The inner battle

The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.” Sun Tzu

I might be revealing too much information here. The type of information that might make you question my sanity. Something about me that might make you think “this guy has issues“. My hope is that since most of my readers are obstacle racers, then they will see me as perfectly normal. It’s the rest of the world that is screwy. So here goes.

I have another injury, as in an injury that affects my training. As in “not again”. After another trip to UK Sports Medicine and a visit to physical therapy the diagnosis is knee bursitis. It happened rather suddenly this past weekend at the end of a long workout day and 8 mile run. Everything went perfectly fine up to the point when I finished the run and started walking to cool down. Within 10 steps I noticed soreness and swelling in my right knee and felt/heard a popping noise with every step. First thought – this can’t be good. Second thought – what is this going to do to my racing season? Third thought – it feels like a tendon or ligament popping over something, so hopefully it’s not a tear. To make a long story short, I took the necessary precautions. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and NSAIDS. Treatment is to stretch my IT Band often, Dex patches, and of course, no running or plyometrics. Herein lies the problem and the beginning of my newest battle.

I need to run, badly. I still don’t like running in general, but typically to be successful in foot races you need to run and be pretty good at it. I have a race in 2 weeks….a short one, but one in which I want to stand on the podium at the end. I haven’t forgotten that the Spartan Ultra Beast obstacle course marathon is in September and I haven’t forgotten the fact that I have never run more than 13.5 miles at one time. So, I need to run lest my body revolts during the stresses of that monster race.

The inner battle being waged in my head centers around whether I should be pushing ahead with training or wait out the healing process. One side, let’s call him “Logical Jeff” says that I should let my body heal. Otherwise, I run the risk of extending the ailment, reducing my performance, or even causing further, more extensive damage to my body. Logical Jeff says that it is inane to sacrifice parts of or even my entire obstacle racing career over 7 or 8 days of extra training. Logical Jeff is decidedly on the side of adherent patient. Logical Jeff is, well logical, and he makes a really good argument. BUUUTTTT, there is another voice in my head. Let’s say that this voice comes from someone called “Lunatic Jeff”. Lunatic Jeff wants to go, go, go, go, go! He relishes 3:30 a.m workouts. He likes (well, maybe like is too strong of a word) finishing training days with dozens of burpees. He likes to sweat and grunt and gasp. If that’s not happening then he isn’t working hard enough, which upsets Lunatic Jeff. In this newest battle, Lunatic Jeff is yelling at Logical Jeff. “Your knee doesn’t hurt! You can run and jump, so why are you waiting?!” Lunatic Jeff doesn’t enjoy workouts consisting mostly of stretching. Lunatic Jeff rationalizes that the doctor and physical therapist are paid to err on the cautious side. Lunatic Jeff wants to get back to the business of training hard. Lunatic Jeff has no use for logic nor it’s wielder.

This inner battle has been playing out in my head for days. Who is going to win? I have a feeling that Logical Jeff will win. Actually, I KNOW that Logical Jeff will win. He is really strong. He has years and years of practice and is a dominant factor in who I am. Logical Jeff has been here my whole life, so the mind is his home turf and he vigorously defends it. Lunatic Jeff is long, lean, and energetic, but he lacks experience in the inner battles. Only recently has he taken up residence and still doesn’t fully understand and appreciate the lay of the land of my mental state. Lunatic Jeff will fight a mighty battle, but he will fail. He will lose and it will be a good thing. My body will recover (hopefully) and Lunatic Jeff will then be permitted to freely roam the recesses of my mind. Logical Jeff will rule over Lunatic Jeff, but will accede power to him when it makes sense to do so.

This not the first run-in that Logical Jeff and Lunatic Jeff have had. They are enemies and rarely do they agree. But, when they do…..Oh, when they do, watch out because something great is going to happen!

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2 thoughts on “The inner battle

  1. Great read, and yes i understand. My savage nature the part of me that is mostly teeth and muscle screams to be free while the “logical” side says i have to wait to heal as well. Mine is a spinal injury and as much as i want to go hard i have to take it easy or not be any good to anyone. I read this yesterday and was going to share it with Facebook. Instead this is dedicated to you and me and those of us who have this wild side..
    “There was about him a suggestion of lurking ferocity, as though the Wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept.”
    jack london-

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