No one talks about injury rehab

So, about fifteen months ago I started working on prepping to run a 5K. I signed up for one, I registered, I worked on my running four days a week. I did shorts runs in my hilly neighborhood, I did a longer run every ten days or so. I actually DID run 5K, in my neighborhood. I was also lifting weights two or three days a week. It was the fittest I’d ever been in my entire life.

And then I had massive hip and knee pain. I couldn’t run. I could barely walk. Sitting hurt, standing hurt, lying down hurt. I stopped all my exercising and just did gentle stretches. I swam a couple days a week. I saw a PT, and got some helpful exercises to do. I worked on them.

And then the nonsense with my throat started. I had two surgical biopsies. I was on tendon-destroying antibiotics. I was having trouble eating, swallowing, and sleeping. Working out was not super-high on my priority list.

But I missed it. I really, really <em>missed</em> it. I <em>like</em> exercise. It makes me feel good. It helps me sleep better. It makes me less high-strung. It helps make up for the terrible hours I work and the lack of sleep in my life.

In the last few months, I have been trying to get back to working out. It’s hard. None of the fitness and exercise books TALK about this. No-one talks about how fucking depressing it is to be unable to do things you could do a few months ago. No-one talks about reasonable progressions back.

I mean, sure, physical therapists do. But we have this idea that PT is for “real” injury, or disability. And we stigmatize it.

Also, PT COSTS MONEY. And time. But mostly money.

Anyway, I am cautiously saying that I am off the injured reserve. I have been lifting weights twice a week. I have been walking a little bit each day. I have been doing yoga and stretching a few times a week. I ran a half-mile last week in my neighborhood, and a half-mile this morning.

I think if I am not stupid, and don’t overtrain again, I should be able to sustain this level of exercise.

That makes me really happy.

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One Response

  1. Yay for getting back into exercising!

    I have been there on rehab. In my case it is for my knees. At this point I am grateful for every time I can walk up stairs without pain. I have been through PT for my knees three times now. I have a good list of exercises and stretches. When I do them consistently my knees function well. When I don’t do them my knees get cranky. I expect to need to do PT exercises for the rest of my life, or until artificial cartilage is perfected.

    Loss of function is _frustrating_. Causes don’t matter. Doing things is rewarding. And of course you are looking back at the time you did the most, not at the intervening time when you couldn’t do anything.

    I find that I cope best with a narrow focus. How does this week compare to last week? There is no point comparing to last year. Certainly nothing to be gained by comparing myself to anyone else. What matters is what you can do _today_.

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