I am no stranger to comebacks, as I have been coming from behind since day one. I was born nearly two months early and needed the help of a ventilator to breathe, and was hooked-up to all sorts of lines and tubes during my 5 week stay in the Neonatal ICU. I do not remember a time where I was lagging in reaching my developmental milestones, and some of my earliest grade school memories are of me beating almost all of the boys in the mile run during gym class in the first grade. I think I made quite a comeback from being the 3lb newborn to being a standout high school runner, a Division I athlete, and now a professional triathlete. Being a preemie, my attendance in medical school can be seen as quite an accomplishment; one of the physicians told us during a maternal-fetal medicine lecture in second year that you would not see any 32 week-ers in medical school. Umm excuse me, I think you are wrong, I am sitting right here in the middle of the lecture hall!
In high school I had a tremendous comeback from a stress fracture I sustained while anchoring my Sprit Medley Relay team to a National Championship. After several weeks in a boot, 6 weeks of no running, and less than 6 weeks of being back on the track, I set a 6 second personal best to break 5 minutes (4:54) in the 1600m and finish third at the NJ Meet of Champions behind some legends, Danielle Tauro and Renee Tomlin.
Then in college, after redshirting my junior year with a string of injuries, I set a personal record every time I set foot on the track during the indoor and outdoor seasons. I still very vividly remember one of my coaches saying to me, “Emily, you surprised the crap out of us,” at my end-of-season coaches meeting. Probably the best compliment I had received during my college career, which failed to live up to my expectations.
Now I am back on the comeback trail, and have reached the 10-week mark of mostly pain-free biking and running after spending many months sidelined with a knee injury. To celebrate, I am kicking off the 2015 season by competing in a triathlon tomorrow morning. Really I am just so happy to be able to do what I love again, the opportunity to race is really just icing on the cake. I am nervous to be toeing the line for the first time since Kona, but am so excited to go out there and throw down. I do not really have any expectations or goals for tomorrow, other than to enjoy and savor the moment.
Race report coming soon!