Monday, July 30, 2012

Injury Time Out

My very first discipline was track and field. I started running in sixth grade and never really ever looked back. High jumping paid for my college education and enabled me to travel all over the county and some of the world. I qualified for a few national teams and was fortunate enough to make it to the U.S. Olympic Trials twice, which was pretty cool. My honey is a track coach, so even though I'm not training like I was back in the day on the track, it is still very much a part of my life.

Like most former Olympic hopefuls, I anxiously awaited the start of the games in London. Unfortunately, I was watching the opening ceremonies with my left foot elevated and wrapped in an ice pack. Seems a little "light" sparring gone awry a few weeks back followed closely by Super Summer Seminars (a weekend of karate that translated to 16 hours of training in two days) left me lame - sidelined with a slight tear in my Achilles tendon. My ortho says I should avoid training for at least a month in order for it to heal/not completely tear or become a chronic injury. If three weeks of physical therapy, icing and wearing sneakers with lifts everywhere (goodbye summer sandals, sniffle, sniffle) don't help, he's going to make me wear - gulp - a boot like that one up there. So not the fashion statement I was going for...

It's tough for a person who has always been active to HAVE TO sit down for a while. The last time I was off the mat for longer than a week was in 2007 after my reconstructive surgery. For six weeks, I wasn't allowed to walk, bike, run or even bend over very much. It was absolute hell - one I got through with lots of karate instructional videos, movies and books. This time my forced respite is only about half as long, but I have a feeling it will be a little tougher to get through, simply because a very real deadline looms in the distance: The Diamond Valley Classic tournament in late October. It is scheduled two weeks earlier this year than last and I've still got some real work to do - including a kata to tighten and polish and sparring to drill. The three months between now and then translate to two for me - and I'm most unhappy about that.

But I'm glad I listened to my body and went to see a doctor as soon as the pain and swelling started. I usually try my best to ignore that little voice in my head telling me to cool my jets and take it easy because something doesn't feel right, but this felt different, so I trusted my gut. I will be the compliant patient by icing like I'm supposed to and following the therapist's instructions. I have to - because that boot is hideous and goes with absolutely nothing in my closet.

Off to ice before bed :-)


  1. I've found that when there is a time that I just can't train (injury, whatever), that is an ideal time to step back and examine my practice. It's easy to fall into habits and the forced time on the sidelines is a great opportunity to review them.

  2. When I am laid up by injury or illness I usually spend what would have been training time either working on my blog, reading various MA books, or trying to invent ways to train that wont involve the injured part of my body (when I broke my toes I was pretty big into leg-raised pushups and one-leg squats).

    I hope you heal quickly!

  3. I hope you heal quickly. I too have started paying close attention to what my body is telling me. I accredit that to Felix an Instructor at the YMCA. I do 4 Fitness Classes a week and he's a firm believer in listening to your body. But it is hard to sit out on Training or to pull it back but it needs to be done.