Remember when you were a child, growing up with your brothers and sisters? Remember those times when you apparently hit your little brother, or broke your sister’s toy, or ate the chocolate that you weren’t meant to eat? Those times that you got in trouble with Mum and Dad for doing something wrong and bad? The something wrong and bad that you didn’t even do? Those times when your darling little sibling talked your parents into believing you were the bad egg, and that they were the innocent little angel.
Done over. That’s how I felt then, and that’s how I feel now.
I am in the penalty box, for the something wrong and bad that I haven’t even done. I am doing my time for a crime I didn’t even commit. How unfair is that?!? There is nothing worse than being grounded, when you didn’t even get to experience the pleasure of doing the forbidden.
Though I am not in denial. I am injured. And it’s (only!) been six days since I have ridden my bike (…it feels like forever!).
Injury is expected with sport. We get addicted, and sometimes find it hard to have a day off here or there to let the body recuperate. We have all been injured in the past, and we will experience injuries in the future. They are avoidable, though sometimes injuries are thrust upon you with no warning… Thats where I think I am at the moment…
I have been in denial. We all have. We will convince ourselves that it’s just a tightness, and power on through. It will loosen up right?? Hmmm…. The little voice in our head can will us to ignore it, though deep down we know that we should be listening.
I learnt those words the hard way.
One weekend earlier this year, I rode a bike that wasn’t fitted for me. The next day my lower back ached. Time for a massage! One remedial massage later, no improvement. I left it a few days, and was confused when my body didn’t respond as it usually does. Two remedial massages, dry needling and cupping later, still no improvement. Hmmm… The little voice inside my head, with the same delicate tone of my mother’s voice, willed me to go to the doctor. The voice got annoying (sorry Mum), so I booked an appointment to keep it at bay. Two remedial massages, dry needling, cupping, and a Doctor’s appointment later… I found my answer. A kidney infection. Moral of the story: Always listen to your Mum, or that little voice in your head that tells you something else is up…
I am learning from my lesson and am now listening to those around me…
Laying on the massage table a few days ago (Molly didn’t come this time), I shared a laugh with my Remedial Therapist about THAT time I had a bad back. And I realised I might be going through similar motions for another ache and pain. Maybe this time I am not in fact just tight? Maybe this time I am injured?
Regardless of the severity of the injury. My body has just served me a huge main of pain, sending me a message that it’s time to take a break.
I have been talking and discussing my current state with family and friends around me who have been through similar injuries and taking their advice…
Here’s how I’m coping….
Rest, ice, heat, repeat.
I’m off my legs for at least a week (I’m focusing on being an optimist!). It might be tempting to go for a ride, or a run, though short term satisfaction can impose on long term goals. So my cleats are hung up until I know I am ready to roll. It would be horrible to have to be down and out longer than needed.
Each day I am trying to make sure that I am icing and heating the area of concern. Ice packs, and wheat packs are now your best friend. I have been applying ice for about 5-10 minutes, and then heating it for 5-10 minutes and then repeating.
Run an epsom salt bath, and kick back. We know that vitamins and minerals are important for our bodies. And we regularly consume them to better our health. Epsom salt baths contain magnesium and sulfate. I love magnesium. To the point where I am almost going to have to admit I am obsessed… Studies have been done showing that magnesium is able to be absorbed through our skin. Soaking yourself in a bath is renown to ease pain and relieve inflammation. So grab a good book, because this is just what we want! What a fantastic little mineral.
It’s always a good idea to see a Physio (angels), or a good Doctor to get a plan of attack for treating and recovering from an injury. I always pick my Physio and Doctor based on their interests. Are they also cyclists? Or into sports? They might have personal experience and understanding of what you are going through. Sometimes bed rest is not an option…
Keep yourself busy
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I am not coping. I am missing my twice daily hit of endorphins a lot! Today I asked my very tolerable partner, “is this how people who don’t do exercise feel every day???”. Yikes. I feel sorry for them! And if they are like I have been, everyone around them too.
It is really important to keep the bigger picture in mind. Maybe try and find solace in having time to do things you otherwise wouldn’t have time for? And try to think of how refreshed you will feel when you get back to the grind.
Since I have been off my legs I have been finding alternative training to occupy myself. Cross training time. I have swapped the long white line, and occasionally yellow line of the road, for the black line in the pool. I am also making core and upper body strength my focus while I am off the bike. Yoga, laps, and light weights. The gym and the pool is where you will find me wallowing.
While I feel sluggish and gross from not riding or running for a few days now, I am making sure that my diet is as good as it can be to maintain my health while I am on a reduced training load. Lots of fruit, vegetables, salads, and most importantly meat. I endeavour to give my muscle tissues and body all the nutrients and minerals it needs to get better, including protein for muscle repair.
Also, I heard that chocolate makes everything better. So go for gold!!
I am not in denial. I am accepting that I am injured. I am not happy though. Being injured is horrible. Not being able to do what you love to do is horrific. And the worst part of it is that I don’t feel like I am deserving of the injury. I didn’t do anything that justified it, I don’t have a tale of an amazing adventure where I earned it. No 200km ride, or 40 km run. I don’t have a finishers medallion, shirt or towel to justify the limp. How disappointing.
Chin up. It’s an opportunity to learn more about your body and how it works. It will heal itself. And remember. Short term satisfaction, verses long term gain.
Have a ride for me this week please xx