Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne,EdgecliffMarrickville,Bella Vista, Randwick, Lindfield and Balmain ask team member Georgia to reflect on her personal experience of being an athlete during COVID-19.

Many people this year have had their lives turned upside down by COVID. Forcing a lot of us to change or cancel plans and roll with the punches. As an athlete whose whole year focuses around peaking for the national championships held in April, for the event to be cancelled only three weeks before threw a huge spanner in the works. After years of repeated injury and to finally be in great shape for this year’s national championship, it was hugely disappointing. However, I understand I’m not the only one who has been impacted by this year’s pandemic, and frankly, just living in Australia makes me one of the lucky ones. This year has forced me to adapt, and while my athletics was put on hold, I jumped at the opportunity to progress my career as an exercise physiologist when I joined the team at Longevity in July. I think I have landed on my feet quite nicely, I am absolutely loving working with Longevity and for that, I have COVID to be grateful for!

I’ve been competing in athletics for as long as I can remember, starting with my fist coach on the central coast when I was just 11. I had a highly successful run as a teenager, winning several national championships before I reached my pinnacle at the 2014 IAAF world junior championships placing third in the women’s 800m. A common problem for many junior athletes is transitioning to the senior ranks, and although I had great success in my late teenage years medalling twice in the Open National Championships, my success came to a halt as I turned 20. Part of it can be attributed to the fact that I simply fell out of love with athletics for a short time when I moved to Sydney to study Exercise Physiology at the University of Sydney. I was enjoying my newfound independence a little too much and struggled with motivation to go to training when it meant I had to miss another college social event. It did not take long for me to begin to miss the feeling of being fit. I started to take things more seriously again and that is when all the injuries begun. Throughout the past 4 years I have had several musculoskeletal injuries and a bout of glandular fever which means I have missed the last 4, and now due to COVID, 5, national championships.

March 2019 I joined a new training group, I was in my last year of University and from there I finally managed to string together 9 months of training without injury. The first time I had done so in several years. I had my first race back in almost three years in December, and although it wasn’t the fastest I have ever run, It felt so good to be back on the track. I competed several times over the 2019-2020 domestic season, and was getting better with each race, slowly building back my confidence. In February I won the women’s NSW 800m title, it was my first race since 2014 that I really felt like myself again, and it was great to get back on the podium! With Nationals fast approaching, I knew I was in great shape and cemented my confidence in training putting together some of the best sessions I had ever done. It seemed surreal when we got the news that Nationals had been cancelled, realising that the months of hard work would not amount to one final event was

a hard pill to swallow. However, just the feeling of being back in shape again was to me as rewarding and fulfilling as if I had been able to compete.

A few weeks later we found a melanoma on my foot. I had a wide excision to remove the mole which was followed by two weeks on crutches and complete bed rest, not easy for an athlete! I moved back home to my parents place on the central coast for a month, and I’m really thankful to COVID that I had the chance to do that. Once I had recovered, I moved back to my share house in Sydney, started training again and took on an amazing role at longevity as an exercise physiologist. Although this year has been different to what I envisioned, I would not change it for anything. This year has taught me to be resilient and take advantage of new opportunities when they arise, and I hope to continue to carry these values in my life as an athlete and as an exercise physiologist.

After suffering a small meniscus tear in August this year, I am currently in the process of building back into full training. I’m hoping to be competing again by January next year and if everything goes well, I’ll finally get on that start line for the 2021 National Championships.

 

Call Longevity to discuss your specific exercise needs today! 1300 964 002 

Written By Georgia Wassall