Wednesday, August 11, 2010

They called me Popeye.

Definition: By Mayo Clinic staff
Chronic exertional compartment syndrome is an uncommon, exercise-induced neuromuscular condition that causes pain, swelling and sometimes even disability in affected muscles of your legs or arms.

Really? Who knew? Could this happen to me? YEP.

I’ll tell you a little story. Well, the “little” part won’t appy to size of my arms, they were HUGE. . . I did Angie on Wednesday morning. Thursday I was sore. Normally sore. I did heavy cleans that day. Thursday afternoon I was very sore. Abnormally sore. My biceps were slightly swollen. Mobility was tight. I said to Brady, “My arms have never been this sore, ever. Ever!” Friday morning I was in a lot of pain and my elbow started to swell. Friday the pain and swelling was worse. My arms were bent at about a 35 degree angle and wouldn’t budge. Saturday, worse. Sunday, worse. My arms were close to double their normal size. Minimal range of motion. I was scared. Monday, slight improvement upper arms, forearms getting bigger. Tuesday, swelling moving downward. Wednesday, huge forearms and wrists. Thursday, turning a corner. And so there it goes until finally looking “normal” the following Monday. Quite a process. My life for 12 days. . . pain, swelling, ice, elevation. And I was called "Popyeye" on several occasions. Luckily, I kept my sense of humor, most of the time. And let the record state, that I harbor no ill will toward Angie. It wasn’t her fault. It’s just life. Things happen.

Injury. It sucks. It hurts. It can be scary. It can feel like complete body betrayal. No one wants their training to halt because of unexpected injury. But isn’t injury always “unexpected?” It falls along the lines of “accident.” We don’t plan for it, we don’t think it will happen, but sometimes the body says “no more.” In my case last week, my body said at the top of its lungs, “HELL NO. NO MORE. NO MORE AT ALL!”

So what now? When injury occurs, your first thought is “why now?” I don’t have time for this now. And what you really mean is that you never have time for an injury. But try to focus on what you can do while you’re healing instead of all of the things you can’t. Easier said than done. I was literally envious today when the wod included “ground to overhead anyway.” I was the one holding the PVC pipe. Sad times.

We can be left feeling like we’re taking one step forward and three huge steps backwards when we suffer an injury. How long until we get back to where we were? How far behind will we be? Where could we could have been if it hadn’t happened? It can be disheartening to say the least.

Fitness isn’t always a steady course. It’s kind of like traveling on rolling hills. At times it’s a long steep up-hill battle, with rewards at the top. And sometimes you cruise along like nothing can stop you. Then sometimes you crash at the bottom. . .

It’s at that moment when you have to get up, brush the dirt off and do what it takes to begin the long climb all over again.

It’s worth the effort. I do believe that.