The Invisible Injury

I’ve sat here long enough trying to piece everything together, but my puzzle always ends up the same: sorely unresolved, dusty, and incomplete. It seems as though the more I try to solve it, the more distorted this image becomes; crumbling into smaller fragments rather than configuring into a unified whole. 

I didn’t know what ‘overtraining syndrome’ was (otherwise known as burnout) until scratched by the claws of its consequences. Horrible insomnia, irregular heart rate patterns, cognitive impairment, significant weight gain despite training daily and eating healthfully , and the worst of it: exhaustion that runs deep into your soul, anxiety that stabs at your chest, panic that strangles your throat, and depression that seeps into your veins no matter how perfect the day was.

One of my coaches said, “It’s easy to get caught up in doing what we love that we forget to listen to our bodies, and sometimes our bodies need rest.” Had I known that you can only run into so many walls before you can’t stand up anymore, I would have addressed warning signs sooner, instead, I mistook them for hiccups that would resolve on their own. I suppose that’s what makes a burnout so dangerous, though, is that it can happen to anyone, anywhere, and for any reason at all. We are not invincible, we are not machines, we are human, and sometimes, despite our best interest, our bodies need rest.

I’ve learned that most decisions in life are easy, those are the choices we make every day, but some decisions are really, really hard. Those are when we have to put aside our heart's desire in pursuit of health and well-being, even if that means stepping away from something that we love. In other words, I will not be competing this 2020 season.

I’ve always believed that things happen for a reason, even when at the time, those reasons aren’t so clear. Although I don’t know why this is happening right now, at this point in my life, I’m sure one day all the pieces will come together and the reasons will be clear. 

Although time with my KuPS family was shortened, I want to thank the club for an amazing experience. “Burnout” has been one of the most mentally, physically, and even spiritually challenging experiences of my entire life, but the love and support I’ve received throughout the process means more to me than I’ll ever be able to express. 

Until then, it’s time to go get healthy again and hopefully come back stronger than ever. Sending all my love to KuPS, I’ll be with you in spirit!