Getting injured hurts at all levels. Sure, there is the physical discomfort, but there is also the emotional wreckage.
I got hurt a week ago. I have lost some of my routine. It is Saturday morning, and I am volunteering at a 5K race…a race that I would otherwise run and try to win.
Last weekend, while climbing out of a tent at a Boy Scout camping trip, I felt sharp pain in my foot. Something was wrong, but it didn’t feel debilitating. I proceeded to do an hour bike ride that day, but as soon as I was done, I put on the immobilization boot. The next day, all forms of motion with my foot caused pain, even wiggling my toes.
I went to the doctor to find out what happened. At the doctor’s office, they did an x-ray and saw nothing. He was miffed as to the cause. He is sending me upstream for a referral to the physician who was his teacher when he was a resident. His prescription was to wear the Boot for a week followed by a return to cycling then running.
Physically, I will not be able to improve my conditioning if I can’t “do” my sports. Emotionally, there is a toll. The Long Duathlon National Championship is in six weeks, and ITU Worlds are in 8 weeks. I really need the preparation time but without a cooperative foot, that won’t happen.
Ellen, the masseuse, sent me a link from http://bikenoob.com (should have known about this site a year ago!) that describes what I am feeling, almost to a T. The cause of the pain? Compressed nerves between my toes? The cause of that? Probably my shoes not fitting correctly.
Tomorrow, I am off to get new some new shoes and perhaps some pedals, if required. That goes another couple of hundred bucks.
Today, while on my bike on a long Sunday ride, I had no music and lots of time alone. My foot may be messed up, but I can still keep going. The temptation to stop and 100% heal before proceeding with further conditioning is tempting. In my context, it would be acceptable, as well.
Yet, in addition to playing the role of athlete, I have a previous commitment in the role of father. My sons watch me and observe how I handle adversity. I want them to see and say, “Dad worked through adversity, so I will, too.” I don’t want them to say, “When Dad experienced setbacks, he quit.”
Push on, push through, and don’t break anything in the process. Otherwise, two generations end up with emotional wreckage.