by Euan Burton - GB Judo (U11065424)
27 March 2008
Ask any athlete about the worst time of their career and you may well be surprised to learn that a loss or defeat might not always feature.
In my experience, most of the time the story will involve a period of illness or injury.
Dealing with losing is difficult, but with defeat there is always something to work on in training.
Often, losing can push you towards new levels of workrate, new ideas and a more steely approach to training.
With both the dreaded I’s, illness and injury, the solution is never quite as simple.
Illness usually means that there is either little, or even worse, no training, and injury will often see your training limited to the monotony of rehabilitation exercises and days spent with just one person.
Your physio can quickly become your best friend and worst enemy (sorry Sandi, you know it’s torture sometimes!)
You might be asking why such a depressing start to this blog?
Well unfortunately there isn’t much to tell about my last couple of weeks of training.
I’ve been flattened with the flu and as I write this I’m sat in my flat with my leg elevated in the air after injuring my ankle during some practice matches in preparation for the European Championships.
Sandi Lyall, my physio, has assured me that although it is extremely painful, the ankle will be back to full function next week.
But it is frustrating that after two weeks of illness, and only four days back on the mat, I am once again going to be sitting on the sidelines as the rest of the club rock on with full training.
It is especially annoying as I was so sharp in training, with a fantastic randori (sparring) session where I felt on fire.
It is also frustrating as there are some really great players up in Edinburgh at the moment.
The British men's squad training is being held in Edinburgh this weekend and because of that quite a number of the team have come up early to do a week of training with us in Edinburgh.
Tom Davis and Tom Reed, the number two and three in the GB team at my weight, are up along with Andy Burns.
Graham Trinder and Matt Purssey's brother Johnny, have been north of the border for the last month and have added to our training group.
A group that has been made even stronger with the addition of world silver medallist Sam Ingram who is a real hopeful for a medal at the Paralympics in Beijing.
Fortunately, my involvement with the BOA Elite Performance Programme has meant that I have so many new facets to my training.
So even when ill or injured, there is never a wasted day, and my time over the last couple of weeks has been spent developing ideas with Billy and Dave Alred, continuing my skills training (my juggling is getting better and better!) and perfecting the yoga and movement sequences that have been introduced into my programme.
Of course I’d still rather be doing all these things in addition to being on the judo mat, but while I can’t do judo it is great to have something to focus on and means that every day has a positive outcome.
However, the only real positive about being off the judo mat is that the longer I am away the more eager I am to be back.
By the weekend I will be pulling my hair out and by the time I get back to business at the tail end of next week, I will be champing at the bit to get on and get scrapping.
The Europeans are not far away and it’s not like I need any extra incentive to be up for the cup there but who knows, the enforced rest might do me good.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder; my desire to be on the judo mat has rarely been greater.
Roll on Lisbon.
FONTE (photo include): BBC Sport - UK