A Triathlete's Health
The topic for this blog unfortunately comes from some recent events that have kept me from training and allowed me plenty of time to think. A triathlete knows their body. Probably more than most other people out there. If you ask a triathlete their height and weight, I'm certain most will be able to tell you without a second thought. A lot of triathletes are just as likely to rattle off their body fat percentage, resting heart rate and VO2 max. Given how well triathletes know their body, they are also far more likely to know when something is wrong. If you notice something is going on with your body, get it checked.
I feel most triathletes are less likely to get their body checked because they are supposed to be the height of fitness. "I can run all day, I eat healthy and I take care of my body. Nothing could be going wrong with me." That is what I felt and I convinced myself there was nothing wrong. The only place that led me was to the emergency room. After fainting two days after my race in Canberra and developing a slight pain in my chest that I wrote off as a muscular problem, I still put off getting checked out until I returned to the States convincing myself that I probably fainted due to dehydration.
After the pain didn't subside and I spent a day doing my best not to faint, I knew I had to go to the ER. My trip to visit the hospital wasn't as bad as I had expected. Even my fear of needles subsided given I knew I was getting the help I needed. A few hours and five or six tests later, the doctors still had no clue what was the cause but cleared me to leave the hospital with orders to visit a cardiologist. I have now undertaken another test and am waiting for the results on Friday with the hopes of getting this taken care of in the next few days.
The time off has given me plenty of time to think. I have come to realize how much I love sport and how much I love to be out training and racing. I know at times training is a grind but it is important to be thankful for the good health that allows you to be training at all. When I begin training again and the time comes that I am struggling to get out of bed, I will draw on this thought.
When you do encounter setbacks as an athlete, it is important to look at the positives. I am grateful that this has occurred directly after the last race of my season and I have plenty of time to recover and train for the season ahead. I have also been able to use this time to enjoy time with my family and begin preparing all my equipment for the upcoming year. When setbacks occur there is always a silver lining and you will be strengthened when times get tough in the future. I am looking forward to drawing on these memories as I am digging deep in races throughout 2014.
Looking forward to seeing you out there. Stay healthy and listen to your body.