Written by Katherine Werrett
In February, last year I broke my ankle. The medical term for the injury is - Trimalleolar Fracture, with a dislocation and syndesmosis. The everyday term is that it was very, very badly broken and in need of two surgeries.
Prior to the injury in February last year I was having the time of my life. I had recently been bitten by the bike bug and cycling had an influence on every part of my life. One month before the accident I had just completed my longest ride to date, an overnight trip from Newtown to Kiama.
On that ride, I meet a remarkable man, who provided me with support and encouragement along the way. I asked him many questions about his cycling history. He had completed huge trips; his trips were totally inconceivable to me due to the level of difficulty.
His trips were achievable only for those with fierce determination and dedication I thought. I admired his ability, he was very humble and when he saw the amazed look on my face he said, very casually:
“Your body does what your mind tells it to”
I didn’t know it at the time, but these words would become very important to me, they provided so much comfort for me during my recovery. Whilst I understand that for some people these words are not true/appropriate, for me they gave me strength. I’ll never forget those words as long as I live.
After the accident happened I was non-weight bearing (unable to walk) for over 12 weeks. Hydrotherapy was for me a blessing, both for pain management and for the re-strengthening the ankle. Except I had to get into the freezing cold pool every day (it was well into Autumn) and using my neglected muscles was painful (to say the least). The words inspired me to push through the pain and discomfort. I found that it slowly got better each day. Exercises that made me cry the first time I attempted them were only completed due to that mantra.
It was a slow process, but looking back I am both proud and amazed of what I have accomplished. It was those words that got me through. If I had resorted to saying, ‘I can’t’, which believe me I wanted to, I wouldn't be as fit and strong as I am today.
So, to anybody out there who wants to push themselves beyond their current level of ability, to achieve something that amazes them, I would say, please use those words. When you believe in yourself and in your ability good things will come. Remember, it all starts in the mind, so make your mind as strong as it can be by believing in yourself.