Many of you will remember that the thing that started me on this project (of doing athletic activities that I’m not good at and are out of my comfort zone) was a neck injury that caused me not to be allowed to do the athletic activities that I actually enjoy. I had several bulged discs and I was having symptoms like pins and needles across my back and down my right arm, a pain that shot across my back and down my arm when I coughed or sneezed (making an ill-timed head cold into an excruciating experience) that built to extreme nerve pain in my right arm and ultimately seriously messed with my nerves, causing not just horrible pain, but the short-term loss of the use of my right arm.
It took weeks of doctors insisting it was a pulled muscle or rotator cuff issue until finally one of them insisted on an MRI and I got a diagnosis. I was told that I could “try physical therapy” but would likely need surgery, and my doctor restricted me to water activity and walking, which put me on the path to walk my first marathon while I got the physical therapy and did the obsessive icing, home traction, and stretched that eventually made me better.
About three weeks ago I started to have a pain in my arm. At first I thought that it was a pulled muscle but then it began to feel too familiar. The neck problem is back. It’s come back a little bit over the years, if I sleep on it funny or something but usually a couple of days of icing and NSAIDs solve it. Not this time. I’ve spent the last week and a half on activity restriction that means I can’t swim, bike, or run – which is pretty much everything.
So I’ve been the queen of long walks and my new “triathlon” is icing, traction, and stretching.
I was scheduled for the Atlantic City 70.3 this weekend. We had already modified to the aquabike to try to avoid re-injury to my left achilles, but now it’s just not happening at all.
My IM is in about 2.5 months and it’s not like I was steaming along faster than I needed to be in order to make the cut-off times – I need this training time.
Y’all, I’m just going to be totally honest – I am in a dark place. Right now it feels like this whole journey has been a total waste. All those hours and hours and miles and miles – right now it feels like I have worked so hard for five years and have fuck all to show for it. Part of me just wants to get back to training as soon as I can, another part of me just wants to quit and find an activity that I enjoy (preferably with air conditioning and clothes in my size.) I don’t have any answers right now, just a mix of sadness and frustration and a pretty big desire to throw myself of the floor and yell IT’S NOT FAAAAIIIIIRRRR (except I’m pretty sure that toddler-style tantrums are on my movement restriction list.)
For now, you can take a look at my current activities, including ultrasound, the electro stim machine that shocks me while I lay on a giant ice pack, my best chipmunk impression as I inflate my traction collar, and a workout selfie from a late-night walk.