Moving Forward & New Beginnings

Oh glorious day: the next phase of rehab begins! Level up Warrior Girl!

I suppose it isn’t very exciting unless you know how awful an injury is along with the slow pace of rehab. The past few weeks have been 3×15 of upper body and ROM for lower body. I was jumping out of my skin. Today: body weight squats, RDL with 25# dumbbells, and dead lifts with a 44# kettle bell. Nothing compared to what I was lifting before my injury but I am overjoyed to be moving.

And the best part: Nothing hurt. My hamstrings are a bit tight, my knees and hips popped a bit. But NO PAIN!

I have often said to my coach “I wish I had started with you. I would have had correct form from the beginning and imagine how good I would be now.” Correcting bad habits suck.

With that in mind, I have even better news for this Warrior Girl: Welcome to my new beginning. Starting over is not so bad. Now that we find ourselves back at the starting line, we are slightly adjusting my foot position, altering the exact point my glutes activate, changing my start position in the dead lift and when I drive my hips. Slight changes in every lift that will make huge differences when I get back to lifting heavy.

I know I am a trial, honestly a pain in the ass, to my coach when I am healthy. Rehabbing has tested his patience to the breaking point. One more reason he’s the best.

And, just to be fair, a Warrior Girl’s spirit and drive may be challenging to work with but it makes her pretty damn special too!

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Whatever, Who Cares? and Missing Workouts

After yesterday’s review I came home and enjoyed slugdom, something a fellow blogger encouraged me to do several days ago. Orange is the New Black is as good as everyone is reporting but it took up all of my study time yesterday. I sat on the couch, had a marathon viewing that lasted until 2AM, and got up at 4AM to go to work. I kind of thought I would cancel today but I don’t cancel. My energy was also well enhanced by a mixture of caffeine and running into one of my favorite people, one I hadn’t seen in many months and one who taught me to say “whatever, who cares?” with Warrior Girl attitude when lifting (and life) doesn’t go as planned. I had forgotten that for a while. It’s good to remember.

Time with coach yesterday was spent reviewing my practice exam. My weak area was exactly what he thought it would be. His ability to know everything about me before it even happens (in regards to lifting, testing, life in general) can be a bit annoying at times. It is also very useful: when he says I will succeed his ability to know me so well makes me believe him. When I ask “Will I be ready to take the test soon?” and he replies “you could take it today and pass. However soon you take it depends on how high you want your score to be”, it settles my mind that tonight I will schedule my test. I will pass and if my score isn’t as high as I would like: Whatever, who cares?

More 3×15 for chest today. In my struggle to not push the hip I occasionally turn my focus onto his injury. I make sure my coach is following his rehab, setting a good example. He is limping around a bit today (Rugby practice) but has refrained from lifting. If he can, I can. We are all about beating each other and turning “be patient during rehab” into a competition is slightly, just ever-so-slightly, helpful.

We missed our reunion head-to-head. We missed my 1/2 birthday head-to-head. We missed our anniversary head-to-head. We missed all of these because we are both injured. Looming up ahead is his birthday head-to-head and my “I passed my test” head-to-head. I think we’ll have a plank-off. Maybe a 21-15-9 of different ROM movements.

I’d rather do box jumps and deadlifts or a Fran-off. Such is life, this too shall pass. Whatever, who cares?

I finished Season 1 of Orange is the New Black. Time to end this slugdom and hit the books.

Apples & Exam Prep

I didn’t think I would do anything after work today. But when after work arrived, I was feeling a solid ok with the hip and doing nothing is not who I am. I went in and did my ROM work. The hip now feels exhausted but great. My fears are relieved: I did not re-injure it this week. This leaves me with no exciting workout, no horror stories, no PRs to report – unless you count the assisted squat that made it to bottom with tuck and glute activation, a major accomplishment for this injured hip. My blog today will be the tale of taboo apples and I will report on my first of two practice exams.

My first trainers needed to put weight on this once itty-bitty thing. That being their main concern, as long as I was eating relatively clean, they didn’t bother too much with nutrient breakdown, timing of meals, education. I love apples, especially the crispy ones with a tart bite to them. Throw some peanut butter on (reserved for special treats) and I am in heaven. Every night I had an apple. Plain apples, apples dipped in Greek yogurt, apples whole, apples sliced, apples in my salad. Along comes Coach. The first thing he “fixes”: APPLES. Just say no. I can have fruit, even apples, up until 3pm but they are too sugary, too many carbs, too late in the day, and from the ominous warning I received, I could turn into a werewolf or vampire or Frankenstein or a marshmallow. My opportunities to eat between 4 am and 4 pm are limited, I have to make those meal times as nutrient dense as possible. I don’t have room for apples. Therefore: NO APPLES!

