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.