I have been dealing with a hip issue for a few weeks now and it has taken me on one roller coaster of a ride of emotion. So many tears shed. And for what? A really painful hip and IT Band that has robbed me of my ability to do what I love.
I think part of the reason why I feel this way, robbed, is that it happened so out of the blue on an otherwise ok run. Typically injuries are either due to a sudden trauma, i.e. falling, crashing,etc. or they are due to ignoring a slowly growing niggle or pain. Something that starts out by speaking quietly to you for a while and the longer you ignore it the louder the voice roars until it is a full blown screaming injury.
In my case neither of those things happened. I was held up at gunpoint and robbed in a flash, left standing there with nothing but a look of shock on my face asking myself "What just happened?!" Ok, well really I was running along when all of a sudden my left hip felt like someone had taken a searing hot poker to it and stabbed me, grating the tendon across my hip. I was clearly surprised and wondered what on earth happened. I ended up walking a bit home, and over the course of the next few days did not feel much relief. Oh no, I am INJURED!
I was able to get into the Physical Therapist the following Monday morning and since then I have been working on regaining strength, reducing the tendinitis, and building my glutes. The short of the long of it is that I am on the road to recovery. And apparently while I have not had hip issues per say, I have had some pretty bad tight back issues and wouldn't you know it they stem from the same thing, Dumb Butt Syndrome. Go ahead and laugh, I know that I did! My glutes have been trained out and every other part of me has been picking up the slack for a few years. Annnnnd here we are.
The other part of the reason I have been on this roller coaster is that I am in the final training block for IMFL. This has effectively taken me out of my plan and really thrown a wrench in my goals. ROBBED of my Ironman goals. So that is not ideal.
What I was first taking as being robbed of my ability to do what I love I now see was really a gift, one that I did not want but one that I, in reality, needed.
Being that my chronic tight back and acute hip tendinitis have a common root I now see that this injury did not rob me, it did not take anything away from me that was serving me. Instead it is a gift to allow myself to repair, rebuild, and to ultimately become strong AF both mentally and physically. I am now forced to be more in tune with my body - a gift. I am now forced to now listen to what it is saying to me - a gift. I am now forced to take the time to stretch, to weight train, and to be smart about my recovery - a gift. I am now forced to think about my running form and correct it - a huge gift.
This injury is not a burden thrust upon me robbing me of my ability to do what I love, it is providing a PURPOSE to the things that I have been ignoring because I never saw the need. I see the need now, that is for sure.
"Injury is not just a process of recovery, it's a process of discovery"
What does this mean for Ironman Florida?
When I was getting frustrated, scared, and upset to the point of tears in Physical Therapy my PT asked me what is the WORST thing that will happen if you are not better by Florida? My answer was a DNF. There is truly no consequence. I get to leave there with my husband and return to our home and furry kids. The only difference is if I come home with a medal and new jacket or not.
After my first ever triathlon DNF at IMTexas I felt gutted so the thought of the same happening at IMFL was just adding fuel to that frustration fire. I guess the real worst things that could happen would be that I do something stupid like pushing through bad pain and cause an even worse injury to myself, but we are going to stick with a DNF because I am smarter than that.
In reality no one cares if I finish or not as much as I care so why put so much fear behind it?
Later that day I had an amazing chat with fellow coach and friend BK Kissinger from the Wolfpack Tri Club and Brave Soul Coaching, and she helped me to fully turn the corner in my thinking. I no longer fear the DNF, I am embracing the possibility of it. Finish or not either way I am better for the attempt. When you stop fearing something and tackle it head on, you find out that the obstacle was always much less than we imagine it to be.
Ironman is 1 day of my life and I will have many more 1 days ahead of me, in fact I have 2 more IMs on the plan for 2020 so I really need to be smart. I have already finished an Ironman Florida and while my desire was to finish this specific one as well, it was more important to me because this time I would have my sister-in-law and brother-in-law on the course with me racing as they were both there cheering me on at my first IMFL finish in 2012 so it would be sort of special in that "full circle" way. I now know that that may not happen and I am ok with that. I can still cheer them on at the finish of their race, or better yet I may be able to see them at the finish line of my race if I am able to make cut offs. I have a purpose bigger than this 1 day.
I know that I am now in the situation of chasing a clock, so not ideal, but I am not giving up by any means. I am also not saying that there is no way that I can finish. I truly believe that the right outcome will happen and as they say Anything is Possible, this is Ironman after all.
Have you had a situation come up that you at first thought was robbing you of something but later realized that it was giving you so much more? Share your story below and let's celebrate our gifts together!
functional nutritionist, health coach, and lighter of paths.