stage for complete chaos yet I felt confident. My calmness quickly evaporated when I stood from a dolphin dive, put my foot on a clump of uneven sand and felt a click. I knew I had done something to it but I wasn’t sure how bad. I had an urge to stop right then but my will to think positively made me believe I could continue and I pressed forward.
Fast forward 10 minutes and after running through transition and hopping on my bike I was sitting in a French ambulance being asked to rate my pain. The EMT looked surprised when in my poor French accent I muttered ‘huit’ meaning 8. I think she thought I had my numbers mixed up but after explaining that it had reached ‘hurts like shit’ on the Australian scale they were on the radio talking about a trip to l’hôpital. The rest of my day was spent trying to figure out what the doctors and lab technicians were saying. I am so thankful to have had Julien, one of our team managers travel to the hospital with me and wait 5 hours while I bugged him “Comment tu dis en Français?”
The result is a broken 5th metatarsal, cracked completely across the head. I have a lovely new cast for 45 days and given I can’t put any weight on it, I am also required to have daily injections to ensure I don’t develop deep vein thrombosis. For anyone that knows how much I hate needles that is probably the worst part of it all.
I appreciate everyone’s well wishes and am especially thankful to my host family, Virginie and Ruben who have been amazing in getting me back on track. They have gone above and beyond. Aside from the broken foot I am doing well. I have never broken a bone in my body so I was long overdue and understand it was just terrible luck and it happens to everyone. My brother has a trip planned to Europe next week and given I can’t undergo any training at all, it is my intention to hang out with him a little, put my feet up and do some exploring around Europe while I am here. If you are in Europe and would like a visitor, let me know!
As of now I have set a goal of returning to the start line come October. Just a minor setback in the ups and downs of sports..