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.