Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Passion, Not Addiction...NOT ADDICTION

I went back to the doctor yesterday...my knee is getting better, but isn't 100% yet.  I think we did finally find the underlying cause of the whole thing (or at least the thing that is taking the longest to heal up).  Naturally, as with everything about me, it's not a "normal" thing to be injured.  Without going into much detail I'll just say it's the gracilis muscle.   There were other things wrong by the time I finally went to the doctor, and I have no idea which issue came first but this muscle is the last remaining problem area that stands in the way between me and my workouts.

I have to give a shout out to my amazing doctor...Dr Walter Olsen of P3 Chiropractic and Sports Care.  I'll be honest, I never expected to be seeing a chiropractor for any kind of ailment.  However, he has been able to pinpoint the problems with precision (and that's not even what P3 stands for!).  I'll stop gushing before I start or I'll have to change the name of this post!!  Let me just say, I'm a complete believer in Dr Olsen not in chiropractic care in general.  It's like anything else, there are good ones and there are not-so-good ones out there.  He's a great one.

So...yesterday...when I went in.  I was a little down because after riding a whopping eight miles on Saturday and doing a tiny bit of Spinning on Sunday, my knee wasn't feeling as good as I had hoped it would.  I told Dr O how it was feeling and what I was experiencing; he felt around and found the culprit (it was easy to tell from my YOWL of discomfort).  He worked on it a bit (ART, E-Stim and ice massage) and then I had to ask him "the question"....what exercise can I do??

Dr O, being so in touch with an athlete's driven nature, and being the "get them back out there as quickly as possible" kind of doc he is, asked me what my goals are, what races am I looking at and what I am hoping to get out of the rest of this season.  Well...I have a sprint tri in just under two weeks.  But my goal race for this year is Atomic Man at the end of September (since the NOLA swim was cancelled, this will be my first half iron).  I told him I want to be injury free.  Ideally I'll be strong for Atomic Man, but my first goal is to get over this injury so it doesn't continue to hang around.  So, with that in mind he told me it would be best for me to continue not working out for the rest of this week.


As I walked out of his office I realized something very important.  I am not addicted to working out (anymore)!  There was a time when I was told to stop running for a couple of weeks and you'd have thought the doctor told me to cut my arm off.  I didn't do it.  That decision led to a five week hiatus instead.  It was that period of time of no running which led me to swimming and ultimately to triathlon because I couldn't NOT workout.  Right now I can't do anything really that involves my legs because this muscle controls the femur in a bent and straight position.  I could find things to do with my upper body if I needed a "fix" but I don't feel that same frantic desperation I did the last time I was told I couldn't do what I had come to love so much.

It dawned on me at that moment I'm okay even if I'm not working out.  I think there was a time, not too long ago, when (if I were being completely honest) I would have said exercise had become an idol in my life.  I didn't feel like I could/would give it up for anything at all.  This experience has made it clear that is not the case.

I think another huge factor at play is the fact I have NO DOUBTS about some of my abilities at this point.  Knowing I have a sprint tri coming up in just under two weeks, Dr O asked me if I felt like I could go do those distances without any training leading up to it.  I had to say yes.  I probably won't do as well as I would if this had not happened...but maybe, with all the rest, I'll do even better!  (I'm NOT bragging here...it's just where I think I'm at right now.  Swimming 400-500m, biking 18 miles and running a 5K all in one event will not be an issue.  (I can remember the time when doing ONE of those things at a time was a HUGE mountain to climb.)

I also have NO DOUBTS I will not be stopping forever.  There was a time when I would have been afraid that taking a complete break from working out would mean I wouldn't start back again.  But I know that will not happen now.  I know I will workout as soon as I can get out there safely.

I haven't had any kind of exercise in three full weeks, and I'm okay.   Well...I did bike 8 miles...and there was about 100' in there where I peddled fast, but most of it was under  about maybe 12 miles per hour...I didn't sweat/it wasn't a workout....well...I did sweat a little in my Sunday Spin class...but not a lot...

I am NOT addicted.  I could quit if I wanted to.  I just don't want to.  I have to for a time, and I've been able to do that.  Right? 

...are these rationalizations of an addict?

Hi.  My name is Dana.  I am addicted to working out. I haven't had a fix in three weeks...okay, I haven't had a fix in 36 hours since I'm sure legalists would say my little 8 miler and my few minutes of sweat Sunday have to count.  But...it's like an addiction to food, working out is healthy.  It's good for you.  It's beneficial.  And...it shouldn't control one's life.  I think I'm finding that sweet spot of balance.

(Not sure if my sweet husband would agree...)

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

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