I hurt myself on Friday. I was a year-round, 3 sport a year athlete as a youngster and have worked out fairly regularly all of my adulthood. Amazingly this is my first sports-related injury ever, aside from those blows that landed squarely on the crotch of my ego. My mother would say my body shook off pain like a dog shakes off water because I am “built like a brick shit house.” In my life I have leaned more toward injuries related to doing things like driving cars and walking down stairs, activities that I deem very high risk and with good reason.
Long story short, I went to throw a right punch (in a gym, not in the street) and hot, searing pain tore through my back from my right hip to my left hip and shoulder blade as if I had been shot with a bullet made of lava. Stopped me dead in my tracks. For one excruciatingly long minute, I couldn’t move. I was telling my legs to move, they just wouldn’t. I could hear my coach’s voice but it sounded very far away, even though he was holding on to me. I can honestly say there has only been one other time in my life I have ever been so scared or so paralyzed.
I lost track of the rest of that day and the day that followed. I finally came to at some point yesterday. I must have disassociated. I can’t take any pain medication or muscle relaxers, so I can’t even blame it on a good old fashioned drug induced black out. In no particular order, here are some thoughts and observations that have come to me since the fog lifted.
- A really good emergency room doctor doesn’t even flinch when you yell “WHAT THE DUCK DID YOU JUST SAY?!?!” at him. No, I didn’t say duck.
- Being physically unable to do things like put my own clothes on and pick up something I dropped on the floor is frustrating to a degree that defies description. Saying “I can’t” is not really my thing and I have found it humbling and humiliating. And then when I got whiney, I remembered that there are people who can’t do those things on their own all the time and that I should shut up.
- Needing to ask for help is about as comfortable for me to do as stick toothpicks under my fingernails. On purpose.
- I am at the age when medical professionals start to use the term “when you get to a certain age…..” and that is a very hard pill to swallow.
- You use muscles you had no idea you use when you poop. This becomes glaringly obvious when those muscles are broken.
- You really do find out who your people truly are when you are down. Surprising and a teensy heartbreaking.
- Trust your instincts. If that little voice is telling you something, listen to it. Mine was telling me not to go to the gym that day for a variety of reasons and I went anyway. I have always believed in my instincts, just haven’t always listened.
- ALWAYS WARM UP BEFORE EXERCISE and cool down and stretch after. Yes I know it’s not the fun stuff but it matters. A lot.
Do me a favor. If you CAN move your ass today, move your ass today. Before the choice is taken away from you for a minute, a week or Goddess forbid, forever. Don’t take the ability to be mobile for granted.
Yes, I know I’m not usually this serious, but I have found the biggest impact this has had on me is on my emotional well-being. BUT. I’m sitting here dressed for work with an ice pack tucked into the butt of my underwear which I fully intend to wear out in public all day.
I’m healing already.