TRAINING FOR THE ONE LEGGED: KRISTY HARRIS
IMAGE: RIGHT - Boxing Australia Elite Member Kristy Harris
How Kristy Harris kept up all the training and conditioning she could while recovering from a badly broken leg
After months of sitting on the sidelines cheering on her teammates, Victorian Kristy Harris is back in the ring for Australia training and competing in Europe along with an Elite Women's Team on her road back to being the number one Aussie Fighter at her Flyweight category.
In late January Kristy suffered a broken fibular requiring surgery and a total of 8-10 weeks where no weight could be placed on the injured limb. Bed ridden for a month to control swelling was hard work for the former national champ, but once she got an okay from the surgeon and doctors she began doing all the training she could, yet the first problem was getting to the gym….
“I couldn’t drive so I was waking up at 5.30am so my Dad could drop me off at the gym on his way to work or my best mate would grab me and we’d train together before she went to work. It made for a long day but it was the best way of getting to the gym and getting my session in. Then I’d hang at a mates place near the gym all day until someone could pick me up after work and take me home”
VIDEO: Kristy Harris part of the AIS video campaign
“I had the help of my friends to lift some weights around but also used all the upper body pin loaded machines”
Kristy has been on crutches and injured before, but nothing like this and refused to let it keep her out of the gym.
“While the stitches were still in I had to be careful not to sweat too much so I first stuck with upper body weights; bench press, chin ups, shoulder press, abs etc. All heavy but low reps. Then once I got the stitches out we got a bit more creative and I could also start boxing training again.”
IMAGE: "Post surgery, looking positive (probably the drugs)"
TRAINING EXAMPLES WHILST INJURED
Bench press x 5 sets
BB tricep extension x 3 sets
Chin ups x 5 sets
Bicep curls x 3 sets
Shoulder press x 5 sets
Various ab exercises
Seated Ski erg intervals
Seated rope slams x 30 sec, 20 dumbbell punches, 20 sit ups X 10
Seated shadow 2 x 3
Seated bag 3 x 3
Seated Speed ball 2 x 3
Seated DB 2 x 3
The STING athlete had this to say on her injury:
How painful was it when you did it? And after the surgery?
"Pretty painful. I knew I had done something significant but was in too much disbelief when it first happened, maybe in a bit of shock. It wasn’t until the next day I got an X-Ray because I refused to believe it was something as bad as a break. Following surgery was also pretty painful and uncomfortable, but they gave me some good drugs to help. Nothing compares to the emotional pain though."
Who has been your biggest support network? Mentally, physically and emotionally?
"I had heaps of support around me. My family, friends, boxing family, the VIS and AIS. My mates would bring me around dinner after work and try get me out of the house as much as possible and my brother would always check up on me. I got gifts sent from boxing friends interstate too. It was real sweet of them. But especially my Dad, he helped me a lot in all aspects. Like he always does!"
What was the biggest challenge for you personally?
"I think accepting it for what it was. I was in denial about it all and struggled to get on with life. It might sound stupid to some people but I absolutely love boxing and love training, it really hit me hard. But once I sucked it up and accepted it, I could say okay there’s nothing I can change here so what can I do now instead…"
How did you keep yourself entertained being bed ridden for 4 weeks and being on crutches for that long? I can imagine there would have been some Netflix and books involved, if so, what ones?
"A lot of people ask me this and I can actually say I don’t think I got that bored. I got restless on some bad days but I managed with YouTube, reading, movies, books, music and friends. TV shows: Buffy, Angel, Stranger Things, lots of Simpsons and Malcom in the Middle. Movies: Countless and a few doco's. Books: Heroin Diaries (Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue), Tony Iommy (Black Sabbath), American Hardcore, Jim Morrison (The Doors), Athletes Body in Balance by Gray Cook. I’ve never read or slept so much in my life."
"But once I was able to get around a bit better I saw it as a good opportunity to start my Uni course in Sports Science and was lucky enough to score a reception job at my friends/sponsors Tattoo shop. That was so handy. It got me out of the house, earning money, doing something productive and most importantly taking my mind off the injury. I’m so grateful for being able to do that. There’s no way I could return to my usual job landscape labouring in a moon boot…"
What have you missed mostly while being injured?
"Boxing. Training and competing. Being away with the team doing what you love. I missed out on 3 international trips because of my injury… that really sucked!"
Moving forward, how’s it feeling now and what’s next in boxing?
"So much better! I’ve had some great physio and put in the rehab time, it’s made a massive difference. We have an international boxing trip next month in Europe with a couple of tournaments, which I’m really pumped for." Moral of the story is… Breaking a limb isn’t an excuse not to train!
IMAGE: Hitting the speedball
Kristy is now living at the AIS in Canberra after she was selected to be a part of the Centre of Excellence long-stay boxing athlete program with Boxing Australia. She has made a great progress in rehab and training and will now be preparing for the 2018 Nationals Commonwealth Games selection event in November.