READING TIME: 2 min.
In 2016, 2017 and 2018 I suffered from many injuries. Eventually, in February 2018, an ortophedic surgeon told me - based on an X-Ray - that I have a congenital hip deformation. He adviced me to stop competing in triathlon, and told me "you don't have a hip to run marathons with".
For about one year I followed his advice. I thought my career as a high-level triathlete was over and stuffed away all my future dreams in endurance sports.
Luckily, early 2019, I stumbled upon the book 'Finding Ultra', from Rich Roll. Rich Roll was a guy who was addicted to alcohol and fastfood, who decided on his 40th birthday to throw his life around. He started eating very healthy and became one of the world's bests ultra triathletes.
By reading his book, I started putting questions marks behind the prognosis of the orthopedic surgeon. When I got the diagnosis, my intuition already told me he was wrong - and I could actually back it up with knowledge from my studies physiotherapy. Nevertheless I followed his advice because he had scared me by saying I might need a hip prothesis at a very young age if I keep on running big mileages.
So, while reading 'Finding Ultra', I decided my career wasn't over yet and I would try to do everything to become the best athlete possible. The first goal I set myself was the Bearman Xtri, a full-distance triathlon in the Pyrenees with ca. 4000m elevation gain on the bike track, and 1500m elevation gain on the running course.
For 5 months I trained harder than ever before. On raceday, we had to deal with thunder and lighting while swimming (Honestly, I was a bit concerned they didn't cancel or delayed the start for our security). On the bike, we had constant rain pouring down on us, which led to quite a lot of people throwing in the towell. I came off the bike on eight position and then started cathing up competitors durig my strongest discipline; running.
Unexpectedly, I finished on the podium (in 3th place)! Probably, this has been the biggest confidence boost in my entire life and gives me so much more drive to continue setting myself big goals.