It’s 7am and I’ve already done 45 min of strength training, a brutal 2 and a half hours of swimming, and am already anticipating another treacherous 2 hour practice this evening. Ok that’s a lie I didn’t really do that but that was me 15 years ago. From the age of 7 until I was 21 years old this was my life: Swimming intermixed with a little soccer and running- oh and I almost forgot- school. Despite the hours and hours of physical activity I did on a daily basis, I was almost never injured. I once even proclaimed to my mother at the age of 10 that I was “invincible” so she didn’t need to worry about me doing so many activities.
17 years later and now a self proclaimed climber and runner I still believe I am invincible. The only problem is that my right knee, upper back, left heel, right ankle, left and right shins, along with numerous cuts and bruises seem to disagree. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I am nearly 28 years old now or the new sport of climbing that is causing this, but I don’t like it one bit. Not only do I not know what to do with my time if I can’t do something active, but I also don’t know what to do about the dozen krispy kreme donuts calling my name at 3am. The donuts have got me stumped, so I will continue to feed (note: if you bake me sweets I will try really really hard to remember your name next time I check you in at Sportrock). As for how to keep myself sane while being injured I’ve got practice- lots of it- and here is what I’ve learned.
1. A torn ACL, MCL, lateral and medial meniscus does NOT mean that one should stop all physical activity. Perhaps wait until the Oxy and Percs are at half the maximum legal dose before diving back in, but crutching on to the climbing mat and proceeding to climb with a full leg brace on is perfectly acceptable.
2. Yoga is really expensive but effective at keeping one sane.
3. Cycling indoors is extremely boring but also effective at keeping one sane.
4. So is running on a treadmill but if you’re able to run take what you can get.
5. Lifting weights sucks but its good as a last resort- it at least will make you sore the next day.
6. Lastly I’ve learned to relax and be okay with not working out half the hours of every day. As hard and as frustrating as being injured can be it has given me the opportunity to re-connect with old friends, solve countless crossword puzzles, read a lot of good books, get into bikram yoga, make a reef aquarium, bake more often, and enjoy spending time curled up on the couch watching a good movie with Josh (my boyfriend). Some days are more challenging then others and when I’m ready to snap and throw a hissy fit (or just after snapping and throwing a hissy fit) I have to remember that life is a marathon, not a sprint: Breathe (ice), relax (Advil) and enjoy the ride!