OTC 2010Because of my returning from injury gig, I don’t naturally fit in with the OTC’s daily schedule. My health is my number one priority, so I can’t just join up with what everyone else is doing. This means a lot of independent action, and having to pick and chose what I am a part of.

When I think about how I am somewhat separated from the team, I am conflicted. Part of me has realized through this process that I need to focus on myself more, both now and moving forward when I’m healthy. Group mentality can get you injured, (or keep you injured longer than necessary.) But part of me needs the community and camaraderie a team provides. I’ve tried it on my own in the past, having everything my way and running the show entirely, and it was lonely and miserable and pointless.

I’ve also been thinking about my age. At 28 years old, I am fine tuned enough through years of sport specialization that I do have to be careful what I do. I have to chose my workout locations carefully, be sure I get enough recovery days, and really need to steer away from doubling up hard sessions with weights or skills and drills. When I was 23, I didn’t have to worry about that stuff. And I don’t think its because I am “old” or that my 28 years have made me unable to recover as well. I think its purely that the more years you do a sport, the more one dimensional you become, and your body has expectations of what it can handle. Start throwing random stuff in there and it freaks out.

That is a negative of age, but there are positives as well, such as I can basically do no abs or weights and have very defined muscles. Older elite women athletes are more cut without trying as hard. And they can bounce back from childbirth to high levels of competition due to years of mileage in their legs. The more time you run, the more muscle memory you have to rely on. But that muscle memory also becomes like an old man, stuck in his ways, throwing a conniption fit when his dinner isn’t ready at 5:00pm sharp.

Anyway, I’m veering off topic there a bit, but the point is that age and injury has made me value my own personal path to success. I am, as a result, less excited about and reliant on, a team. And this saddens me.