I couldn’t not write this post having watched some amazing women’s athletics yesterday evening at the Commonwealth Games (on TV, I haven’t taken a quick trip up to Glasgow). What grabbed me most are two inspiring stories which I want to share with you, in case you haven’t come across them yourself.
The first young lady I want to highlight is Lynsey Sharp, 800m silver medallist for Team Scotland in yesterday’s final. Lynsey has had one hell of a year, and one hell of a week! Earlier this year, after experiencing calf pain during training, Sharp needed surgery to remove her plantaris tendon which runs from halfway down the calf to the ankle. Complications arising from surgery resulted in an infection and yet more surgery is required later this year.
Not only that but, in her post-race interview, she admitted to having not slept at all the night before the final: “Even right up to this morning I was in hospital in the village until 5:30. I haven’t slept at all. I was throwing up all night. I had a drip in my arm.”
An incredible story that should inspire anyone who has ever faced injury or illness. The next time I feel tired or poorly and have to push myself through training or work, I will think of Lynsey.
The second inspirational person I want to draw attention to is Jayne Nisbet, who has overcome her battle with bulimia to compete in this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Nisbet was forced to miss the last Commonwealth Games in 2010 when her illness was at its peak, but she’s fought back against the debilitating condition, more associated with models, gymnasts, ballerinas and jockeys than track and field athletes. Nisbet makes a good point when talking of the pressure she felt: “People say they don’t understand why you’d be so worried about how you look but I think when you are wearing a crop top and pants on television, if you are even a little bit overweight, you are going to get criticised.”
As someone who’s battled an anorexia myself, it’s so important to highlight that there is no one ‘type’ of person that can develop an eating disorder. Anyone can feel the pressure to look a certain way, or weigh a certain amount whether they’re a top-level athlete, ballerina, or jockey….or a city worker, model, or media executive.
I hope that both these girls’ stories inspire you to do something different with your day, take up a sport that you think you can’t do, or think you’re not strong enough to do.
The Commonwealth Games has inspired me hugely, as did the Olympics two years ago. Right now, I want to be a gymnast, diver, swimmer, runner and everything in between! What have you favourite Commonwealth moments been?