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Dealing with Injury: Why I’m Not Mad at Myself or My Body

Updated to add: I am going to the PM&R (Phys Medicine) Doc this am. Basically, Alex told me to stop being stubborn and assuming that they would just tell me to rest (which they will, anyway, but you know) and just go. Likely there will be cause for an MRI, so I probably still won’t know anything immediately following, but at least it is a “step” in the right direction…

If feels ironic posting this a week after my post about Marathon Training with a Chronic Illness, but to be true, I also feel like this is a perfect example of just that subject.  Like I mentioned on Friday, this is actually illustrating that very situation. Allow me to explain:

story time

Something is up with my body. I may not be experiencing GI symptoms, but dealing with injury is another part of my disease and the issues of my immune system: my body doesn’t heal as easily as many other bodies. The same goes for when I get sick—I don’t bounce back immediately. I get very sick, and I stay sick. (To boot, I am also more prone to getting sick because I am on immune-suppressing drugs. When SIX girls on my dorm hall got mono first year, I was very happy that I had a single, let me tell you. Also that I wasn’t a slut… but I digress ;D ).

What is going on right now, if I gave you my best guess, is that I am dealing with a sort of tendonitis that has now inflamed the bone, potentially even to the point of a stress fracture. Walking hurts, pressure on it hurts, but there is no swelling or bruising. I can bike as long as I stay in the saddle, and I can do yoga if I don’t jump. I’ve tried various shoes, but honestly, my Newton Kismets and Nike Free’s seem to be most comfortable—minimal drop, but with support. 

Also, my Class Pass is going to waste. SIGH

Polar bear #facepalm

Polar bear #facepalm

The next few weeks will be the most telling–but this is for sure, I won’t be running any time soon. Which blows a fat one. But I am honestly not all that mad, bitter, or sad, beyond wishing that I could move around, walk places, and do what I love. 

I do have a few reasons that I would really really really really like for this injury to heal ASAP: my in-laws are coming to town this weekend, Caitlin is coming next weekend, we are going on our vacation the next weekend…. but perhaps most importantly, if I can deal with this issue now, get it to heal up in the next few weeks, I know that I can bounce back for Ragnar. I say “most importantly” with regards to Ragnar because yes, I did pay for that, and yes, I’ve been planning it for over a year with friends, but also because it isn’t just about me–I have a team counting on me pulling my weight. And I will be damned if they have to scramble.

dealing with injury why im not mad at my body

Why?

  • Because this is part of being an athlete. And no matter how careful you are, these things happen. Hello, look at Alex and his bicep, lol.
  • Because I am a high risk athlete. I will go into this further in future Crohn’s posts, but runner + female + Crohn’s patient ups your chance for certain injuries. 
  • Because even though I train conservatively, I still push myself and my body to a brink that many would think incomprehensible with my chronic condition.
  • Because my body gives me so much, and I have to respect it.
  • And honestly? there isn’t a damn thing that I can do about it. Life is about reactions, right?

If I miss Ragnar, you bet your ass that I will be mad, but not at my body, or necessarily at myself, but for the situation. I have realized that humans prefer to have someone or something to blame in times of crisis. We want closure, answers, a bow to tie it all up. But we have to know that life is a product of factors both within and without our control.

I am excellent at reading my body, and in looking back at the events surrounding where I am right now, I can nitpick and try to find a way to blame things… but really? I can’t say that I would have done it any different–I think I was due for it, honestly, because this happens to me about once a season. 

invincibility

If I look back at my running career (as short as it is), about 2-3 times a year, I have about a month of on/off injuries. This is part of being an athlete as well as being a Crohn’s patient–I get caught in a mini cumulative injury cycle where I just need to let everything chill out. So I’m hoping that I am in the middle of this now and due to be on the upswing.

And, if not? Well, then obviously, I have to accept that, move on, and help my team figure out a replacement. And I will be a willing volunteer for the weekend. 

I hope that they know that this is what happens when I volunteer...

I hope that they know that this is what happens when I volunteer…

Until then, you can find me in the weight room, rocking out lifts with fervor I haven’t had in ages, on the bike with my patootie glued to the saddle, and doing what I can to make sure that I don’t lose any cardiovascular fitness or strength. 

It's on.

It’s on.

What is your approach to injuries? Have you gotten to a point where you are able to accept them when they happen, or do you still try to fight/ignore/overpower them?

Are you prone to these types of injury cycles?

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