The Obstacle is the Way!

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” Marcus Aurelius

In the summer of 2018 I hit a point of over-training and also a previous injury that I had incurred through snowboarding had become worse through me being loaded in movement patterns I had severe faults with due to that old injury.

It has taken me over 18 months to get back to weightlifting consistently after working through the original injury with the Sports Therapists at Back2Fitness in Swindon. Plus, I needed to relearn how to train correctly to ensure that I did not end up at a point of over-training again.

I was gutted not to be able to weightlift. My weightlifting coach had an aspiration to take me to the European Masters in the summer of 2019… this dream became well and truly dashed!

“…for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”


During the time I could not weightlift (I couldn’t squat with weight for many months!) whilst I was recovering from injury and learning how to train more smartly, I found indoor rowing.

Rather than give up training altogether or bemoaning publicly about my situation, I found something else I enjoyed and put my efforts into that.

The Obstacle is the Way!

I ended up finding something that I seem to have some natural apt for. Had it not been for the break in weightlifting, who knows if I would have pursued indoor rowing as I did.

Since taking up indoor rowing I have won a Silver medal at the British Rowing Indoor Championships, two Bronze medals at the British Rowing Virtual Championships, finished two indoor rowing seasons with many distances and times in the 90th percentile of women worldwide, I matched the current British Record in the women 40-49 100m row and I currently hold the British record in the women 40-49 1 minute row.

“…thrive not in spite of what happens but because of it!”

Ryan Holiday

Instead of seeing the injury and breakdown in my training negatively, I worked to find a new way around it so that I could continue to have fitness goals to train for and aspire to.

Although I sought a new way in fitness to get around my injury, it didn’t stop me having moments where I was upset and worried about whether I would lift again. But rather than wallow and stay stuck in that thinking, I kept working on my recovery with the girls at Back2Fitness and continued to work on my fitness through rowing and eventually a more mindful way of strength training.

During lockdown I have been back on a weightlifting programme and am now squatting and lifting consistently without pain. I cannot express just how amazing this feels! I still have a desire to compete at the European Masters Weightlifting at some point in my life, but first I will use weightlifting to help me achieve my indoor rowing goals! …or who knows, life might throw me another obstacle to navigate my way around!

I am no one special. I do, however, believe wholeheartedly in finding the silver lining in every cloud. If you look hard enough, you can always find it.

A great book I have been reading on this very subject is called ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ by Ryan Holiday. If you want to learn more on this mindset, I highly recommend this book as a read.

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