Monday, September 24, 2007

AN INTERESTING PIECE OF INFORMATION--NOW I DON'T FEEL SO BADLY.



At my yearly physical yesterday, I was asked a lot of the usual questions about recent health issues, etc. as well as how I was doing after my accident just barely a year ago. I hadn't seen this doctor then, and actually hadn't seen her in a few years, what with one thing or another going on in my life or hers and her not being around. Anyhow, I sort of bemoaned the fact that yes, I was exercising, regularly in fact, and even doing triathlons again, but I just felt like I wasn't making much progress, no matter how hard I tried. And if you've been following along, you know I "whine" about this often. Not that I'm intentionally whining, putting myself down, or looking for attention. I'm just am constantly puzzled by the fact that I work hard at trying to do the best I can, but don't feel I am seeing the results I want. (I have to ask myself: is this the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result??) She said I was too hard on myself. Maybe I am. But its hard to go from one level to the total opposite, working your butt off, and still feel like you are dragging through sand.



That's when she gave me an interesting piece of information. She said that a 25 year old male, in top condition, who was sidelined by an injury, causing him to spend ONE DAY with a catheter, on his back in bed, would take 6 weeks to recover. Six weeks due to loss of fitness and muscle mass! Doing the math, I calculated first I could double the age factor, then I was hospitalized 3 days with a catheter, a chest tube (they had expected 7 days), and 2 full weeks at home, barely mobile, and then spent the next 8-10 weeks recovering, but mostly immobilized. I can't count going to work and maybe going for a 20-30 minute walk every day, and then spending the next I don't know how many months not wanting to do ANYTHING once my work day was over. That roughly calculates to about 45-50 weeks of recovery, and given I figure I was in somewhat good shape a year ago, I will scale it back to 30 weeks. That's 7.5 months. Then add in a couple of months for bad weather and my dad dying earlier this year, and that puts me at 9.5 months. That's the middle of June. Then factor in the sprained ankle in mid July and another 4 weeks downtime, and that puts me at the middle of August. So I guess I'm not doing so badly after all. (Not sure I'm doing this math right; I may be giving myself the benefit of the doubt here!)

I go back and forth on this whole "slow" issue, and Geekgirl pretty much spelled out exactly how I am feeling right now. But I have to add another factor here: I am glad I am still able to do anything, let alone be slow. I saw a belated birthday card that had a turtle on it, and it said: I may be slow, but I was there in thought. In my case, I was there in body too. I said it before-- whenever I do a race, I make 3 choices: one: sign up; two: show up; three: finish. I really don't think there's anything more I can do!

That said, I guess I will ease up on my expectations of myself and just work on getting through this year before I try to take on more next year. While my goals for this year have not all been met--and I can't say I'm totally disappointed there, I figure with what I've done it will make me stronger for next year.

And I really appreciate all the encouragement from everyone. It helps keep me going when the going gets tough.

8 comments:

See Zanne Run said...

i love getting perfectly valid explanations for the things i think are not going the way i think they should be. in your head, you know its' ok, or there's a reason - but it helps to hear it from someone else. to give it some validity. it gives me permission to cut myself some slack. i think we are all too hard on ourselves. are we ever really satisfied with our performance? don't we all want to go faster, do better? i think its' just human nature. otherwise, we'd all just quit this insanity. the thing is - given your history this past year -you have accomplished enormous things & you should be really proud. you could have hung it up or stopped trying. others may have done just that. you are such an inspiration to me ... and you will go into next year stronger, refreshed & ready to do it all over again! keep on tri-ing vickie!

bunnygirl said...

I think the important thing is to set high standards, but don't set rigid deadlines. Just staying on the right road, taking however many steps you can each day, is a huge accomplishment and so much more than most people do.

Keep on keeping on! :-)

jahowie said...

I'm glad that your doctor was able to get through to you. You went through a lot, and it will take your body time to recover. You are doing very well. Most people(me included) cannot even think of being able to finish a triathlon. You should be very proud of how you have bounced back.

Fe-lady said...

You just won an award...Can I tell you to "shut the hell up?"- in a nice way, of course! :-)

WADDLER26.2 said...

You are doing great so don't be hard on yourself. Keep it up and I do hope to see you in Michigan several times next year.

Phoenix said...

See!?!? I think you're doing awesome! Keep in mind that most people never even try - even before they experience a major setback as you did - let alone get up, dust themselves off and go back at it. You've got resolve that 99.9% of the people out there only dream of. Be proud of that!

SWTrigal said...

I personally think that those of us that are slow have some advantages. We can watch the scenery, have chats with people, etc..
I always remind myself that 99.999% of all women "our age" cannot even DO triathlons so we are already winners...
(But I can imagine being discouraged myself too and all the trauma you have had makes it hard to think clearly how amazing you are!)

jeanne said...

great analysis. yes, give yourself a YEAR. a full year. and yes, be grateful you can move. I have to tell myself these things ALL THE TIME. I'm going to print this post !