The weight of injury won't defeat Megan Signal

LockerRoom Series

After being forced to leave the Olympics in Tokyo on the day of her race, Megan Signal has been adept at dealing with traumatic brain injury – in an attempt to encourage others – tells Merryn Anderson in episode 9 of our Out Into the Open series.

There isn’t a single minute that defines Megan Signal as an athlete.

Not a knee injury that prevented him from competing in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Not his choice in Tokyo, his first Olympic Games.

Even his exit on the morning of his race at the Games – due to a last-minute injury – is known as the 31-year-old weightlifter.

The idea of ​​‘no details’ came from his coach Simon Kent at the beginning of their joint trip.

Signal had already worked hard and injured on his job and the idea came back to him.

“Our journey is always flexible, it always changes, and it doesn’t matter if you have achieved your goal or not, no moment is known who you are,” he says.

Knowing who was the runner, not only as a top athlete but also out of weightlifting, helped Signal not to give up when he was forced to leave the 76kg women’s race in Tokyo.

“I’m in a place where I’m very happy with all the work my teacher has done with me over the last three years, because it was so amazing when it all happened. Even from the outside looking in, there were so many tears and I was suffering, I was fine,” says Signal. .

“I knew I was fine because we made sure we talked several times that I was an athlete, and as a daughter, sister, aunt, teacher, business owner – it’s all amazing.”

Megan Signal runs a gym at her home ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Rob Ford.

On the morning of July 29, when Signal was due to fly to Tokyo to compete in his first Olympic Games, he broke his left shoulder during his final training course at Auckland.

“It was difficult a few days ago, but because of the approaching day of the race, we didn’t know anything about the injury. We didn’t know what was possible and what was not possible,” says Signal.

Relaxing his shoulder, Signal realized things were not going well when he moved again – this time with less energy on the massage table.

Then, on the night before his first Tokyo march to the tournament, Signal told Kent: “Every part of my body tells me ‘please don’t do that’. ‘

Kent told her that she supported every decision she made, and in the end, Signal decided to quit.

“It was important for me personally to implement all the decisions we made before we left. I can honestly say that we tried everything,” he says.

“I try to fight it, but there comes a time when you have to listen.”

Signal and his coach Simon Kent work in the mind of the game just as the body does. Photo: Warren Davie, Photofitt

Listening to her body and not overreacting is a sign that Signal is experiencing in her recovery. Waiting until New Zealand moves to Level 3 for surgery, he has just started to see a physio face to face.

Two nights ago, he received word from his surgeon to remove the sling, a safety squat and jump, and keep his elbow beside him.

He says: “Studying is my favorite activity and is essential to my happiness. “I like it so much it is hard for me to stop, especially when closing.”

Without relatives or friends in Tokyo with him, Signal had the full support of the New Zealand weightlifting team throughout his injury. Carriers Cameron McTaggart, David Liti and Kanah Andrews-Nahu as well as coaches Tina Ball, Richie Patterson and Kent all shared a room with him.

They were anxious to share the news of their departure with the group that might affect them, before and after Andrews-Nahu. But McTaggart comforted him, saying he was there to help him on his journey as he had been to help them compete.

“I knew I had to lean in there and that was very refreshing, because I was worried about dropping them off when I wanted to see them go well,” said Signal, who told the team through the team. many tears.

“It was a great and comforting time we were there, before I told the whole world I was leaving.”

Returning from non-competitive Tokyo, Signal had a different opinion about his MIQ presence – his main letter from the New Zealand Olympic team. It had its official Olympian number – New Zealand Olympian # 1493.

“Every day was different. It was a long time of crying for me and I wake up some days feeling better; Some days I would wake up and not know what to do, and I would cry for hours. ” Signal can laugh for a period of two weeks now.

Having suffered multiple injuries near major events, Signal insists that his goal-setting approach has not changed. Instead, he is changing the way he views his purposes, so that he does not miss what is ahead of him.

He said: “I do not look forward to the future, and this does not mean that I am scared. “Simply put, I know from experience that nothing is promised.

“Even though there are still goals – Paris 2024 still, next year’s Commonwealth Games – I do not get close to them by watching and shooting one shot or one race. For me, I get there and still spend most of my daily life making sure I do what I have to do. daily.

“I am still dreaming, and I am about to steal from you. But I am also right. I know that injuries do happen, I know that things that I can’t control happen and I just accept this and deal with it. But in the meantime, keep dreaming and I just get frustrated every day. ”

Signal Threat and Open Media is in line with its mission to inspire young people.

“I have always had a positive reaction from people and how they have helped. And for me, lifting weights is amazing but not everything, “explains Signal.

“There is more to the journey than just lifting weights. The main thing that is most important to me is being able to encourage and support. ”

Megan Signal is competing in the 2019 World Cup. Photo: provided.

Signal technology for anyone who has been injured and continues to express themselves mentally, not play simulation games.

“Being able to know when you are comparing yourself to when someone is injured, when you are choosing to be shaken, when you are sitting for a long time – you need to know when this is happening so that you can carry yourself,” he said.

Signal also encourages people to help if they need help, knowing how frustrating and frustrating it can be.

He said: “Learn more about the good things that are happening around you, the progress you are making, the love people are giving you, the support and support they are giving you.

“Be very grateful for this and just stay happy, be light – which contributes to your recovery.”

At the end of February next year, Signal has the opportunity to travel to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 for a local match. But his goal right now is still to recover.

“It is very important for me to have another four years of international competition and if I am lucky, I will win globally if my body is still healthy. This is more important to me than just striving to get back to one race,” he said.

“I do this because I love it, so I want a longer life for big events.”

Despite all the obstacles in his journey, Signal remains resolute and appreciates a lot throughout his life as a runner.

“I believe that in all of this, in some way, form or form, what happened to me and that I am fine and able to continue to drive is an example of how conversations and issues can change. They are very successful and top athletes,” he says.

“For things like this to happen, because it happens all the time, our athletes – who are also people – are fine.”

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