Broken Bones Heal Stronger
One year ago today I jumped off a boulder in Magic Wood and broke my leg. It is crazy to think that it was only one year ago when I realise how much has happened in these past 12 months but I can also remember that moment like it was yesterday.
Mostly I remember that feeling of frustration that would not subside. I remember going to bed that night and through the pain thinking of how this was going to ruin all of the plans that I had made for the coming months. The last World Cup, The World Championships and climbing trips were to be cancelled. Tears of pain, frustration and anger prevented me from sleeping. My raw emotions did not allow for the true reality of the situation to set in. I don’t think that it was until I was sat at home on my sofa watching all of Britain’s top athletes compete in the Olympics whilst I was incapable of carrying a cup of tea from one room to another.
It was on my return home that I contacted a certain person who now plays a very important role in my life. Mark Glennie. My coach. Mark had worked with me a little before I broke my leg but as a friend offering some advice and helping me out. I needed more than that to help me through last summer and Mark totally stepped up to the plate. I sent Mark a message that asked him to train me 3 times a week and make sure I was training right and hard. Little did I know what I was getting myself in for.
Last summer I spent more time under a campus board and doing core exercises than I ever had before. It was not a case of turning up to each session and seeing what we fancied doing. For the first time in my life I had a training programme that was tailored to me. I think we were both surprised by how weak I was at certain exercises and how useless I was at all of the important background bits that come with training hard like sleeping and eating enough.
I was training until the climbing centre closed and I was up training before the centre opened. I trained hard, I ate what I needed to train hard and I slept as much as I had to to train hard. Training became my focus and little else in my life mattered. I had finally managed to replace the frustration with motivation and that therefore lead to exhaustion and I could sleep. I could sleep knowing that everything hadn’t been ruined but that I had been given the opportunity to make myself into a better climber and that we were doing everything to make that happen.
It was not easy. I had sessions where I felt totally lame and could barely do a pull up. There were times when I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry because it felt like I was going backwards. But this was all a learning curve for myself and Mark. I used to laugh at the fact he had to deal with girly teenage issues something that I guess he never thought he would be dealing with at this point in his life.
There is another individual who helped keep us both sane, Rachel, one of my best friends in the World and also Mark’s girlfriend. She is potentially the most psyched person I have ever been in the company of and never let me slack in any part of my life. Both Mark and Rachel helped me through a difficult period and never let my motivation fade away.
Rachel doing squats with me to help my leg get stronger on a climbing trip in Margalef.
In the past year I have accomplished so much. I have retained both my British Lead and Bouldering titles. I have pushed myself on rock and joined the elite group of women that have climbed V13 (8B). I have signed my first major sponsorship deal and became a Professional Climber.
I am so lucky to have such incredible people around me. People who push me to my limits when I don’t even know where my limits are. People who will listen even if I need to wine about silly little things. People who keep me grounded and abuse me with “friendly banter” as they call it. People who drive me around when I can’t get about on my own. And the people who put the kettle on when I get home.
This blog is a massive thank you to all of the people who have helped me to get to the point I am at now. I am 20 years old, climbing professionally and psyched out of my mind for competing on the World stage.