The ” i ” Word.

 The ” i ” word in this blog isn’t ice cream. That means if your sweet tooth is acting up, then sorry, this might just be the wrong blog for you. Today the focus is on the less sweet and decadent world … of injuries.

Like I was talking about in one of my last posts, I wouldn’t exactly consider myself anything close to an “expert” or even “intermediate” runner. I’ve been running for about 3 years and consider myself a rookie runner. Each day I’m out running I see or come across something new. The other day I learned the challenges that come with doing fartlek when there’s like 4 different telephone poles on the side of the road that you’re trying to keep track of. Phew! Through running, I’ve had the good fortune of only being injured twice. The first time was my own fault and I bounced back super fast, whereas the second, and my most recent injury, was one that came at a much greater cost.

Best part was the purple/yellow/green bruises. And not being able to wear normal shoes since I had a cankle!

Last track season, almost a year ago, I was at practice and doing a cooldown after a run and some strides. I thought I would show-off and jump one of the hurdles, seeing as I had done hurdles once at a meet nearly two years before, and as I thought I would safely make it over the hurdle only to enjoy an ego boost as my team mates applauded at my spectacular feat. Well, that’s what I was hoping to happen at least. Landing on my ankle and watching it swell like a balloon? Not exactly what I pictured. I should’ve at least won an Academy Award for my performance though, because as soon as I landed … BOOM! Crying while believing that I had arrived at the end of the world, the first thoughts that passed through my mind were 1) I would be out for the rest of my season, and in my dramatic state 2) that I would never run again. After a few roles of athletic tape, gallons upon gallons of ice, and a long wallow in my own self-pity … I was back up and running only three days later. I had luckily managed to only give myself a minor ankle sprain. I kept it taped and iced for the next few weeks, but was able to finish my season without any further hurdles (haha) to overcome. Since that fateful jump I’ve vowed never to attempt hurdles again … But while two of the track coaches are teachers at my school, I still am given a hard time about it. Tragic then, but I’m able to laugh at it now!

After never have sprained or broken anything before, I got off lucky from my first injury. This past fall though, I wasn’t so lucky. Over the summer, I started running two-a-days and ended up logging in about 400 some miles over a span of 3 months. On top of that, I also developed a plantar’s wart which (as they’re verypainful!) made me compensate by running on the outside of my foot. These factors combined to make running extremely painful for me, and going into the beginning of my sophomore season

I even wore my boot at Homecoming. Lucky I wore a long dress!

of cross country, I decided to get it checked out by a doctor. Originally going in to get my plantar’s warts checked out, I left the office wearing a boot with the order that I couldn’t run for at least 6 weeks. At that point, I was devestated, ruined, hopeless, and a total basket-case. The phone call to my coach was horrible, I couldn’t even talk without choking up. After all my hard work over the summer and the goals I had set for the upcoming season, I knew they were now on hold. I had been diagnosed with a stress fracture on the top of my left foot. Now that was an actual injury, nevermind tripping over a hurdle. That day at school (which I’m not sure why I decided to go) as soon as I walked into my classes, my team mates and friends were shocked. They just looked at my boot, and automatically realized that I probably wouldn’t be able to run. Practice was quiet that day too, no one offered any support. I suppose they didn’t want to say anything that would upset me. As the weeks wore away, I became more comfortable with my situation and challenged myself to overcome my injury with the hope that I might be able to race at

I became team manager at meets! Showing off my boot while the team previewed the course.

the end of the season. I cross trained everyday by working out on the bike in our weight room, swimming twice a week, going on walks when I could, and intense circuit training. I went to every meet and practice to support my team and while some days it was hard to watch them run, I found motivation in their hard work for each grueling day on the bike in the hope that I would be released. Looking back on it now, I’m amazed by how I made it through. Some days were easier than others, but I knew that there was nothing that I could do seeing that the only thing that would heal my foot was time. As districts approached, the doctor (kind of) released me. My foot wasn’t totally healed, but I decided that the fracture couldn’t get any worse and decided to run. If I hadn’t raced at districts, my team wouldn’t have beat out the 7 year reigning champs for the district title. For the first time in 15 some years, BOTH the girls and boys’ cross country teams were district champions. The girls’ team beat out second place by one point. I went on to race at state as well, even though in both races I was in intemse pain because of my foot, and as the season came to an end, could finally relax and focus only on healing. I took another 3 weeks off before being officially released to run. The first few runs were only on the grass for an alloted time, but it made me realize how much running meant to me and how my injury made me stronger both physically and mentally. I can now understand the price that getting injured has, and how if affects others besides just you. As tough as it is during, you just have to hold onto that hope that you’ll get better and never let go to that no matter what happens. If you do, there’s no way you can get better. Sometimes, you really just have to believe and ignore the negative thoughts that say you can’t do it. You CAN make it through, and when you do? You’ll realize how strong you really have become.

Going through my stress fracture was tough, and I lost a cross country season out of it. Going into my track season right now, I have bigger goals and a much more focused idea of what I want. I didn’t have a season to show what I can do, and coming out of my injury mentally stronger, this is my time to do that. So no jumping hurdles for this girl, I’m on a mission to have a kick butt season and show people what they missed. Watch out.

 

Until next time,

 Gabby.

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8 thoughts on “The ” i ” Word.

  1. Go Gabby! In all of my years in athletics, I only suffered one injury. Looking back now (as a 35-year young woman) I can truly reflect on how fortunate I was. Good for you for having such a positive perspective. That will take you far in life. Both on and off the track.

