A Series of Setbacks

Setbacks are not sexy, but they happen and must be dealt with. This blog has been a little quiet over the last couple weeks because that is exactly what I’ve been dealing with. I had hoped they would pass quickly, and my training path would continue towards a triumphant descent into Nice, France next year.

The first setback was the nagging hip injury that bothered me throughout the latter part of the cycling season, specifically on Six Gap Century. It had gone away for awhile until I experienced soreness after riding up in Asheville. No problem. I could rest a couple of days. Unfortunately it became worse, and continued in that direction for a few days. I knew that this was going to slow me down significantly, as the hip heals very slowly.

Since I cannot afford to spend the next few months on the couch, I made another appointment with my doctor. He talked to me, looked me over, and told me that since I’m an athlete, I need special treatment. I almost laughed when he told me that. Me? An Athlete? I’m just a dude that rides a bike, but I agree that the normal measures are not going to work.

As it turned out, I started getting a sore throat the day before my appointment. Uh oh. Yes, I was getting sick. When I’m training, I hardly ever get sick. Sometimes I’ll get a little something that will slow me down for a day or two, but my body usually fights it off. This time I had not been training, and it ran over me like a mack truck.

The doctor diagnosed it as a common cold. Good. That would pass in a day or two, and I could resume some light training. Coach Bobby told me that as long as the cold symptoms remain in my head and not my chest, that I would be able to continue.

That wasn’t happening. As the cold progressed, it knocked me down hard. I was on the couch, drinking sodas, chewing cough drops, and eating as much soup as I could stomach. When I wasn’t sleeping, I was watching episodes of Breaking Bad.

This private hell continued over the next couple days. Training of any sort was out of the question. I started to clear up yesterday. The dry cough became productive and phlegmy. My sinuses loosened up, the voice cleared up, and I could feel it flowing out of me. For the first time all week, I felt like I could function, and I wanted to get outside.

I’m still not there yet. The cold is passing through slowly, and might not be completely gone until the middle of next week. Hopefully the rest and the new doctor will be just what I need, and I can continue going hard in a week or two.

By the way, Breaking Bad is a fantastic show.


18 responses to “A Series of Setbacks

  • suzecycling

    What a drag … Feel better!

    And isn’t perception a funny thing….. “Me? An Athlete? I’m just a dude that rides a bike…. ” Yeah, right.

    Of course I remember recently telling a colleague that “I’m essentially just a casual cyclist.” I believe what I heard in response was “Yeah, right.”

    • aaronwest

      I think we both have athletic tendencies, but we’re not going to give Lebron James or Tom Brady a run for their money. 🙂

      In all seriousness, we are athletes in a way, but I think of it more as a wellness initiative. I just like to stay in shape, and setting goals for myself helps me with that.

  • Jim Brennan

    I know I don’t have to tell you that pain is the body’s message telling you to rest. I advised runners the past two years who had been injured training for a marathon to back off and rest. You have more of a chance of competing with less training than you do if you are injured. Both healed and ran their marathons. Good luck!

    • aaronwest

      Jim, that is some excellent advice that I am going to take. My coach has encouraged me to do some light exercise, but since I do not know what is causing the problems, it is probably best to stay on the couch until the doctor clears me. I can afford the time off now. That won’t be the case in a couple months.

  • Gerry

    Well, at least you’re getting some quality TV time. Get these setbacks over with early. You’ll be glad you did when you need to be 100% in 6 months or so. Get well.

  • John Schaberg

    Hang in there, i know you will get better soon. Keep praying 4 u. Gi john

    Sent from my iPhone

  • James

    Sorry to hear you’re under the weather. Has the hip had a chance to heal given the forced rest due to the cold? That could be a silver lining couldn’t it?

    • aaronwest

      A little bit. I was prepared to re-start the training on Monday or Tuesday and then the sickness hit me. The hip really does heal slowly, so there’s hasn’t been much change since then. I’m also now dealing with pain in my right glute, which is certainly related to the hip. Jim’s advice to keep resting was probably wise.

  • bobissett

    Hang in there!

  • Mark

    I reccomend reading the book Fearless while you have couch time. It has a lot of application towards cycling.

  • Carl

    Aaron,
    I have a better obstacle. During the beautiful fall season, my hip pain was diagnosed as a MRSA infection. A surgeon took out some offending hardware, and I have been recovering for nearly 3 months. I went through a rehab hospital, home recovery supervised by a visiting nurse, paying the bills and currently outpatient therapy.

    The surgeon examined my latest Xray last week and gave me the green light to resume activity. I am thrilled to take hikes that I thought were routine 3 months ago. Before setting out, I pray Psalm 40:1-2:” I waited patiently on the Lord,… He set my feet on solid gound. He has established my steps.” I am thankful for warm, dry weather during my recovery hikes. I am carefully listening to my body so I can extend my capabilities daily and respond to pain in my hip.

    • aaronwest

      Hi Carl, sorry to hear about your injury. Our stories might be similar, as I found out this week that my injury might be more serious than expected. Will discuss it in more detail after seeing the doctor tomorrow.

      As my coach told me, listening to your body and being honest with yourself is the best policy. I am always eager to get out and do things, but it would just hurt me further in the long run. Best of luck on your recovery. Please keep me posted on your progress.

  • Thomas Clayton

    Aaron, I have been in the same way. Talk soon.

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