And then something didn’t feel right

I can hear the constant humming and beeping of machines, the whir of people, the sound of rubber wheels slowly screeching around corners and escalated voices of people talking to the deaf, half-dead, or barely breathing. I can see shiny and pointy instruments and a buzz of happenings moving all around me. I stare off into the distance and pretend I am not here, but it doesn’t seem to work. I can feel my heart rate quickly elevate, and a twinge of anxiety slowly creeps up from my stomach to my throat. I hate it here, but so does everyone else. I close my eyes and listen to the voices, trying to remind myself that the reason I’m here isn’t so bad, that most likely the news my doctor just delivered might be the best news he delivers all day. But it doesn’t stop a warm tear from escaping down my cheek. A range of emotions flip flop inside my mind, going from sad to angry, bitter to mad, disappointed, then overwhelmed. I’ve been here before and it doesn’t feel any different the second time, no matter how you spin it. I’ve just been delivered the news that my MCL is torn and could most likely be a season ending injury. The last time someone told me I’m done for the season I had swelling on the brain, and could barely comprehend what was up or down; this time I have swelling on the knee, and my mind is as clear as day to run the gamut of emotions. The diagnosis was a crushing blow, yet at the same time, I was healthy, alive and mostly in one piece  – for that I had to be grateful, but perspective can be hard sometimes.
Just a few days earlier I was playing in one of my first ice hockey tournaments when I caught an edge and went down awkwardly into the boards. A sharp pain radiated in my knee and in that instant I knew something wasn’t right. As I hobbled to the bench, I could hear the “I told you so” voices started to chime in. What the hell was I doing playing hockey while training for Ironman? But that’s my life, never sitting still and running from one thing to the next  – spinning to hockey, hockey to soccer, running to work, work to running, swimming to laundry, laundry to friends, friends to sleeping, eating, working, and back again. I am happiest when I’m moving and sitting on the sidelines has never been my thing. But in this moment, with my leg strapped into a bionic looking brace, I felt like maybe I should have slowed down, just a bit, maybe just for a second.
When you eat, breathe and live something with a passion that burns hotter than fire, it’s hard to imagine how things would be if that was ever taken away, even for just a day. I’ve already started to tally how many workout days I’ve missed – in between rest days, it’s only one so far. Training for Ironman has become a tremendously important, life changing part of who I am. The thought of not being able to train, cuts like a knife and without it, I am lost. But it’s also more of a reason to start thinking about how I’m going to get through this, and how I’m going to hobble my way back. The diagnosis from the emerg doctor sounded season ending at the time, but after a good conversation with my coach, some wise words from good friends and a second opinion, I might not be doomed, just yet. The trouble with this injury is that without an MRI, it’s hard to make an exact diagnosis, and difficult to say for certain how long it will take to heal and get back to normal. I can almost hear the clock tick tocking away. Every day, every week away from training will be detrimental and emotionally challenging.
The road to Ironman has had a few bumps for me already and this is just another one. After being sidelined with Meningitis last year and missing my race I felt like it was the fuel I needed to come back even more relentless than before. And I’m looking at this the same way – a true competitor always fights to find a way to do what everyone else thinks they can’t. I don’t know what the future has in store for me, I can’t say for certain that this journey is over, but what I can say is that I’m willing to fight, and I’m not ready to quit – that’s never been an option. I’m just in for a longer, tougher road that will require my big girl panties and learning to be patient and accepting of whatever happens from here on out.


2 thoughts on “And then something didn’t feel right

  1. Ah crap!! I’m sorry to hear about the knee injury – I know how that feels and its really, really crummy. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery, please keep us posted!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s