    • Wow only one? That’s great! :-) And thank you. Being injured is really one of the main things that has caused me to reflect on my attitude through running and make it a more positive one. That has spread into the rest of my life as well and makes things so much easier.

  2. I know how much it sucks to watch your teammates keep going when you can’t. Still, I learned the hard way that you really shouldn’t go “I can do it, it doesn’t hurt MUCH” sometimes, even though it’s hard to just sit there and wait.

    I do Irish Dance and used to practise three times a week plus some at home until a sinew in my hip got inflamed this December. I kept going to practice, telling myself “hey, just twice a week…”. It didn’t get better. After cutting back to reduced training sessions once a week, I finally started to improve, but by now I think I should have just admitted that I wouldn’t be much use in our upcoming shows and just quit training entirely for a few weeks. (The doctor was spectacularly unhelpful there; he apparently thought that “a little dancing” wasn’t going to matter much and kept telling me I was allowed to do it as long as I felt okay with it. I’m no wimp, I can feel okay with a good deal of pain.)
    I’m almost back to normal now, but it took forever and that crap still flares up after practice if I do a lot of jumps. What I’ve taken from that is: If you’re injured, sit on your ass and WAIT. That’s tough, too. And you’ll be up and running again so much faster (and reduce the risk of permanent damage).

    Sorry, this turned into quite the rant. I didn’t mean to tell you what to do. Just… be careful, okay? You’ve only got this one body. :) How are you by now?

    • I’m so sorry I haven’t replied to your comment earlier, I’ve simply had no time! BUT … I have time to fully answer your comment now. :-) I learned how much you really have to listen to your body when you’re injured even as much as your head is saying, “go ahead!” It’s been a good lesson though, and I’m more aware of what my body is able to do and when to stop if it hurts.

      After reading what you went through … Wow. It makes my stress fracture seem so small. I hold a lot of respect for dancers as what they do since it’s not just an activity that works some certain part of your body, but ALL of it. I can’t imagine what it would be like to keep training on a hurt hip and not be able to do anything else. I suppose having an unhelpful doctor didn’t help your stubborness to keep dancing either! I’m glad to hear that you are almost back to normal and to hear that someone else has had to learn the hard lessons that come from being injured. I don’t know about you, but since I’ve gotten injured, I can sympathize so much more with the people who are injured currently or are going down the same path I was on.

      Don’t worry about your “rant,” it totally made my day and I’m glad that I could finally get around to taking the time to read and understand what you’ve been through with your own injuries. Good to know that I’m not alone with all of my frusturation and unwillingness to cooperate with what I need to do compared to what I’d rather do. :-) Since my fracture, I’ve been a lot more watchful of my mileage as well as making sure that not all of it is on pavement since it’s so unforgiving to joints and such. I’m completely healed and am currently running track. It hasn’t flared up at all, but I know that the certain bone in my foot will always be a little bit weaker than the rest. Thank you for asking. :-)

      Your own story had peaked my interest as well! How long have you done Irish Dance? I think that’s really neat! Are you part of a big company or is it a recreational group?

      • Oh, honey, I’m so sorry – I think I’ve given you the wrong idea of how professionally I dance. My group is a university sports group, with optional additional training for a smallish show troupe. We meet thrice a week and do… I think 5-10 gigs per year? Also, I’m not a veteran, but really more of an enthusiastic newbie. I’ve been with the group for a bit over a year now – which may have been part of the problem with my hip. I went, pretty much, from “couch potato” to “so excited she dances all the time”. My physiotherapist (who is much better than the doc) pointed out that my muscles may not have had the time to build up enough to rise to that challenge, leaving too much of the work with the sinews.

        I don’t think your stress fracture is small by comparison. And I really respect you for going to (and enjoying, as far as I can tell from the sweet picture) your Homecoming with a cast on your leg. Fellow students can be so mean about such things.

        Also, I agree that it’s a change of perspective to go through a lengthy, frustrating phase of injury. That new-found sympathy and understanding was, in part, what made me reply to your post. :) It’s both kind of sad and kind of a consolation to know that other people face similar challenges. In fact, I think it also made me see disabled people (can you still say that? Not sure it’s PC anymore, but anyway) with a new kind of respect. You and me can be almost sure that our injuries will go away, even if it seems to take forever, but these people face not only practical challenges but also the rock-solid knowledge that certain every-day problems will be theirs for the rest of their lives. I don’t know how they handle it, I really don’t. It must take an immense power of will to not become bitter or apathetic.

        I’m glad to hear you’re back to running without problems, and I admire the positive and constructive way in which you handled your injury. Go you! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you and hope you’ll enjoy a long and rewarding running career. :)

        areer. :)

      • Oh, of course! I still think that a rec. group dance is really neat! Haha no matter how much experience you have with it, I’m still impressed and think what you’re doing is great. :-) What made you join and leave behind your “couch potato” lifestyle?

        Thank you for the support of going to Homecoming with my boot! The poeple at my school were pretty nice about the whole situation. A few comments here and there, but meant only as a joke. for the most part, everyone was super supportive! Suprising to hear about highschool students, huh?

        I can’t even imagine how long of a process it is for people who were once able to do anything and everything to become disabled in someway and learn to live with what they’re then cable to do. It’s that realization that makes me look on my running and be thankful that I am even able to do what I love, no matter how I’m feeling that day or through small injuries.

        Thank you again for commenting on my post and sharing your own story relating to what I went through. It’s nice to hear what others have gone through as well. It really puts everything in perspective! I’m crossing my fingers that your hip heals completely and you enjoy your dancing career … no matter if it’s professional or not. ;-)

  3. Pingback: Another one?! « fRustUratiNg

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