It’s only been 3 weeks since I went home from work with such horrible pain running through my shoulder and down my arm. Pain that kept me awake most nights for a week, only sleeping in random hour spurts. Pretty much propped straight up in bed or laying flat; alternating between ice packs and heat, loaded up on “ranger candy” and figuring out if I was going to be good enough to fly to Texas for a training course paid for by work.
It’s only been three weeks… but it feels like three months. I’m now going into week four, or is it month four?
Weird how disconnected I feel from the gym now.
This is not the first injury I’ve had, in fact it’s just another to the long list of a very active life… and I’m ok with that. I just miss lifting. The worst part, at least right now, isn’t thinking about the loss of strength, it’s the mental clarity and the sleep. Strength can be earned back. The toughest part is the mental game you play with yourself… Hell lets just call it what it is. I’m grumpy and irritable as FUCK!
For me, lifting allows me to scrub my brain of my day at work. It affords me my ‘de-frag’ time before going home, before dealing with the public as Jessie. It also me to wear my over active self down and be able to sleep normal hours, more than four or five a night.
Earlier this week, Thursday I finally hit a point were I was pretty much pain free the whole day, Friday was the same. But I promised my doctor at least one more week out of the gym; another week to allow my body to heal and evaluate how the healing process is going.
Like I said, I’m no stranger to injury. I learned my lesson when I was young about “just pushing through,” or rushing back too soon. When I say young, I mean twenty years old and in Army Airborne School. I hard rolled an ankle in the middle of training and did everything I could to hide the injury until the last jump (successful exit from an aircraft). Walking off the drop zone, I remember the sergeant airborne (what we called the instructors) yelling at me, “Roster 1-5, RUNNN!!” I remember yelling back, I couldn’t, my ankle hurt. But I had successfully completed the course and earned my Airborne Wings… a choice that I would pay for steadily the following six years and randomly the following ten plus.
So I know this is the dangerous point. The pain kept me in check, kept me from going to the gym and training. Now that the pain is not there, I have to remind myself the injury is still healing. Just because the pain is gone, doesn’t mean it’s over. It only means the nerve is no longer screaming at you it needs help.
Earlier this week, I bit my tongue and signed up at the YMCA so I could swim laps. I say bit my tongue because the lady wanted to show me their weight area and I just smiled. She was very sweet older lady, I say older as in early 50s. She sized me up and said, “But you look like you know your way around a dumbbell or two.”
I had to laugh. “Yes ma’am you could say that.”
“You lift regularly don’t you?”
“Yes ma’am, a bit.”
Yesterday was my first day back in the pool in almost twenty years. For anyone who saw my snap chat yesterday, I’m sure you got a good chuckle. I know my buddy Jesse did, because I got an almost immediate response about how he totally understood and had gone through something similar when he got back in the water. Basically, I felt like a spastic toddler; my brain trying to force my body to do something that in memory was so easy. The first handful of laps were, awkward at best but afterwards it started to smooth out. Now when I say “back in the pool,” once upon a time in my younger and skinnier, much skinnier days, I was a competitive swimmer in high school. Of course, that was forty to fifty pounds ago.
This morning, enjoying my animal crackers and coffee (god, I’m such an adult, lol), I feel a little bit of yesterday’s swim…and I slept a little better last night. My mood is better, I feel….content…for now.