The Pathway To Success Is Never A Straight Line

by Cameron McKenzie-McHarg on May 31, 2014

Following an intense campaign leading into London 2012, Paralympic Gold and Silver Medallist Kelly Cartwright was confronted with a challenge many athletes face; to ride the wave of success and keep going for the next four years, or to give her mind and body a break. Battling an ongoing ankle injury, Cartwright made the tough decision to take some time out from competition in 2013, to miss the World Athletics Championships, and focus on developing her life off the track. The 25 year old returned to training this January with a reignited passion and the clear goal of Rio 2016. Cartwright said she’s doing everything possible to prepare for the Paralympic Games in two-years time. “I’ve had a lot of set backs in the last six months but Rio’s always in sight, whether it’s for both events or just one.” Doctors have advised Kelly that she will need another six to 12 months off from training to help her ankle fully recover after scans revealed the Paralympian’s first four months back on the track had reinflamed her injury. “If I was injury free and back in training my coach and I would definitely sit down and talk about things we wanted to change, because I think you can always improve,” Cartwright said. The 25 year old said she’s still hopeful of making it to a third-Paralympic Games and is looking forward to getting back into peak condition in time for Rio. “You have days when you don’t want to get up or do anything, but you’ve got to keep going otherwise no one’s going to stop and feel sorry for you”. Australia’s Paralympic-golden girl took home gold in the long jump, and silver in the 100-metre-sprint at the 2012 London Paralympics. The two-time Paralympian spent the four years training for London solely focused on medalling at the 2012 games, but since her break from training said she’s learning that having some balance can be beneficial. “I think I went about it the wrong way going into London,” Cartwright said. “I isolated myself a little bit from real life. I had one goal and I thought I couldn’t really include others in my life. I think that’s what drove me to have that break – the pressure was driving me a bit crazy.” The Paralympian is now living a more balanced life as she studies to be a personal trainer, regularly speaks to groups about her journey and experience, works with the Make a Wish Foundation, and the Victorian Institute of Sport. Kelly is also looking forward to working on some exciting new product development with 776BC in the coming months. Cartwright will be on a modified training program while her ankle recovers over the next year. The Paralympian said she’s slowly reintroducing more training into her routine and has been swimming, boxing and even on the Kayak ergo. “At the moment my main priority is getting my ankle better for the long term ” Cartwright said.

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