Those of you raptly following along at home know that I recently pulled the plug on My So-Called Career. For those who joined at the commercial break, well, the recap is....that I recently pulled the plug on My So-Called Career.
As a serial athlete (it's genetic I swear, when I visit my parents we assemble and trundle off to the gym together, like cowhands to the dinner bell or lemmings over the cliff), this change meant very little changed. I immediately settled on a basic and repeatable training....ahem, exercise regime, which looked suspiciously like my previous normal training regime, and stuck to it. I mean, the day I don't run three times per week is the day they put me into the ground. I've been running regularly pretty much since I was 14; kids old enough to drive were born after I started running. [BTW, that makes them young, not me, old.]
Anyway, my point is that the day they are scheduled to put me into the ground is...just about any day now.
Back in October, when I was struggling over the sincerity of my decision but still training full-time, I went for the next in the long line of runs in my life and something broke, for lack of a better term. I would say I was shot, but I am lacking a bullet wound. It was sudden, extremely painful, and very localized, and happened while running straight ahead on flat ground.
Of course I kept running. For two more months.
I thought it would go away. [Don't we all?] I thought my decision on My So-Called Career could be put off by the decision to take this injury seriously and vice versa.
Eventually I couldn't walk correctly. I took three weeks off. It stopped hurting and I could walk pain-free. SEE: it would go away. I started running again and by day 3 I couldn't walk pain-free anymore.
FINE, I'LL SEE A DOCTOR.
That was now three months after whatever broke and I had partially torn an attachment tendon for one of my glute muscles. That part of my approach to the injury is pretty normal for most athletes I know.
The rest of my approach to this injury is unrecognizable to me. The ortho was clearly bracing for a massive fight when he told me that I had to take 6 more weeks off running (on top of the first 3). He even switched to the chair clear across the room before breaking the news. I was building to my usual reaction of "wwwwwhhhhhhhhaaaaAATTTTTTTTT? nope. can't. nuh uh. ur crazy." when I just...smiled and said "ok." I went straight past the first four stages of grief and landed on acceptance - I had no reason to fight it. And it was incredibly relaxing. The ortho didn't know what to do.
Thus begins the rest of my athletic life. As a civilian without having to bargain for the newest fangled treatment protocol and worrying about how much fitness I will lose (oh, who I am kidding, I am WELL AWARE of just how much fitness is leaking out of my ears) and how far back this will set me for the upcoming season.
So which happened first? Being in pain for every step of every walk and every run for three straight months probably made it easier to walk away (and with less pain). But it is entirely possible to recoup the losses of 9 weeks off running, and it could even be considered healthy considering I never took an off-season. However, I was noticeably unhappy in September after Branson, and as my ortho will testify, I am in a much more copacetic place now.
Right now is the time for a lot of firsts. One of them is certainly that for the first time ever, I got injured at the right time.