Tuesday, October 01, 2013
I am in week 6 of my recovery from torn ligaments. I am also dealing with an impinged nerve in my hip that was exacerbated by the walking boot I wore for several weeks. I am faithfully keeping my Physical Therapy appointments and I am doing the exercises they recommend, which consist mainly of using the elliptical and working on my balance (balancing on my bad foot/ankle is pretty pathetic at this point but I am determined to re-build strength) and I am getting back into strength training by starting slowly, with just 15 minutes or so, focusing on upper-body strengthening exercises. I feel so fortunate that one of my dear friends, and a long time work-out partner, attends the gym I have recently joined. I know that long walks and hikes, and short runs, are a ways off. Boot camp is out of the question, of course, because there is a fair amount of jumping and other type movements that are off limits to me. I am not feeling sorry for myself, at this point. I had a major test in that area. This past Sunday, I ventured to the finish line of our town's annual marathon/half marathon. I have history with this race. The inaugural year of the marathon was my inaugural marathon, as well. Turns out I was "one and done" as far as the marathon was concerned. I discovered I was a marathon finisher more so than a marathon runner though, had I not been sick with a respiratory infection the day of the race, and had the weather not been extremely bad (buckets of rain coupled with 50 mile an hour gusts off the bay), who knows....I may have had a better experience and signed on for another. As it is, I switched to half-marathons and did a number of those over a period of five or six years. I did many of those with my best friend. I was at the finish line to cheer her on. I was expecting to feel some sadness when I was standing there as an observer, rather than a participant, but I didn't. I did feel happy for people who were crossing the finish line, triumphant. I was happy for them that their hard work paid off, and they achieved a difficult goal. I was also happy NOT to be running 13.1 miles (or 26.2!) That chapter is over though I won't say "never" but I will state "probably". Right now, my challenge is to rebuild strength and let a fairly serious injury heal. I have a problem with discounting my experiences because, when I was younger, I tended to overstate things. So, I often find myself looking for that line where I am not blowing something out of proportion or using it as an excuse, yet also giving it its due. This injury is not catastrophic, by any means, but it has altered my daily life for the last 6 weeks. The level of discomfort is tolerable but does make me a bit more tired, as pain has a way of doing. It has caused me to reassess my fitness pursuits and allowed me to shift a certain amount of energy away from my daily workouts and towards tackling projects around the house. I embrace the fact that I will feel some sort of discomfort each and every day and I don't need to mask it. I am proud of myself for not taking any pain pills stronger than Ibuprofen, throughout this injury, for two reasons: 1. I am a recovering alcoholic so I have to be very cautious about any type of mind-altering medication and 2. I sort of hate pain medication because I think it can be really destructive and really hard to wean oneself off. I have seen a lot of people be adversely affected by taking pain pills but I also know a few people whose quality of life is improved by having access to pain medication. It is such a personal decision and one I personally have to be cautious with. I was definitely tempted a few times because pain can be SO tiresome but I know, for me, it was the right decision, given my history. I am grateful my injury is not worse, and that I am, according to my physical therapist, healing pretty rapidly given the severity of the tear(s). I try not to be fearful of re-injury as I move through my days but, rather, just more mindful. In my experience, so many injuries occur when the mind is one place, and the body is in another place. I have been injured more than once by being distracted, and this injury is no exception. I appreciate all the well-wishes from Sparklers - thanks for helping me keep my spirits up and helping me maintain a (mostly) positive attitude as I make my way through rehab.