It’s interesting; being injured, I mean. You know how you forget the bad parts and downplay the ain’t it horrible parts? That’s so we usually don’t get depressed about normal life stuff and end up thinking we live on a horrible planet. Mean old reality sneaked around the back way and nailed me though.
Last season I was a winning triathlon age-grouper in the old-man category. Not easy, by the way, since the dwindling number of competitors in my age group look like ex-Navy Seals. Just a few days before my last race of the season during which I had intended to blast my way to stardom I tipped over on my bike and broke my hip…..completely off. The doctor said since I was so active he thought a complete replacement (you know, titanium, ceramic, and space-age poly-something-or-other) would work best. Went home after a day and within two weeks back at work, no limp. The busted up hero returns!
Immediately, like any type-A geek (or you, if you’re one of those) who wants to get on with their life, I started swimming and riding the bike on the trainer again, somewhat surprised that I’d lost some power and speed after only a couple weeks. Running was the biggie though…I thought I’d be able to start slowly running again and if I was careful I’d be back at it full steam.
Longer walks, punctuated by a few puny little running steps, became my big “I’m going to make it!” challenge. Then I did a few miles with tentative walk run steps one Saturday. Whoa ho! I can do it! Run into the house and use the googles to assure myself that people with total hip replacement will be running full tartan tilt in no time whatsoever.
No no no no! Crap! It says running will shorten the life of all that metal and ceramic in my hip and I should never do it again! What!!?? At work I pounded the desk and actually cried…… I thought there was a possibility that within a couple years I might actually make All American. Well, that dream is shot down like a clay pigeon.
To return to the main idea (the title of this happy dirge) I’ve found seventeen ways to triathlon running excellence without running (I hope). Run-muscle simulators, lateral side motion ellipticals, steep treadmills, pool running (it’s REALLY HARD btw). Like a deranged machine hopper I run from one machine to the next hoping I’ll be able to run again.
See, if actual running (feet on the ground) is limited to races and I’m careful about how many races maybe I can get by and still achieve my goal. We all have our workarounds and this is my ‘you can get it if you really want it’. It may be just a phantom; my machine world healing, but it’s all I’ve got and it keeps me high.
Cheers and stay cool!