I’ve spent the better part of the last year training my body to compete in obstacle races. Running, jumping, lifting, pulling and pushing has been my staple. I’ve read the blogs, tweets, FB posts, and magazine articles. If it’s obstacle racing or fitness related, I’ve consumed it in one form of another. However, none of this has really prepared me for the latest obstacle: myself. Not my whole self, just parts of me. Specifically, my right knee and left foot. Aside from a single race respite, I haven’t been able to run or train like I want to for over 6 weeks. Even the so-called fallbacks of biking and swimming have had troublesome effects, delaying my return even further. Icing, stretching, foam rolling, and NSAIDS, are as much a part of my day as getting dressed and brushing my teeth. I have read every single webpage on the Internet that mentions knee bursitis, sesamoiditis, and metatarsalgia. Everything I’ve read indicates to me that training for obstacle racing is just about the worst thing that I can do. There is no defeating this through perfect nutrition. Waking up at 3:30 a.m. to confront the issue head on is futile. Willpower and sheer determination does little in this situation. My strengths have been rendered useless on this path to recovery. All the while, the Ultra Beast gets one day closer.
My goals of reaching the podium at my home state Warrior Dash and finishing top 10% at the Utah Beast have been dashed…no pun intended. As I write this, I’m very concerned of whether I will even be able to run them at all. Registration fees, airfare, and hotel deposits are additional dagger thrusts into my wounded psyche. I know I’m not the only athlete forced to sit on the sidelines – watching, waiting, and wishing. I’m sure that those of you in my situation or worse can relate. My mind is consumed with what I should do every second and every minute to speed the recovery. I have to force myself to enjoy the other fabulous things going on in my life right now. I do not like that, because it has typically has been very easy for me to see the blessings in my life. I know that things could be much, much worse. That’s why I don’t want to complain too much. However, I am a guy afterall. Supposedly we whine and complain alot when we’re hurt, so I’m just living up to the stereotype.
I think God is trying to do something with these injuries. What exactly, I do not know. Maybe it is to get me to disengage from myself to help others. If that’s the case, the process is slow going, which is not a good sign for me. My coping mechanism has been a simple statement that I’ve replayed in my head over and over and over. A statement that I’ve seen and heard hundreds of times before (as have you), but now it has meaning. It’s personal now. How will I react? Stay tuned.