Slow and Steady Wins the Race?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Once upon a time, I was a very active person. I loved to play tennis and basketball. Kickboxing was an obsession. I even enjoyed some cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and just being outside enjoying the benefits that Minnesota has to offer.

Unfortunately for me, I'm a klutz. It's not an exaggeration...I can trip going up stairs and walking across a flat surface. Most of the time, I laugh it off. But every once in a while, my gracefulness, or should I say lack thereof, gets me in trouble; and for the last few years, my body had been overcome by major injuries more than once.

The most serious injury was to my back. One day I was bringing laundry to my room when my cat ran underneath my feet. Of course I tripped. I dropped the laundry, hit the wall, and pushed myself back up. But as I pushed myself off the wall, I could feel the pain in my lower back. One wrong move resulted in 2 years of excruciating pain, physical therapy, shots in my back, and just before surgery when I had stopped sleeping and could hardly function, I allowed pain pills (my body doesn't do well with pills). When I woke up from surgery, the pain in my leg was gone. It was such a relief. I arrived home the next day, and for 7 weeks wasn't allowed to do any bending or lifting, and because it was a cold MN January, I had to walk in the house but was not allowed a treadmill. I went through PT for 12 weeks because I had been so weak. It took me even longer to let go of the fear of re-injury and enjoy working out again, something I hadn't done for 2.5 years.

I was finally getting back on track after gaining quite a bit of weight, when I hurt my knee. My doctor actually thinks it is a result of hurting my back as my right knee had to do so much extra work during that time. At first, we were all concerned it was a meniscus tear which would have resulted in another surgery. But lucky for me, all it has taken is some physical therapy, sports massage and ice to get it close to normal, although I still have some work to do.

My problem? I've run out of patience. I turned 29 in July. I feel like in the three years that I dealt with injuries, life has passed me by. Exercise is hard, not fun like it used to be (I hate just walking, I get bored) I've worked my way up to thirty minutes on the treadmill at a very slow pace before my knee starts to bother me. Yesterday I tried thirty-one min and it was too much. I cool down on the bike for five minutes, and that is all it can take. I know that I am doing so much better than four months ago when I could hardly walk, but it is still frustrating.

I need to remember slow and steady wins the race. Going slow is better than overdoing it, aggravating my knee, and getting me off track for weeks on end and possibly gaining more weight.

So here I am, taking it easy. I'm trying to learn from my past mistakes. Goal? Next year at this time-play a tennis match and maybe do a little cross country skiing without giving my doctor convulsions. emoticon
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  • HARLOW10
    Hey, thanks for commenting everyone! Living in a rural area in MN, I guess I never really thought of swimming for a low-impact workout. However, we do have a YMCA in town now, so maybe when my work schedule straightens out I can try it. Thanks for the advice!
    3139 days ago
    Sounds like you are learning the lessons you need to learn. Slow and steady does win the race - for so many reasons and in so many ways. Take care of yourself!!!! BTW, I second the swimming suggestion.
    3139 days ago
    I'm sorry to hear about all that you have gone through over teh past three years! However, you're definitely right, slow & steady wins the race. I lose patience myself, but I try to remember the quicker you lose it, the quicker it comes back. You'll get back to your old self, it just takes time, and YOU are worth that time! emoticon emoticon
    3140 days ago
    How about swimming? That's alot easier on your body and you can get a really good workout. At least until you're able to do more without it hurting. I know what you mean though. I used to play tennis alot, ride my bike everywhere, run, etc. Then I quit and became a mom. Quitting was the worst thing I could've done and I'm paying the price for it now. Take it slow and things will work out for you. You've got the right attitude.
    3140 days ago
    It sounds like you have been through a lot in the past couple of years! Know that NOT going slowly could mean re-injury or more surgeries! Keep up the good work of slow and steady...
    3140 days ago
    I'm sorry for the difficulties you are having, but I'm happy to see you've got the right attitude! Slow and steady will get us all to our goals. As you heal the pace will move itself ahead. Good luck to you!!!!! I hope you win your first match back on the course.
    3140 days ago
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