[Gameplan] How SEA Games gold medalist Claire Adorna powered through injury

Two months before the South East Asian (SEA) Games in 2015, elite triathlete Claire Adorna was told to stop running due to an ankle injury.

“Nakuha ko 'yung injury ko dati pa raw (I've been injured for a long time already) according to my doctor. Sobrang frustrating kasi siyempre (Of course, it was so frustrating because) as an elite athlete, you want to deliver and make your country proud,” said Claire.

Claire’s doctor and coaches advised her to reserve all her strength for the competition, but no amount of rest prepared her for the pain she experienced.

“Noong 2015 SEA Games, mga 5 beses akong natapilok. Parang pilay na 'yung paa mo. 'Yung talagang from start to finish, hindi talaga nawala y'ung sakit. Pero syempre, when you’re doing it for the country at masaya ka, titiisin mo talaga lahat,” she shared. 

(I tripped around 5 times during the 2015 SEA Games. It's like my feet were sprained. The pain didn’t go away from start to finish. But when you’re doing it for the country and you’re happy, you’ll really endure everything.)

As an elite athlete, it isn’t enough to be physically tough. Competitions are big mental games that test your willpower. “I always tell myself na you’re here to win. Kasi nandiyan ka na, nandiyan na 'yung opportunity na maraming naghahangad tapos sa ’yo binigay. So, di ‘ba (You're already there, you have the opportunity that many people dream of. Right?) Just make the most out of it. You came here not just to run, not just to participate. You came here to win,” Claire said.

“As an elite athlete, hindi puwedeng mag-stop ka dahil lang may injury. So kung ano 'yung puwedeng i-work, 'yun yung i-wo-work. Kahit saan man 'yan (you can't stop just because of an injury. So you have to work with what you have. Wherever it may be) – SEA Games, Asian Games, any local and international game, as long as you’re representing the Philippines, it’s always an honor,” she shared. – Rappler.com