I was sitting in the doctor’s office today. I read the email. I read the post explaining the email. I read the words, “challenge” and “exercise”. Both words caught my attention. While I’m not one to viciously grasp hold of every challenge I’m faced with, I’ve discovered a bit of a competitive edge in me that likes a challenge. And exercise! If you know me, you know exercise is definitely an important part of my life. Once again, these two words are having an influence on my day.
The email said it was “Nablopomo” Month. It’s short for “National Blog Posting Month”. How have I been blogging for a few years now and I’ve never heard of this before? The challenge is to write a blog post every day for the month. I’m not assuming that you want to read one of my posts every day for the month, but the challenge is just for me to get it out there. This challenge is one I can choose to do. The post explaining it said it was an “exercise” in writing. It’s an exercise I can choose to do to help me build that writing muscle, so why not mix challenge and exercise in this arena that I love so much!
I’ve been a runner for the past two and a half years. My husband and I have a coach, which means a daily workout schedule, so yes, I’m getting my exercise. I’ve had a long string of back to back injuries which have caused me to have to do a lot of cross training during my recovery periods. I took up biking a year ago and have had to do a lot of pool running, but I’ve just recently started swimming, too. Just three weeks ago, I took my husband’s challenge to put the added training in biking and swimming to good use and I completed my first Sprint Triathlon. I think I’ll write about that tomorrow.
My husband and I ran in the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon at the beginning of September. I had been experiencing some hip and hamstring soreness that week before the race, but thought I would be okay to run if I kept an easy pace. I was good until about mile ten, but the tightness I felt was bad enough that I was afraid if I stopped, I wouldn’t be able to run again. I even passed up the ten mile wine stop! Somewhere in that next mile though, I had to start taking some walk breaks until I crossed the finish line. I took four weeks off of running after that and concentrated on beginning swimming lessons and biking. I was easing back into running two weeks before the Triathlon. I thought I should be fine for that since the run was only a 5k. My hip and hamstring was sore, but didn’t seem any worse than it had been, so I continued to ramp up the training. After all, I didn’t have much time to be ready for our next race in November, the Big Sur Half Marathon.
Last week while swimming, something in my hip or leg snapped and shot pain across the top and down the back of it. I was instantly frozen in the water. As you know, not kicking and stroking while in a pool lead to sinking. Verbalizing my discomfort while under water didn’t work out so well either! After sucking in a huge gulp of pool water, I managed to get the good leg under me and very calmly hop to the side of the pool. Controlling my reaction so as not to show the fact that I was gagging on lungs full of H2o and in great pain, I just stood at the end of my lane, smiling at the other swimmers. I managed to choke out the water from my lungs while the other swimmers had their heads under the water, so no one knew I was having a problem. I’m sure I helped them improve their workout sessions that day, as they assumed I was just standing there watching them, sizing up the competition, as athletes are so inclined to do. I’m shaking my head at that right now. Why are we like that? Why am I so afraid to show anyone my weakness or flaws? Maybe that’s a post for another day in this challenge. Anyway, that’s how we’re back at the doctor’s office, once again.
I need to say for the benefit of my caring friends, which I do appreciate, that I have been under the care of my doctor and physical therapist through all of this. All of my activity up to this point has been with their approval. I haven’t been mistreating my body! 🙂
The doctor did his exam and ordered an MRI to see what kind of damage I’ve done now and then he said those words that I hated to hear. No running. No biking. No swimming. Nothing! I’ve already been off of all training, everything, for a week now. If you’re an athlete with a workout and race schedule, I know you understand. This is torture! This is not the challenge that I would choose to take. This is a challenge I have to accept by default. No exercise! It’s so much more fun when we can choose to do something rather than be forced into it.
“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”
― Lucius Annaeus Seneca
There is a choice I can make today, and not by default. I can choose to make the most of this! As I find myself with more time on my hands right now, why don’t I go ahead and write. That writing muscle could use a good workout, so let’s have at it. Since we’re going into the busy holiday season, I might not get a post in every day, but it sure won’t hurt to try, so here goes! #NaBloPoMo