Discussing the Tokyo Experience, Olympic Athlete struggles and support systems with Matthew Denny
What was your Tokyo 2020 Journey like?
Tokyo 2020 was an incredible experience, not just because of the games but because of the unique challenge that was presented to be able to take part. My training camp and preparation was good in the last few weeks leading into the championships, but we had some strong fatigue factors to account for. After our two weeks of prep in Cairns it was time to fly to Tokyo! I arrived only 6 days prior to competing which is unusual for me but due to covid it was advised we only came in shortly before competing. With only 3 sessions left prior to competing I had the best three sessions I could ask for. I felt strong, athletic, and mentally ready for the big challenge ahead. My main issue prior to competing is that I get extremely impatient as all I want to do is compete. This is a great sign for me as it means my body is ready to do its thing and I feel like a caged bull. Once I get to compete it’s all about unleashing that bull and holding nothing back. Well, that’s exactly what I did and how I felt, I was in the form of my life with not a care in the world. I just wanted to go for it and put it all on the line as I hadn’t trained my entire life to second guess my preparation. After the Dust settled, I placed 4th and within 5cm on 3rd. I was happy with my performance to the extent that I went all out, I was consistent and threw a Personal Best but I was disappointed as I felt I had more in the tank. Live and learn but bigger and better things to come in 2022.
Olympic Athletes and their Struggles Post-games
The Olympics are an incredibly difficult process to go through as an athlete due to a few factors. You obviously have preparation, the choices you need to make to give yourself the best chance, the pressure of performing, but the biggest thing that strikes every athlete is the “post games blues”. This is a time after the Olympics where this dream you have been planning for multiple years transpires in less than an hour and then you are done, and life just continues. This for any athlete is very difficult because even if you do continue after, you feel this emptiness of “what now”. Everything you do prepares you for the moment, but nothing you do prepares you for the time after. I think that this is a space that needs to be improved and athletes need to add into their schedules on what am I going to do after the games that give me substance, while on rest.
Where do you believe support can be provided to athlete’s post-games, how can we as the public help create awareness but also support our athletes?
I think from a general public view, I think just continuing the endless support they show throughout an Olympics is very important as well as engaging with those. At the end of the day, I believe it is up to the athlete to decipher what is most effective for them to get through such times and be proactive.
How does PainPod assist in your recovery?
Pain pod has been such a change for me especially with my travel day to day. As I’m in the car a lot driving to and from training/events, I have been using PainPod to help relieve and activate my back when I’m being passive. This has really made a big difference in backing up to sessions and just general feel.
What is your favorite PainPod product?
I have been loving the back harness. As most of my issues relate to my lower back, this one makes it so simple to just basically plug and play.
How often do you use PainPod products?
Usually daily but it depends on training and travel levels. If that goes up so does my usage.
How do you find PainPod’s ability to not only help you recover from sport but also your everyday movements?
I find the products have a great variety but also their applications are so expansive for all situations. It’s been really nice to just use them whenever I need them to help with some pain release.
For anyone who is unsure on using PainPod, what advice would you give them to start using PainPod?
Start easy and build into it and really try and track your body and how it feels. You know your body best so if you feel it’s making a difference then continue to find what works best for you.