BUCS is the big one. I had been excited about it for months. I was honoured to represent my university and couldn’t wait to spend the weekend in a hotel in Brighton with my team-mates Grace and Emelia. Both Grace Baker and Emelia Gorecka are exceptional runners – it was so cool I was going to be running alongside them.
But disaster stuck. Three days before we made the journey to Brighton I got injured.
Alongside running and doing my degree, I was in the production of Romeo & Juliet. I had several fight choreography rehearsals a week and it was during one of these rehearsals – a dodgy fall injured my lower back. It really hurt to walk and running was a no – go.
I was upset but also determined. If I stretch and do yoga and foam roll in every spare second of the day, maybe I’ll be alright by Saturday?
I was going to still go as the hotel was booked for and there was no reserve.
I’ll do it even if I have to walk over the finish line, I thought to myself.
Brighton was super fun. Me and the girls get on so well – we had such a laugh and went for some nice meals out. I don’t think I was quite myself though. I just wanted to run. I just wanted it to be magically better.
Saturday morning arrived.
It hurt. A lot.
I didn’t do great but I finished. “I’m so sorry” I said to the girls. They said they didn’t mind at all but I did. They were amazing. Emelia WON (this is every university in the country competing, it’s kind of a big deal). And Grace came in the top 10. If only I had been fit and well, our team would have done well.
I could only put on a brave face for so long. Not long after the finish, my independence and strong, motivated-self vanished. I snuck off from the rest of the group, phoned my Dad, and had a pathetic little sob.