With the frustrations of my shoulder injury and the long haul of rehab, there’s no doubt I went through phases of feeling overwhelmed.

The 2020 Diving World Cup and the 2021 Tokyo Olympics were around the corner and I wanted to work my hardest to ensure a good performance, but my shoulder was slowing me down and I began to worry.

But this distress faded away when Covid-19 caused a global lockdown, which lead to all my competitions being postponed.

At first I was disappointed, but this isolation period actually worked out well for me as l had plenty of time to recover, get back on track with my training and focus on all the areas outside the pool that I could improve on.

2019 was a good year for my diving career. I had fully recovered from a previous injury and had a solid competition season. But that all changed when I injured my shoulder from a gym exercise toward the end of last year.

I was determined and convinced myself to keep training but as each training session passed, my shoulder only got worse.

I was very frustrated with my shoulder injury as it was delaying my training and preparation for World Cup.

It even caused me to miss most of my competition season this year which was so disappointing for me.

I began to hate going to the pool because my sessions only allowed me to do rehab on the side of the pool when really I wanted to be on the diving board preparing for competition.

I felt as though I was moving so slow when World Cup was just right around the corner.

Eventually, my shoulder began healing and improving and I was able to get back on the diving board.

At the back of my mind I knew I had to carefully manage my shoulder but at the same time I wanted to quickly get back into it.

I began to feel stressed with everything that was happening, I had all these competitions coming up but I still had to follow my rehab program to avoid potentially injuring my shoulder again.

The thought that my rehab plan would only allow me a couple of weeks to train my competition list before World Cup, which would be my first competition for the year, really daunted me.

However, if you had told me a global pandemic would postpone all my competitions, I wouldn’t have believed you.

My rehab was progressing well and I knew I would be able to compete at World Cup in May, but when Covid-19 came along everything all changed.

As disappointing as it was to find out my competitions were postponed, I feel as though this isolation period has been a good opportunity for me.

For the last couple of months, I have been able to train and heal at my own pace and prepare for next season.

One thing I don’t want to happen is to start next season the same way I started this one. But now that I have time on my side, I’m able to reset my goals and make a detailed plan moving forward.

With the 2021 Tokyo Olympics postponed as well, this isolation period has also allowed me to redo my whole Olympic training cycle and get back on track. l am really using this time to get back into it and taking it slow to hopefully have a really good start next year.

This time of stillness allowed me to focus on things outside of my diving, such as working on my two businesses.

My brother and I co-own a strength and skill based gym called HrdKAW Strength.

My brother Josh is a weightlifter and coaches our Olympic Weightlifting programs and is also the head coach of HrdKAW Weightlifting Club, which is targeted to competitive weightlifters. He also operates Oly 4 Kids Sydney where he works with young kids and teaches them the foundations and benefits of weightlifting while they are still mobile.

I focus more on the gymnastic side at HrdKAW Strength. My work includes teaching the basic skills and good foundations of gymnastics such as strength and mobility in addition to more difficult strength based skills such as handstands and muscle ups.

It’s really cool that my brother and I both have our separate strengths, yet we can combine them to complement each other and offer our athletes the best coaching possible. We often work together by bouncing ideas off each other for both programming and coaching.

Before my injury occurred I was not doing much coaching for HrdKAW as all my focus shifted to my diving. But amidst the isolation period, I started receiving requests for online diving coaching, so I started working more on this aspect which was a really interesting shift from the usual diving coaching I do for the NSW Institute of Sport and the gymnastics based coaching I usually do at HrdKAW.

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Being able to shift to coaching online was really helpful to keep me busy and better myself in the business side of things.

I also run a fairly new activewear business called Havok Athletic.

It was definitely a new experience to work on something more creative other than my diving but so far I am really enjoying the process. Having this business was a great outlet for me and it also kept me really busy during this isolation period.

At the moment, I do not really know what the future holds for me in regard to upcoming competitions. But what I do know is that right now my big focus and goal is the 2021 Olympic Games.

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After the Olympics, I will reset my goals and reassess the main things I want to focus on
such as creating a balance between my diving life and my life outside of diving.

Even though my shoulder injury caused a fair bit of stress, it also opened my eyes to other things that I love doing such as my two businesses. Applying my focus to HrdKAW and Havok made it feel like my world was not crashing down around me during COVID-19.

Whenever I am at training, I love having that time to focus on me and what I’m doing as it is something I have been doing my whole life.

However, having these two businesses has taught me that there are so many new challenges that I’ve never faced before, it is a whole different world that I find so exciting.

It has also opened a new door for my networking and working with different people. I have always been around athletes and am drawn to finding people who have the same values as me but having this in a different field is really cool to experience and meeting new people is definitely a highlight.

At this very moment, my focus is on training for the Olympics. After that, I will see where life takes me. I am excited to see whether diving or my businesses will become the main focus of my life but this isolation period gave me comfort to know that I love doing both equally.