Taming the Tiger

As I’ve said before on this blog, I have one speed — GO, Go, GO! I’m my own worst enemy, as evident from this injury that has forced me on the couch for the last several weeks. That’s the tiger within me, screaming to get out and devour what it desires. For me, I yearn to devour the nearest mountain, conquer it and plant my flag.

More on that in a moment.

This injury has been confounding and unpredictable. There have been days where I have felt amazing, and others where I have felt like it would go on forever. Just the other day, frustrated with my lack of progress, I decided to just stay shut down until my next doctor appointment.

As it turns out, I spoke too soon. Seemingly from the moment I pressed the publish button, things began to turn around. They continued to improve dramatically during the week, which culminated with some amazing news yesterday.

I am FREE! The crutches are gone. I am walking.

Yesterday was my first day walking under my own devices. At first I walked gingerly, favoring my left side. Even with that, my right leg became sore just from the inactivity of the last few weeks. At times it felt like I might need the crutches again (they were in my car, just in case), but as the day progressed, it felt better and better. Not only am I walking, but I am walking without a limp. A day later and I can say with certainty that the crutches are gone forever, at least for this injury.

I also received some good news from the doctor. I’m allowed to get in the pool and get some exercise. I can swim or water walk.

This came at the perfect time. The time off has not been enjoyable, but as of late, it has really taken a toll. That tiger has been growling incessantly. When I don’t work out, I get stressed more easily, and am generally not as happy.

Tom, a good friend, gave me some terrific advice:

Aaron, having worked for 12 years as a Personal Trainer, be careful – there is a huge difference between a traumatic injury (crashing) and an overuse injury. Just remember “overuse” is very subjective. An extreme example asking a person that walks everyday, than to run even a mile. You will of course get better – but don’t go get better than your body can. Just knowing you, that’s all. I learn a long time ago a coach is not there to tell you to do more – but to hold back. It’s the fire in us sometimes it helps if it is held back.

Tom does know me. He has seen that tiger roar as it climbs over a mountain. Others have echoed that sentiment. Chill out, Aaron, they say. Let yourself heal. Baby steps. They are absolutely, positively correct. I have to go slow with this recovery. My friends may have some epic rides planned that make me drool, but I will need to stay at home and ride 20-30 miles. I’ll live vicariously through them until I am able. And when I am able – Watch Out!

Fortunately Coach Bobby believes in this sentiment. He will push me when needed, but he will also make sure I get my rest. My goals this year are to heal, climb Mount Mitchell and then become an official finisher at Haute Route. If I let that tiger out too early, none of these will happen.

6 responses to “Taming the Tiger

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