Bundaberg's Taryn Gollshewsky has made a return to the competitive sporting arena, recently becoming the Australian Open Women's Discus Champion 11 months post-op due to a horrific leg injury.
The local athlete said her success in achieving gold at the Australian Athletics Championships in Sydney was an amazing moment.
“I was elated about winning the gold medal,” she said.
“I had no expectations going into nationals, my only aspiration was to have fun, so to walk away crowned as the Australian champion, I am overjoyed.
“It is no easy-feat to be crowned the best in the country, so I was really proud of myself for being able to perform after less-than-optimal preparation.”
Taryn said the lead up to claiming gold had featured many challenges, including extensive surgery and rehabilitation after breaking her leg in May last year.
She said it was an accident that had put a hold on many huge sporting events while she relearned how to walk, then run, then throw.
“I fractured my tibia and fibula playing soccer 2.5 months prior to the Tokyo Olympics,” she said.
“I had surgery to repair my tibia… and there is a nail the full length of my shin which is held in place by four screws.
“I was on bed rest for 2.5 weeks and crutches for around eight weeks then I was given the all-clear to return to throwing at the eight month mark.
“Due to the rotational forces and torque associated with a discus turn, I was at risk of re-breaking my leg so for a period of about six months, the focus was on re-building strength.”
Taryn said not only had the injury impacted her physical ability, it also affected her mental health.
“This injury was horrific,” she said.
“Obviously, it has had a huge impact on me psychologically.
“It’s been an incredibly difficult journey. I still find it hard to talk about.”
Taryn on road to recovery after Australian Athletics Championships
Still recovering, Taryn said there had been a silver lining with her recent win at the Australian Athletics Championships.
“I was excited to be competing at nationals,” she said.
“For every athlete, competition is what we love and aspire towards.
“There was a chance I was never going to get back to competing, I had a 50% chance of permanent pain as a result of my injury, so just to be there was incredible.”
Looking to the future, Taryn said she and her coach were working on continuing to rebuild her form and strength, with plans to put in a big year of off-season training to make for a successful 2023.
She said from the moment she was injured there were many people who had helped her through her recovery.
“I’d like to thank a number of people, firstly YMCA for their unwavering support throughout the past year,” she said.
“Thank you to my coach, Les, for being a psychologist as much as he is my coach.
“And lastly, thank you to my mum, who had to dress me, shower me and feed me when I first broke my leg, I couldn’t have done this without her.”