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  • Writer's pictureElana Withnall

Change: Ain't a Bad Thing

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

'Change the way you look at things; and the things you look at change''

This time around, I am going to share my thoughts on something everyone inevitably experiences in their life journey - Embracing Change.

In my short-lived life; I've gone through some big ones of these.

Changing schools, changing coaches, changing jobs, changing cities, changing houses, changing university degrees; most recently changing Track and Field events.

In modern society, people tend to shy away from change. Because, it's scary.

It's different ,you become too content with routine, it makes you vulnerable, it's a chance, it's a risk or a big leap of faith!

But realistically, change isn't as bad as we fear.

It can teach you something about yourself; you couldn't have learned otherwise.

It challenges you to break habit or do things differently. It can open yourself up to new opportunities and adventures; simply by traveling down a different path you weren't involved with before.

Change can force you to be challenged. You mightn't see the benefit of this challenge immediately. But you'll thank yourself later.

I've recently learned to embrace change.

But I've battled for the first half of this domestic Athletics season, with myself in regards to change.

As a heptathlete, my body and my mind are constantly under pressure to complete a large quantity of training sessions per week, to cover all the disciplines I compete in. As well as fit in Personal Training clients, University studies, Modelling jobs and life in between.

But as I suffered a serious injury beginning my season, I was only kidding myself. Trying to push past it all. Push that mental barrier, through the pain to try and be competitive in a heptathlon. Because that's what I knew. That's what I'd been doing for the past 8 years. I was comfortable with this way of life.

Even though my body was telling me to rest. My health professionals advising me to rest. To allow my body to mend, so I didn't cause permanent damage for later in life; after my Athletics career.

But as strong-willed as Lani is, and has been before; competing and training through injury. I wouldn't want anything to jeopardize my quality of life.

You've only got one body. And you're stuck with it for life. So make sure it's the best one you can make it!

I've made some not very wise decisions, in regards to injuries during my Athletics career.

But this was a time, when a new opportunity was given to me.

To finish the season. To switch my focus. To preserve my body for bigger things to come. And to evidently; an opportunity to change!

I had competed in the 400m hurdles during high school. Fortunately doing quite well as state level & then going on to never miss a junior national final. It was another event, I loved! Because I could push myself. Challenge my mind to be stronger than my body; no matter how much pain it was in during that last 20m of the grueling event. Lani loves a challenge.

I am fortunate enough to be training under the guidance of an Olympic 400m specialist coach. Who has a fountain of knowledge & advice over this event. As well as a former 400m hurdles, World Champion as my training partner and dear friend. I am so grateful have to have this multitude of untapped resources; to ensure this transition is one of the best!

And so, here we are!

The week after my first open Australian Athletics Nationals, 400m hurdles title.

Feeling optimistic.

It was my fourth 400m hurdles race, in four years. And I just missed out on making the national final.

I had run a ''season's best,'' and over a second quicker than the state opens final, three weeks prior.

I did think, ''what am I doing?'' I did miss competing in the heptathlon. I was left thinking: ''Would I ever reach the same height of success, I once achieved.''

I did question whether it was the right decision. I did for a second think I made a mistake.

I did feel vulnerable. But, I am in a new mindset.

I am thankful my body is still in one piece. I am grateful I was able to have the honor of representing my state at nationals; when the hope was minimal.

And I am hungry for more. To ensure next time round, I am Stronger, faster, gutsier, wiser & affirmed in my new event to make certain I earn my spot in that final, racing the best.

It's going to be an ongoing challenge.

But one thing is for sure,

I am Not regretting the change.

Do yourself a favor, and take the risk.

Don't be afraid of change. Embrace it & be optimistic of the opportunities that may lie ahead.

Until next time...

Keep Dreaming and Believing,

Xx Lani

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