2012 – A Winding Road To Fitness: Accomplishment, Injury, Attitude

20122012 has been an interesting year. It began with a hip injury that made me realize I had to confront the fact that I was getting older, my lifestyle had become less active, and I needed to take better care of myself. Once my hip injury had improved enough that I could take action, I committed to getting back in shape.

In February I decided to start this blog to track my progress. After one entry, I abandoned the blog but stuck with my journey towards fitness. By April I had improved my strength and endurance enough to enjoy hiking and skiing while vacationing in my former stomping grounds of Colorado. In May I began running and completed my first 5k in June, right after riding 33 miles on a heavy hybrid bike.

In July and August I added swimming to my routine and continued riding my bike. Due to heat and humidity, I wasn’t running so much. But I restarted this blog. The first several posts recapped the months that had elapsed since that first post in February and focused on preparation for my second ever (and first in more than a decade) triathlon – a women’s only sprint distance.

Then the real journey began. Right after the triathlon I tore the ligaments in my ankle after falling down the steps of my front stoop while programming my iPhone. So much for running, biking and even swimming. In fact, I had to limit even walking for the first several weeks.

Once my ankle was strong enough to try running, my opposite knee began causing me a great deal of discomfort. Walking up and down stairs was painful and I was frequently woken during the night by knee pain. What was thought to be a meniscus tear turned out to be a 3.2cm cyst growing in the joint. It was pushing my knee cap out of alignment and putting pressure on the back of my knee. Two weeks ago I had surgery to remove it.

The last few months have been challenging. I’ve had to adjust my goals and expectations. My original plan was to work my way up to a 10k race on December 1st and to continue swimming and cycling. Instead, I’ve had to focus on back to back healing and physical therapy for two injuries. There have been times of frustration and discouragement. My aerobic fitness has declined. But my overall outlook is good.

I made a commitment to become an athlete again and I haven’t abandoned that commitment. Athletes get injured. Injuries take time to heal. They are temporary setbacks, not permanent situations. If taken care of properly, they offer a chance to come back stronger than ever. They are an opportunity to reexamine and adjust goals and expectations. They are a reminder that patience and perseverance are part of any journey.

2012’s journey has had its ups and downs and sometimes I’ve taken two steps forward and one step back – or even one step forward and two steps back. But in the end, I am stronger and in better shape (even with injuries) at the end of 2012 than I was at the beginning. It’s been a good year to become an athlete again.

12 responses to “2012 – A Winding Road To Fitness: Accomplishment, Injury, Attitude

  1. Even with your injuries, it’s great you’re maintaining a positive attitude and not giving up on your fitness journey. 2013 will be an exciting year!

  2. You’ve definitely had some challenges, but we all seem to have seasons of that. The more I learn about professional triathletes and runners, the more I realize that nearly all of them have had multiple injury issues but they’ve hung in to overcome. I just listened to a podcast on Competitor Radio about a pro runner who had an Achilles issue for SEVEN years. Everyone gave up but her husband and they finally solved it and she’s kicking butt. Anyway, long response, but you’ll have a great 2013!!

  3. Keep it up! I’ve had to change my plans for running more due to a foot injury so I understand the challenge of having to accept that. Here’s to an injury-free 2013!

  4. Just happened upon your website. I like your site and great personal content that you share. It seems that with your injury(knee) you have stopped your posts. What’s up with that? Injuries do happen, and are part of the journey. I am a physical therapist and deal with these things frequently. If you need a question answered shoot it may way(http://bauerphysicaltherapy.wordpress.com) or http://bauerpt.com
    I hope your Baker’s Cyst and Patellofemoral troubles are on the mend, and you have some planned posts coming this way. Take Care

  5. Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. It’s true, my posts have stopped but that’s only temporary. I’m still plugging away at physical therapy and see improvements (although some weeks are better than others) here and there. I haven’t had a lot to write about lately but now that I’m making a little more progress with physical therapy I’m hoping that will change. Stay tuned – more posts are on the way.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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