The Other Side of Injury, or How To Be Happy
This was a rough winter. I’m jumping the gun a little bit on spring, but I’m ready for it to be over. Winter did not go as planned (when does it ever? Lesson to learn: don't plan or have expectations, but that's another post), and I spent nearly all of it on the couch recovering from a broken fibula and subsequent surgery. Now that I’m through it (hopefully), I can see how much mental energy I expended to try to stay positive. I know many people experience far worse and I knew things would ultimately be ok in comparison. I tried not to complain and instead tried convincing myself that stopping everything for eight weeks wouldn’t affect me too much. Physical therapy has been wildly boring, but I was cleared to bike and ski on my backcountry gear, so Saturday I ventured away from the spin bike and hopped on my cross bike for a ride on a nice sunny day: HOLY MOLY, I came back my happier, more positive self. Today I skied with Sam, Isabella, and the dogs. In the past two hours since being back and working I've said "I can't believe how much happier I feel" no less than six times. Sure, it feels good to exercise again, but more than anything, it feels good to be mentally with it again.
I love pros and cons lists, so the following sums up my musings over the past couple of months. Did I miss anything?
Things I missed while injured (cons):
- sing my lungs and muscles
- The creativity that comes from being outside. I don’t know if it’s the fresh air or moving my body, but something about it spurs ideas and creativity more than anything else I do.
- Dates with Sam-my favorite dates are dropping Fiona off at school and either skiing or running
- Fresh air!
- Seeing the dogs in their element. If you don’t love winter, go outside with two huskies in the snow.
The silver linings (pros):
- I have a renewed appreciation for walking.
- My triceps are stronger-thanks, crutches!
- Being outside actually IS the best!
- Progress will be quick, at least for base fitness and strength
- I’ve never been so happy to do such mundane training, even more than post-baby.
- Other things are fun too. I have some non-running objectives for the year now, too, which I probably wouldn’t have been inspired to do if I could run and ski
- I was lucky to be able to spend so much time with our cute, very happy new baby
- I have much more empathy now for what it’s like to be injured.
- I know a lot of people who have also broken their fibulas and do everything they used to do now.
- Broken fibulas even happen to people like Kilian.
So, how to be happy? Break something, take eight weeks off and be totally dependent on your family and friends, and then have your first activity back doing what you love to do (or even your second or third choice activity). Or, skip the first part and be amazed that our bodies can do everything from the most simple things like standing, to really fun, complicated things like skiing, climbing, and running mountains. Or, hang out with a happy baby.