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There's Always More to Learn: Reflecting on the Body's Season

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

It's been two weeks since I took off those training wheels--stopped counting calories and stopped wearing my body bugg. I'm happy to report that on the positive end of things, nothing fell apart when I dropped the gadgets and stopped recording my food. I maintained a healthy eating plan, listened to my body's cues, kept up my workout routine. I even lost some more weight! I'd be lying if I said there hasn't been a bit of anxiety for me around these changes. But I think that's a pretty normal reaction. It's been two weeks of doing things this new way after many months--and even years--of using some of the tools I was using. To me, a period of tension, worry, anxiety seems pretty appropriate. I'm taking it in stride and being patient with it. The reward is worth it: it's lovely to feel "normal" and relaxed around my food and workouts.

Just when I thought I was getting pretty comfortable though, the universe threw me a little curveball. Two weeks ago I started with some moderate pain in my left knee. Six months ago, I had pain in my right knee which sidelined me from all activity for a few weeks--a period in which I learned a great deal about myself and nearly pulled my hair out strand-by-strand in the process, ha. All sillyness aside, it was a challenge for me, and after months of physical therapy and taking it easy, I'm finally beginning to feel like that knee is gaining a little ground, settling into a "new normal."

Anyway, this time I've got ITBS symptoms in my left knee (IT Band Syndrome). I've attempted about five times to run through the pain, and I took three days off which seemed to help a lot... but alas, after a great run last night, I ran through pain again today. I came across a lovely article at Runner's World today that really hit home about injuries, the denial of injuries, and the emotions--even grief--that can come from facing an injury. It helped shake me up a little and face facts: I'm injured. I need to rest the knee. The sooner I do this, the quicker it will heal. End of story.

My tri training program has been going great! But I've definitely been overdoing it, and thus my injury. In January I ran 90 miles, swam 18.5 miles, took twelve spin classes, and did yoga and strength training. I had a great time doing it, but my body's been giving me signals recently that I've been overdoing it. I've been tired a lot, suffered minor aches and pains, and now knee pain. It's time to face the message my body is giving: this is all a bit too much, Melissa. Let's sit back and take it easy a while.

Unlike the past, I'm heeding the message. Because that voice that's speaking up, it's a not the voice of the enemy, not the voice of a wuss or a wimp. It's the voice of my body, the one and only I get in this life. And its message is ALWAYS important. I'm grateful that the past two weeks gadget-free have helped prepare me to tune in and listen to that important voice!

At any rate, I'm doing well. I'm dreading tabling the running and cycling, but I'm grateful I can still swim and do yoga and a little ST in the meantime. When I feel sad and/or guilty and/or reluctant about resting, I need only look outside for the reminder that everything has a period of rest, a period when things are bare, basic, austere, simple, quiet, resting, preparing. It's okay for me to do that too. It's only ever a matter of time until the seasons change and things are fresh again.

I hope you all are safe, warm, and dry this bitter winter--and above all else, being good to your body, your spirit, your self, and honoring the seasons within!

Love and peace.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • BANAN2
    Good girl! You are learning you can trust your body in more ways than one. The payoff from the earlier injury is that you took up swimming, giving you another option, and you have the experience of having come back from it able to run again, so hopefully that makes laying off the running less scary/ permanent feeling this time around.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3002 days ago
    Wow, that is a lot of working out. I'm glad you listened to your body and are giving it a little rest. Keep up the good work. Your life is progressing lovingly.

    3002 days ago
    glad you have swimming, strength & yoga to enjoy, glad u are listening to your body and giving it a little re-coup time - tho it does seem a little unfair your body LETS you do all that you want and then says 'hey, wait a minute, i'm kinda hurt!'
    3002 days ago
    It's great that you are listening to your body and taking care of yourself. AND by doing this, you are being a positive role model for the rest of us, too.

    3002 days ago
    Your blogs always teach me something Melissa. I hope you can deal with ITBS without too much hair-pulling, as I think you wouldn't be quite as pretty bald ;) Enjoy your rest period - the yoga and other activities will keep you limber, and they will give you a chance to listen to your body.
    3002 days ago
    I'm sorry to hear about your injury. You are so smart to respect it and make some changes. That was a pretty quick ramp up in exercise even though you have been exercising so regularly. There is no doubt in my mind that you will be able to get back to tri's....just a little slower on the ramp up in exercise.
    3002 days ago
    So sorry to hear about your knee. Glad to hear that you are resting it though.

    3002 days ago
    Hi- I'm wondering if you could take a few minutes to tell me about the body bugg... I have questions like:
    1.) did you wear it during all waking hours?
    2.) did you wear it on your arm?
    3.) what kind of guidance did it give you?

    They are expensive, and you are the first person I've heard of (aside from Biggest Loser), that used one. Before buying one, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it...

    Thanks - Patty
    3002 days ago
  • FREES1
    good thing to listen to your body - what you've got is one of those lovely overuse syndromes (this can also happen if you overpronate ) just like carpal tunnel and the rest.. and rest and stretching will help it.. can you work with a PT to help heal it? I have a bad knee and get coritsone injections which really helps it.
    I hope it heals quickly - congratulations on your time without your training wheels..
    3002 days ago
    Well done on listening to your body! emoticon
    3002 days ago
    Congrats on losing after giving up your "tools"! I'm totally inspired by your story. You're amazing. emoticon
    3003 days ago
    Interesting way that you described the body's need for rest, just like every other living thing. Hope you are feeling better soon!
    3003 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/2/2011 11:25:44 PM
    Lovely blog that has such beautiful symbolism and metaphors! The part about taking a rest hit home. Many times I feel terribly lazy when I take a rest day from activities or do not meet my daily calorie burned quota. But resting is a necessary means to refuel, recharge and recenter. Glad you're listening to your body and taking care of this pain before it becomes unbearable. Awesome job that you're seeing results without the trainers. You've made the complete transition to lifestyle change on your own. Wonderful job!
    3003 days ago
    Good thing you recognized that you need to listen to your body and rest so it can do it's thang and heal. I love reading your blogs. You're good at writing!


    3003 days ago
    Take care of yourself. You're amazing. Great job listening to your body.
    Whoo Hooo on 2 successful weeks with no training wheels!

    Think of me occasionally when you hit the pool.
    3003 days ago
    WOW great blog, thanks for the reminder about rest. Keep up the great work!
    3003 days ago
    I was driving home this evening and I was struck how empty my life would be without the distinction of the seasons. Even as I struggle to stay warm tonight I still appreciate the beauty and awe of winter.

    Sounds like you are adjusting well to life. I am struck with how well you are dealing with the small curves and dips of simply being alive.

    I am happy for you
    3003 days ago
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