It’s been another week of being stretched and prodded at physical therapy and then gingerly navigating my way through Junior’s Gym alone. Recovering from an injury has created a whole new routine in my life of calculating what I am able to do now that I have been physically forced to put my ego aside. Routines can be efficient and effective but this new one feels full of restraint and limitations.
The threat of a setback has me so paralyzed with fear that I now spend two hours at the gym accomplishing a portion of what I used to do with Bertina in a hot hour of training. Everything takes longer because I am cautiously wading through sets that I was once chomping at the bit to try and accomplish. I eye it all up and down looking for threats, feeling out with my body and my instincts my own vulnerabilities to failure and to pain.
I want desperately to go back to where I was to be able to do this in a big way. I want to be planning my epic jump roping video, my thrilling work with weights all over my body, even just simple compass lunges to make sure that I am still building onto the curves that have been seven months into the making.
Yes, I have days of gratitude where I feel the highs of recovery and feeling better. And it’s true that each day I really do feel better. I can do more each week. But there is a darker side of me of which I have to be careful that wants to turn on myself. There is a part of me that is jealous watching men and women around me fully doing their best while I hold back. I have to remind myself that we cannot all be in the same place in our lives. Sometimes we are sprinting forward and sometimes life changes quickly and we are forced to fall back.
There is a part of me that wonders if I will get back to where I was only to have my body fold on me again at the same worn crease. This is fear. And while it serves my mind to try to protect my body from future pain there is a different kind of danger that it rarely likes to consider which comes from doing nothing.
Inactivity scares me more. It ages us and allows infirmity of a different nature to set in. Inactivity eventually gives life cycle signals to our body that this adventure is over and it’s time to start closing up shop and letting go.
For this reason I am trying to focus on what I can do between all the restraint and discipline. There are all kinds of muscles that aren’t hurting and even the ones that are hurting call for my attention, too. They wanted to be stretch and circulated. They want to be iced and heated. My body is constantly talking to me all the time these days.
On good days, I can see beyond the week and imagine better where I will be in a month looking back at this time. I hope to be back training soon with Bertina, (who I know when she sees my elbow and shoulder position in this hammer curl shot is probably going to ask me if I have forgotten everything she ever taught me in three short weeks!). I want to achieve more than I ever have, but most of all I want to live courageously with my body.
The truth is that injury is a part of life. Every setback is. It’s what we do next that counts.