I haven't moved off the couch in 41 hours. Moving involves a careful dance to sit up, some focused coordination to stand up on one leg, and a battle with crutches to get me to my destination. Needless to say, my destinations must be really necessary. I stink. I really need a shower, but I'm not sure how I'm going to do that yet. I don't get hurt too often, so I can't complain that much, but not getting hurt often means the realization of how much I take for granted.
I woke up at 6am on Saturday. It was a rare gorgeous cloudless day, I was getting excited. I grabbed my new black running shorts and slid them on along with my black shirt and black knee-high socks with neon orange stripes. I packed the rest of my bag- a change of clothes, a plastic bag for my dirty clothes, flip-flops and wallet, and had the bf deluxe drop me off at Starbucks to grab breakfast and meet up with my team.
We arrived at the race track turned obstacle run with plenty of time to spare. I was hydrating and getting my pre-race jitters out of the way. I didn't really do any training for this race besides crossfit. It was a 10K, and it was muddy...at least, it was supposed to be muddy if it wasn't for the awesome day we were experiencing.
The race officials started off large groups of people in waves. We crowded behind the start, and moved to a slow jog as the wave moved forward. The first obstacle was a giant dirt hill to climb, and then a drop off the backside. The pace was good and slow, with the obstacles really slowing people down (and allowing for rest breaks). Next up was a series of wooden walls, you know, the type you always see in military boot camps? I got boosted up on the wall, threw a leg over, looked down and panicked. I had no idea how I was going to get off the wall. My team was shouting at me to "come on" but I think they saw the panic in my face. It felt like an hour, with a huge crowd of strangers just staring at me waiting to attempt the wall themselves. One of my team members came over and helped me down. I ran forward and saw 4 more of the same walls. I ran around the next set. As I was approaching the next wall, planning to go around as well, my left foot stumbled, went to the side, and I heard unnatural popping sounds as I fell to the ground.
My ankle. I briefly panicked before I stood up. In the 10 seconds it took me to stand, I thought: "Is it broken? I can't have a broken ankle, how am I going to crossfit? It's only the 2nd obstacle, I can't be out now." I stood up, hobbled over to the side as my excited team looked at me like "are you good? can we go now?" I could put weight on it. It hurt, but I jogged on. The next few obstacles were a blur, and then we found our way onto a narrow trail through the woods. The kind of run that I typically love. We came to a brief clearing with a group of people waiting to do something. As I got closer I saw...mud pit with huge PVC pipes above that we had to go under. Everyone was rolling through the puddle. I went, it was a slight shock as the cool water soaked my clothes. I rolled under all the pipes and stood up. I ran on as we entered the forest again for a cool trail run. My clothes were so uncomfortable and prevented me from running how I would like. My shirt was cotton and so heavy and kept pulling up my shorts that were light and nylon, and nearly dry already. My team was nowhere in site. I was going slow. I kept thinking as soon as I looped around back near the start, I would just bow out and rest.
There was no one around as I continued to wind around on the trail, I jogged up a small hill into a sunny portion of the trail, and then it happened again. My left ankle went to the side and met no resistance from the pre-stressed tendons and with an audible "pop" I fell to the ground again. I stood up quickly and dusted off, but I knew I was in much worse shape. I couldn't put as much weight on it. I looked down and saw it was swollen, not sure if it was from the first time or this time. About 20 feet in front of me was a girl with a wrapped up head and two medical volunteers. They finally see me hobbling and come to my aid. I was so frustrated with myself, I could barely talk. They had me sit down and tried to figure out how to get me out of there. Apparently it was an area that was inaccessible by car or ATV.
I looked up and two of my teammates had come back to look for me. They started talking with the First Aid crew, and decided to get me out of there. I started with my arms around both their shoulders hopping on one foot. That was exhausting. Then they decided to take turns piggybacking me out of there. Yeah, once again, one of those situations where I'm super conscious of my size, and cursing myself that these poor guys have to carry the burden of my years of selfish overeating. Its never the skinny chick that fucks up her ankle a mile from civilization.
I get to the place where a truck can get me, get some ice, and meet my team at the finish. I take the first ride back to Seattle, and have them drop me off at bf deluxe's work. We decide I should probably get it checked out, and he takes me up to the ER and goes back to work. There was no one in the ER, so I got through everything super quick. Some poor guy had to wash my dirty legs before x-ray. I asked if he painted toes too, but he was not amused. The Dr. returned to show me my x-ray, and no break! He briefed me on the next steps of recovery, gave me some info to take home, and I was done!
Boyfriend deluxe came back to get me, and we went home. I set up camp on the couch while he ran around and made sure everything I needed was in arms reach- water, juice, aspirin, my phone, pillows, ice pack, crutches, etc. He then went on to make this for me:
Yes, I get meals that look like that at home. That was 42 hours ago.
Not too long ago, this would have been a devastating de-railment for me. I had always thought that exercise was a necessary piece to losing weight, and something like a sprain or a break would prevent exercise from being possible, therefore halting progress. If I couldn't exercise, then I might as well eat whatever I want because "I deserve it." "I've been through a lot."
This time its slightly different. I know that I do not need to exercise to lose fat, I just need to eat right. I know that I am stronger then I ever have been, so in theory, I should recover quicker. I know that a Paleo diet is one that has had great success in injury recovery. I'm not worried. I know as long as I treat my body right by avoiding grains, sugar, and dairy, I will be fine. Instead of getting down about not being able to exercise, I'm going to focus on refining my eating. Just as I did for the nutrition challenge. I want to clean things up a bit...cut out the cheats here and there until I'm back on two feet, doing most of the things I could before.
Breaking years and years of bad habits that lead me to bad eating choices is so hard. I had a bit of a break through yesterday, no, scratch that, I'm going to call it a full on epiphany. I had been on the couch nearly all day, save for a few trips to the bathroom and one trip outside that was a little too much and I promptly napped afterwards. I was so restless. I needed SOMETHING. ANYTHING. I thought about all the foods I wanted, and knew Dave would get them for me if I asked. I wiggled around on the couch like a fish out of water as if the struggle in my brain was being played out in my actions. I was nearly to the point of tears when it hit me.
I NEEDED TO FEEL THE RESTLESS.
My drive to eat bad food, my compulsion to eat- was so that I would feel so bad about eating the food, I would forget the restlessness. It made so much sense. And then I was immediately mad at my brain for being so goddamn tricky. So I made myself feel it. I sat there restless and completely aware of the fact that if I had eaten the ice cream/brownie/whatever I would still be restless, only I would be more guilty about eating, and that would out shine the restless. Oh, I hate being tricked! I'll show you BRAIN! I will feel this restless. I will recognize it, and I will let it go.
That is exactly what I did. Eventually I got less restless, and my desire to eat things that will absolutely delay my recovery passed. Huh. So, I guess everyone knows where this is going...I'm about to start feeling a LOT more stuff.
Oh, and here's my ankles. Guess which one hurts: