“The darkest hour is just before the dawn”

If you are expecting this post to be about fitness advice, you can close this page right now.

This week was supposed to be my rest week, which is a week for me to rest and relax. But it feels like I have been through hell and back. I have never fought so hard with my inner demons before that I felt so helpless and was on the verge of giving everything up.

Monday started with me realising that something was wrong with my hip. That all is not right because I was limping around in pain. The day before, during the squat event in my powerlifting competition, I went to a full squat and felt something shifted. I looked down at my hip, lost a little focus and stumbled. I got a red flag for my effort. I was afraid I had broken something. But I could still walk, so I dismissed the pain as something that will magically disappear.

But as the pain grew worse the next few days, I knew I had to face the inevitable truth. That I was injured, for the first time in 6 years of training. This was my first time dealing with an injury and I thought I could cope. I was so wrong. I will come back to this later.

Advertising is an highly stressful job. A month in to the job and I have been making a lot of mistakes. Yes, making mistakes is the only way to learn. But I have been making so many mistakes, that I started to lose confidence in myself. CrossFit was the only thing that kept me sane and helped me coped with my new job.

Now, back to coping with my injury. Faced with the fact that I will not be training any time soon in the near future, I crumbled. When my superiors sat me down to ask me why I had done a task wrongly, I told them, on the verge of tears, that I think I wasn’t up to it anymore.

It just went downhill from there on. It was like I slipped in to a hole where it was all darkness and I couldn’t see the light anymore. Everywhere I turned, I could see nothing except darkness. All I could think of was that I wasn’t good enough, that I was a disappointment. Maybe I should just give up and quit my job. In my darkest moment, I turned to God and cried out to him to save me.

I would have slipped further, lost touch of reality and gone over the edge if not for my friends and my colleagues (you know who you are), who pulled me back with their encouraging messages instead of judging me. I teared when when I read them because at that moment, I knew I did not need to face my problems alone.

This has been a scary episode for me because my demons were coming at me in full force. I’m not a person who gives up easily, so I was shocked that I wanted to give up so easily. But I have learn 2 lessons from this episode:

1) Manage my expectations when I’m doing something new for the first time. Because instead of trying to crawl, walk or run, I try to fly. Which is humanly impossible.

2) Prepare myself for potential injury during training. Being injury-free for the last 6 years lured me in to a false sense of security. This meant that I wasn’t prepared at all, mentally, when I finally got injured.

The most important lesson I took away from this, was to take things one step at a time, one day at a time when faced with troubles. Somehow, I thank God for putting me through this trial, because I know I will emerge from this stronger, physically and mentally.

And no matter how gloomy it may look, there is always, ALWAYS, a light at the end of the tunnel.



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2 responses to ““The darkest hour is just before the dawn”

  1. ngyanghan123

    Hey man! I was among the crowd that saw you and the other competitors compete in powerlifting and I just wanted to say I enjoy reading your experiences and thoughts about training. Sorry to hear about the injury but I guess the more we push our limits, the more this becomes part and parcel of lifting.

    Taking time off training might seem unimaginable, but always look at the big picture and how it fits into your long term goals. Sometimes we have to see training as a privilege, rather than something we rely upon to maintain our sanity.

    What if one day, lifting or CrossFit as we know it ceased to exist? Do we choose to crumble? Or do we continue living vicariously, harnessing the very strength we had forged from training into other aspects of our lives?

    Sorry for the rant, man, but here’s hoping for a speedy recovery!

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