Pushing Through Adversity

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.

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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.

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