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Written by our Digital Editor, Marie Yates

Sitting in A&E, my first thought was ‘what if I can’t train for the events I’ve entered?’ That was a little fraudulent as my epic comeback has been monumentally underwhelming.

Training started well, with such enthusiasm and excitement. It then became apparent that it was going to take longer than first expected to regain a decent level of fitness. Rather than seizing that challenge and bouncing out of bed in the morning to reach for the trainers, I reached for a cuppa and promised myself I’d ‘go out later on’. Sometimes I did, and I always felt better for it, but it wasn’t the structured training and measured plan that I had been looking forward to.

After one such outing where I came back home feeling suitably proud of myself, I stopped on my way to the shower to check my emails and slipped on the step leading into my office. As my ankle went one way and the rest of me went the other way, I shouted some words of annoyance and declared to the cat that I knew work was bad for my health. She agreed, and went back to sleep while I was left in a whimpering heap at the top of the stairs.

‘What if I can’t run?’ I said as my partner helped me up. ‘The elite field will be breathing a sigh of relief’ came the response I wasn’t in the mood to hear. Fair enough, I’m no threat to the elite field, but still; harsh!

With an ankle the size of a Christmas Pudding, I agreed that I might need to check if it was broken. Hopping into A&E, it was a miracle that I didn’t injure myself. There’s very little pride to maintain when hopping anywhere, but I wasn’t alone in my undignified manoeuvring as a young man almost fell into me hopping from the waiting room to triage.

After posing for a photograph of the ankle, x-ray style, I found my fellow hopper who had slipped while playing football. We shared our fears about not being able to train and then shared that we were both a long way from where we wanted to be in our chosen sports.

The relief of finding out that nothing was broken led quickly to excitement that I could get back on track and structure training in the way I had planned. The ankle has an impressive sprain and is currently matching the Christmas Tree in colour, but the recovery plan is the focus. I have never done so many ankle strengthening exercises and to make the most of the time I have spent with ice on my foot, I’ve entered another two races.

The thought of not being able to train was enough to remind me how important it is. The 2017 goals are firmly in place and I have Amy Kilpin’s words of wisdom as my motivation to reach for the trainers; ‘it’s only when you push yourself to your limits that you discover what you’re truly capable of.’