Let’s start this one off with a frustrated growl and a mighty eye roll: Guess who can’t do yet another thing because her old hip injury is destroying everything?
I’ll give you a hint: Me. It’s me.
Things were going along great, and I was friggin’ pumped about the results… except for the part where I noticed I didn’t have bilateral balance. Oh, and how my right side was hurting because LOL, per usual, it was doing 85% of the work. Maybe 90%. I dunno; my left side is a lazy dick.
I’ve been in physical therapy for the last two months, and the whole process between me and my stubborn body is akin to putting out one fire only to notice another started. Sometimes, the fires aren’t completely extinguished, so we go back and re-fight them. This is my least favorite because it usually requires such deep tissue work that we get down to the bone, and lemme tell ya, it’s the opposite of enjoyable. But it’s also a necessary evil.
The other problem is that when I lift, correcting one “overcompensational movement,” results in subconsciously picking another one up. The frustration of my gym partner in trying to correct me, “I fix one thing, and you do something else,” gives only a minor taste of the frustration I feel every day. I can’t get my body to respond to my mind, and it’s not for lack of trying. The signals just don’t go, and I can no longer tell what’s wrong where movement is concerned. It feels right, but it’s definitely not. Worse: I focus so hard on telling the signals where to go, but the good side squeezes harder, and the pain is further aggravated. Basically, I feel stuck, and I don’t like it.
Pretty soon it will be January. I will need to start training hard to prep for Spartan, and with the way my good leg feels right now, I have concerns. It’s taken to this fun new habit of hurting intensely while I’m sitting still.
All GRRing and RAWRing aside, I’m lucky to have a team of patient healers on my side. My chiropractor is amazing. I can’t rave enough. She’s one of two helping professionals I’ve had in the last several years of this battle who’s looked at my gigantic mess of a body, admitted that it’s an undertaking, smiled, and said, “Yeah… It’s pretty bad… but we can fix it.”
One of my big fears is that I’ll never get better, or that it will get to a point where they can no longer fix me. She reassures me every session, every week. And it’s what’s behind this exchange that divides those who know my intimate worries and what makes me tick from everyone else in my life who “kind of” knows about my leg woes.
Few received the detailed, unbridled, vulnerable details related to how much this has taken a toll on my mental and emotional health. While I am now a Spartan more than anything else, I am still, at my core, a runner. It’s difficult to explain to non-runners just how much saying “it kills me to not be able to run” understates it, but it feels agonizing. Running grounds me, centers me, allows me to feel calm amidst the chaos in a way that nothing else can compete. I need to be able to run to human.
Again this week, I was reminded that “it can be fixed,” even though we’re discovering all of the muscles in my lame leg are essentially stuck together in a giant boulder-like blob. Again, confirming what my gym buddy pointed out during an attempt to massage the muscles into submission. “Are you flexing right now? Relax your leg.” I sat up, threw him a sass face, frowned internally and said, “I’m not flexing! I’m relaxed!” He furrowed his brow ever so slightly and continued working, teasing that I’m all gristle. After this week at the chiro, it’s confirmed: he’s wasn’t wrong.
Each muscle should be separate, free to glide past the others. Yesterday, we peeled my adductor back from its superglue grip on my quadriceps, and unpleasant is a word that doesn’t do it justice. We followed that with intense release work on a few tie-in locations near my knee, and I’ll move that little part to the top of my anti-joy list. It took a solid 5 minutes of increasingly excruciating pain to figure out where it was all coming from. And we will probably have to go back for more next week. But holy cow, it’s working. It’s taken two months, and we still have a lot left, but it’s getting there. Slowly. Painfully.
So for now, I’m working on my soft tissues. I’m probably going to get back in the pool. In a few more weeks, I should be running a sub-seven minute mile, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic at the thought. I’m making once-a-week yoga a ritual again. And I’ll revisit the Alpha when I’ve got the body back in line.