About losing passion and fighting back
During trying times around the world, where the everyday lives of people have changed, and the ways in which athletes train and stay willing, it depends on their methods to keep their motivation going, even when there are no competitions to train towards.
We are bringing a series of stories from our Argon 18 family on how to stay willing on the road to normal. We hope to motivate and inspire ongoing training.
Ida Burrows, an ambitious triathlete and part of the Swedish National Team opens up about her loss of structure, motivation and passion for training during the global pandemic. Read her honest words and how she overcame this low in the following post.
This is Ida’s #RoadToNormal.
How it all began
Before I started with triathlon, football was my life. I played for many years and trained hard, but somewhen I came to a point where my school education was more important to me than becoming a professional athlete. I started to run a few times a week to stay fit and then my mum asked if I maybe wanted to try triathlon because I am quite an energetic person and to be quite honest, I think I was probably driving her a bit crazy! I gave it a try and in 2017 I raced my first triathlon, I enjoyed it but I still thought that running was more fun. Later on that year I raced at the Age Group World Championships, it was my third triathlon and after that experience I decided that I wanted to start training more and taking it more seriously. In 2018 I managed to get into the Swedish National Team and that’s when my journey really began!
When COVID-19 appeared everything changed. I mean it hasn’t been perfect for anyone, but it really did hit me hard. I was living in Norway during 2020 and at Christmas time I decided it was finally time to go home to England to see my family. After just a couple of days, the UK decided for a hard lockdown and closed everything. I couldn’t swim, I couldn’t train with anyone, I couldn’t see my friends. It felt so unfair. I started to bike and run even more to compensate for the swimming hours that I was missing and that’s when everything started to go wrong. After a few weeks with no coach and trying to make my own training plan, I was completely drained both mentally and physically. I sat down and thought to myself I can’t carry on like this, it wasn’t fun anymore and I didn’t even know why I was doing it. My love for training was rapidly disappearing. From January to March, I stopped training, I didn’t have the energy. It’s hard to describe how I felt at this point in my life, my emotions were all over the place, I was confused, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so lost. I think it’s really important to be honest about these things because I don’t think I’m the only one that has had this type of experience. I had basically decided that my time in the triathlon world was over.
Not letting go
I started to try and live like a ‘normal’ person, however, there was still a tiny bit of me that wasn’t prepared to give up, a part of me that knew deep down that I still loved to train and that it wasn’t too late to try and start again. When I stopped training, I quickly lost my fitnesss and I knew it was going to be far from easy to get there again but an opportunity to go on training camp with the national team came around. After thinking long and hard I decided to go on camp. I thought that it was the perfect opportunity to try and regain my love and motivation for training. I wasn’t wrong. After two weeks in the sun at Playitas Resort with lots of training, fun and laughter, I was back. I had finally found myself again. I can’t put in words how unbelievably thankful I am for the team that have helped me come back. The support has been incredible and I will be forever grateful.
I enjoy training with my new coach and it feels like I am on the right road back to fitness and happiness. It wasn’t easy but getting my bike and run fitness back hasn’t been as difficult as I expected but swimming has been a whole other story. Three months with no swimming pool had a big effect but it’s finally starting to get better which is reassuring!
I am so glad that I decided to come to Sweden. In Falun there’s a good group to train with and really good facilities. It's an amazing feeling to get back and I'm looking forward to what the future will bring.