I fought the Alps…and the Alps Won

When you live a life centered on growth and new adventures, surprises pop up like alarming jack-in-the-box HERE I AM! These surprises demand attention, and force a lesson that you don’t, can’t or want to develop.

Last weekend I traveled to Austria for my first time ski-ing trip…and the Alps and friends there were AWESOME…and the skiing a bit challenging (more on that next post).
I’ve also been training for a half marathon in Morocco on Jan. 30th, doing super well, averaging 8:15 per mile. Anway, on Saturday on the slopes, I feel about 100 times, and got up and at em with my fierce stubbornness. Then, on Sunday, ran a 5k with soreness and took the rest of the day easy at a spa with a medical massage and sauna treatment. By monday, however, setting out for another 5 k, I couldn’t even jog and was demoralized and limping in pain.
Most people assured me that I just needed rest for a pulled muscle. But it HURT. Not just discomfort, but complete annihilation. Immediately, fear sank it. SOMETHING IS WRONG.
Guess I am not a pansy afterall and was right to trust the pain. After 2 days of rest, and much pushing and charisma to treatment as a civilian in a military hospital,  a bone scan revealed that, yes, all that cereal and peanut butter and yogurt I consume have given me healthy bones…but I do have a pelvic avulsion fracture on my left trochanter,
It’s just the bone where all hip, butt, leg, muscles connect. And it moves no matter what you do. Each time I feel pain, those muscles are pulling off a piece of my bone.
“Rest” is the only cure, so no surgery for now. Three days of 50% bed rest. No exercise. I can swim jog with a boyancy belt or bike, but only for 15 minutes each…..and perhaps in 2 weeks, yoga and elliptical. But no running until mid-late February.
No marathon for me. He recommended not even GOING to Marakesh, as I would be walking and exploring too much. He commented that if I did go, I would be receiving temporary relief from being bored and challenged to “sit” but the relief may be only temporary and falsely indicating wellness. Only time is going to work here, and the more I move, the slower healing is going to happen.
I am DEEPLY discomforted, and just want to escape and distract myself. I want to avoid my discomfort and tune out. And yet, little patches of being present and encountering PROFOUND restlessness…….well….it shows that there isn’t really anything to hold onto that is permanent. And I don’t like such insecurity.
It is funny, however, because I notice LOVE around me.  I got in as a civilian for these appointments on ONE day, and ther usually take a MONTH. I met a man in Radiology who chatted with me about his band and invited me out on Friday, a women in Nuclear Medicine who told me about being single and meeting the love of her life at 55, and an older gentleman in the lab who told me I looked like his first love, a nurse he met in Japan in WWII.
My challenge…to rest. It’s like starting a diet. I start bargaining, I start attempting to mentally “run” from this sense of uncontrolled restlessness, recognizing that outer movement settles my internal chaos. Some say….what can you do in the meantime? How can you substitute the running to receive that high?
And the truth is
NOTHING
And my task isn’t about FINDING something else to DO.
It is about embracing NON DOING.
And not going crazy in the process.
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11 thoughts on “I fought the Alps…and the Alps Won

  1. Oh my goodness! I am so sorry to hear you are injured. I am super impressed you got in as a civilian in 1 day. Even Ryan as active duty on a super slow base had to wait over a week for something, and although minor, I did say it may not have been as minor as we thought and should have deserved a faster look. You got lucky, and even luckier since it seems to be a bit serious. Really sucks about not going to Morocco. You’ll have to go later one because it is really amazing. I would love to have tried skiing in the Alps, but I guess I would fall as much as you and probably hurt myself worse (think concussion).
    Get some rest and I hope you are not too bored.

  2. I am so sorry about the fracture! That sounds painful. Even more painful is having to just…be. I can relate to how impossible that is – I must be doing one, two, even three things at once! But I think that everything happens for a reason and that you must really need this break.

    I have all the faith in the world in you – you will find a way to embrace nothing. And then you will teach me how you did it.

  3. that sounds so painful! ((hugs)) i think you have the strength to get through this. and then you’ll be stronger than ever.

    and, while the alps might have won, at least you had the guts to fight them. i can barely handle the bunny slopes here!

  4. Remember that physical injuries affect you in ALL ways, not just physically. It is time to continue to nurse your soul! I know how frustrating it is to be laid up and unable to DO when you are a doer! But, you are right, it is time to learn to enjoy laziness. Watch movie marathons!! Let others help you and wait on you. Some people would love to be able to rest that much. It is a marathon of rest.

  5. You have a great attitude. I haven’t been able to run over 3 months because of an injury, and I too struggle with the restlessness (and at times even jealously *cringe* for friends who get to exercise together). It has been good to find ways to be with people that don’t involve exercise. I just wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone in going through this.

    • My word! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I have a friend who is off running the marathon this weekend and there is a runner’s mentality of loving the sensation, and freedom that we get stuck on it. You’re right, I am expanding my view of who I am and how I can reach out in order to grow.

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