They say bad things happen in threes, so I should count myself lucky to have run through the whole set in the space of four days. On Sunday, at soccer, I stepped on the ball and went careening forward onto my left knee, bruising my quadriceps where it attaches. Cue the swelling and bruising. I knew right away I was hurt, but I tried to keep playing, because I am like that. That led to the hamstring pull on the right side, and when I felt that tell-tale twang I knew the jig was up. I hobbled off the field wondering why I’d even showed up. It was 13F out, and I could have been in the basement on the trainer.
Now, I know from experience that the hardest part of dealing with injuries is psychological. It was (and usually is) rash impatience that produced the hurt to begin with, and so shifting gears to serene patience, steady-as-you-go-mate, is really difficult, if not constitutionally impossible.
Then I got the flu. It bears saying that I didn’t get the annual flu shot, when I had the chance, because I was in a rush to get back to work, so the pattern holds, even if there are no guarantees the aforementioned shot would have prevented my illness.
What started, I thought, as a cold, quickly degenerated into body aches, chills, and crippling fatigue. On Tuesday, I retreated from work, shivering and miserable, hit the couch still wearing my down coat and stayed there for five hours without moving. My knee throbbed. My brain capered at the possibility of death’s imminent embrace.
My wife says I’m too dramatic.
But I’m also a realist. Bad things don’t just happen in threes. Sometimes they come in fours, or nines. My problem is that I don’t want to be well. I want to be well AND fit again, a larger battle I began failing three weeks or a month ago, with the arrival of the polar vortex and the bomb cyclone here in New England. As an aside, goddamn I love me some carbs. SO…the project isn’t just to get myself upright and functional, but also to be fit and feel good, which is as daunting as cleaning the Augean Stables with a tooth brush.
This week’s Group Ride asks for some advice. It’s winter in New England. I’ve had some setbacks. How would YOU put yourself right? And what do you think a reasonable timeline for the comeback is?
Image: Thomas Rowlandson, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts