Janet Barry - Staying the course
When things don't go as planned, it can be hard to persevere. But when you are "in the valley" the way forward is to 'just keep moving' -- to focus on today and to think about what it is, ultimately you are going for.
I can attest. Life threw me a curveball, then it took a baseball bat to my head, then it pushed me into a ditch.
Just twelve short months ago I was featured in the January 2018 issue. I wrote about how I had overcome a few considerable obstacles to become a top OCR athlete. I was excited; I had a new coach, felt lean and mean. I was ready to take on the world. But then the injury bug hit again. I tore my plantar fascia. I lost training time and, no sooner had I recovered from that when my hip started grinding and acting up. It had been a nuisance since 2016 and despite extensive PT and stretching the problem persisted.
An MRI revealed a torn labrum, degenerative arthrosis, and cam impingement. It was time to get this hip fixed once and for all. I went under the knife in June. Recovery has been extensive and eight months later I am still experiencing discomfort.
During this time, I had taken a new job, and things seemed to be moving upward. Then, last month on New Year's a bike accident left me with a nasty concussion and strained my recovering hip. Then, to top it off, two days later I was also let go from my job.
Really? Really? Really?
There I was sitting in the dark with severe headaches without a job and praying that I hadn't re-injured my hip. I hit a wall and fell into a bit of depression. Recovery from a concussion requires a limited stimulus. I couldn't go out with friends, workout, use a computer screen or even watch television. I couldn't think straight.
But through these trials, I've had a realization. I've come to know what racing and training means to me. It goes well beyond getting sponsors, social media, glory, and even beyond winning. I want to race for me and train for myself. I want to be able to look back and know in my heart that I became the best athlete I could be.
So I have resumed a routine that has never failed me, but with a new perspective. These obstacles are, as always, an opportunity in disguise. I thank God for the latest path He is leading me down. I honestly wasn't been happy in my job -- it was draining my spirit and limiting my training. Once I began to pursue my interests, not just a job, the opportunities started to shine through. I have even made time for yoga, painting, and writing. The Yin is back in my life.
It hasn't been easy. I've asked myself more than once whether this is worth it and giving up has crossed my mind. But I've stayed the course by taking it one day at a time. I compare myself today with where I was the day before, not with where I was two years ago when I was firing on all cylinders, straining for that elusive podium. All I ask is a step forward from yesterday.
Ironically, just as I had adopted this healthy perspective, I was notified that I had been selected to be on the U.S.A. Spartan Pro Team for the 2019 season – a long-standing goal I had always held! Spartan race never gave up on me during my year off. I can't express how appreciative I am to be associated with this organization.
Despite this triumph, my goal remains internal – I just want to race happy and healthy and to be the best athlete I can be. If following my story can help you, check out Instagram at @janet_barry / JanetBarryOCR. And yes, sponsors and are always nice to have.