Overcoming hurdles can define who you are

  • Handling life: Bermuda rugby player Amanda Swan had to relearn, rebuild and retrain after her ankle was shattered in a bike accident (Photograph supplied)

    Handling life: Bermuda rugby player Amanda Swan had to relearn, rebuild and retrain after her ankle was shattered in a bike accident (Photograph supplied)

  • Handling life: Bermuda rugby player Amanda Swan had to relearn, rebuild and retrain after her ankle was shattered in a bike accident (Photograph supplied)

    Handling life: Bermuda rugby player Amanda Swan had to relearn, rebuild and retrain after her ankle was shattered in a bike accident (Photograph supplied)


Fitness is life-changing, life-saving and, more importantly, a lifestyle.

We all can sit and reflect on why we may have started eating healthier, moving more. We all can reflect on a time when a huge hurdle was placed in our path and we had to make a decision — jump or quit. I would like to assume that jumping was the only option for the majority of us.

That being said, I’ve decided to sit and converse with one of Hindssight’s — nay Bermuda’s — very own women’s national team rugby players, Amanda Swan, about her journey, setbacks ... and favourite foods.

Q: When did you first start working out and why?

A: I first started working out around 2009 when I joined Mariners Rugby Club.

Q: What is your favourite exercise/workout?

A: My favourite workouts are heavy lifting and circuit training; my quads are goals!

Q: What is your least favourite exercise? How do you encourage yourself to complete it?

A: My least favourite exercise would have to be going for runs. I only run in rugby — or if someone is chasing me! LOL

Q: What is your current fitness/health goal?

A: My current fitness goal would be to continuously improve my level of fitness and my current health goal would be to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle.

Q: What is your favourite go-to meal?

A: Baked chicken and a spinach salad.

Q: What is your favourite treat?

A: Doughnut balls and yeast popcorn.

Q: Any advice to people struggling with their journey?

A: Slow progress is still progress. Pain is only weakness leaving the body.

Such simple answers but that’s Amanda — straight and to the point. I chose to profile her specifically, because in 2015 she was knocked off her bike and suffered major damage to her ankle.

As you can imagine, it was a huge hurdle for her to jump. Although she wasn’t a client then, I saw first-hand how she pushed to recover, sometimes doing too much too soon (which almost all athletes do). Eventually she realised she needed to be patient and in the end recovered, regained her strength and got back on the field. Have a read of her recollection of the accident:

“I was hit off my bike and dislocated and shattered my right ankle. When I arrived at the hospital, I had my shattered ankle relocated for X-rays followed by surgery the next morning. I had a metal plate and ten screws put into my ankle and was unable to walk for three months.

“I then had one screw removed and was able to put light pressure on my foot with the assistance of crutches. I was in physiotherapy, where I worked to strengthen my ankle, regain the range of movement and flexibility and also relearn how to run which, as I said, I don’t like anyways.

“After months of physiotherapy (two to three times a week), I was finally able to slowly get back into sports and working out. Getting back into fitness was a bit of a struggle as all the work I had previously put in before the accident had gone out the window and I was basically starting from scratch.

“A few years after the accident — once I was comfortable with the strength and flexibility of my ankle and I had built the muscle back up in my leg — I chose to have the metal plate and screws removed to help decrease the sharp pains and swelling I still get. I’m now back on the field and have recently, in the last year, decided to work on my strength and athleticism by joining Hindssight. Patience was necessary to overcome this injury and getting me back on the field.”

In most of my articles I’ve placed emphasis on owning your journey, being honest with your efforts and being unapologetic about it all.

In my articles I’ve also emphasised being patient, realising that hurdles pop up all the time. It is in what you do when the pressure is on, when you have an obstacle to overcome that truly defines who you are and how badly you want to work on a better you.

Take the advice of our own Amanda, realise that patience is key and that when the obstacles arise do what is necessary to get you over them in a safe manner. Slow progress is still progress FitFam. This is your journey — own it, be honest with your efforts and, as always, be unapologetic how you choose to live it.

Dre Hinds is a retired track and field athlete who is now a personal trainer, aerobic and yoga instructor and fitness “addict” with more than 20 years’ experience. She specialises in nutrition, weight and sprint training, operating out of HindsSight Fitness and Wellness at the Berkeley Cultural Centre. Contact her on: absbydre@gmail.com or 599-0412. Look for @Absbydre on Facebook and Instagram

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Published Nov 13, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 13, 2019 at 7:26 am)

Overcoming hurdles can define who you are

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