A few weeks after I started with him, I needed a treat. I had an apple – with peanut butter – well past the witching hour of 3 pm. I entered the info into my food journal, something he rarely checks because I always eat the same, clean foods. Two minutes after I log it my phone lights up with e-mails from my coach. “Really, Warrior Girl, an apple this late?” and “Not really the best time for sugary carbs”. I am sure I sent 10 kinds of attitude back to him. I am sure one included something to the effect of “suck it”.

I understand the problem with late night apples. But I get comfort food too. And really? An apple is the worst thing I could do? I hear Twinkies are back on the market. If the thought didn’t make me gag I would dive right into a box just to see what his reaction would be. Most likely he wouldn’t believe it and he’d laugh but just maybe I would get a “Really? A Twinkie? An apple would have been better”. And I would pretend that is permission to put apples back on the menu.

My coach and I are like children sometimes. One of the women in our little group has, on more than one occasion, called over in the middle of our squabbles “I just left my kids bickering to come here and listen to you two go at it? Just shut up, both of you”. Well, mom-who-isn’t-our-mom-at-all, tell him I can have an apple! But I don’t say that because mom voices are universal and Coach and I are both kind of afraid she will send us to separate corners if we sass.

As for the practice exam – I passed and with plenty of room to spare. It is a 3 hour exam which I completed in 2. It seems I have been worrying, losing entire nights of sleep, for nothing. I’ve narrowed down my weak spots and will review those feverishly. Thursday Coach and I are having a study session and, I suppose, it will then be time to get the test scheduled. *sigh* I have so many mixed feelings…In my perfect world, my hip is healed the day I test. I am able to go through my internship able to do the programs, demonstrate movements for clients. My enthusiasm is contagious and I have to turn people away in order to leave time for my workouts. In my “I could totally fail at this” world, what potential client will hire me when I need to hold onto a bar in order to squat? How will anyone have any confidence in me if I can barely move? And if my hobbling keeps people away, how will I pay back the loan I took out for this? I have to find an accountant, order business cards, come up with marketing …. but first, I need to study, sleep, review and test. Oh, yeah, that one step at a time thing.

Anxiety averted, time for an apple. It’s 2 pm somewhere…

A Learning Day

I need to find a job where I am not on my feet all day. My hip is in pain and, just to change it up a bit, it is radiating down my leg. Coach says that is a good sign. I didn’t ask why. My only option for a workout would have been chest day. Even though we are doing light weight, he wouldn’t let me run chest a day after shoulders. Back is out of the question since I can’t help but engage my hips. Hip ROM is out for obvious reasons.

He showed me some shoulder ROM work. For one exercise I have the bar resting in the clean catch position and he, facing me, comes under and pushes my elbows up and back – so much pain, about as painful as my hip, and I can see the sick joy he gets from inflicting it. My shoulders feel amazing tonight despite the dark bruising that has started.

Then we worked a case study. I put a middle-aged, obese, sedentary woman through her first metabolic cycle. Even though she only exists on paper, she hates me. She hates her workouts, hates her nutrition plan. I can feel her praying for my slow painful death.

What’s going to happen when I get a live one? What will she pray for when I assign her burpees?

Confessions and Shoulders

Who said confession is good for the soul? Confession is actually good if you are in the mood for a lecture. I can’t lie to my coach. I can’t withhold information. I e-mailed him about my run. When I sat down at his desk today he explained how that is the worst possible thing I could have done. “Do you know how jarring that is on the hip?” Well, yes, I do. I was there after all, feeling it with every step. I heard about the mechanics of running, how much impact was being put into a major muscle that was just beginning to heal, the possible trauma I subjected my hip to; I could have ended the run with a worse injury than the heavy squat originally caused. I was dancing with danger, playing with fire, living on the edge. It sounds so exciting. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t aware this was such a thrilling moment at the time. I stopped the flow of information by saying “did you see about the taboo apple I ate?”

By the way: I did hurt my hip…at work. I was feeling great today, like a brand new body had been sent me. I was sitting on the floor, planted my right foot to stand up, and when I started up pain shot through the hip. If running is dangerous, employment is killer.

Randomly throughout my workout he would mutter “box jumps would have been better” or “of all the things to do, she runs” or “this could have done serious damage” or “running!”. Eventually I asked “does this mean I can box jump?” I saw a shiny button and I had to push it.

Shoulder day, no hip engagement, high rep/low weight. The strength loss is scaring the crap out of me. We had to drop weight from last week. But I am in, doing my work, wrapping my hands around a bar. I got to do upright rows with the emphasis on range of motion in my shoulders for cleans and snatches. It felt great to have a mission, a goal, work to do towards accomplishing dreams.

A Minor Major Victory

I have multiple positive reports today!

After yesterday’s run my hip only has a mild hurt. Icing has helped. A little tip: freeze water in a styrofoam cup. The frozen form can double as a pressure tool as well. It’s pretty amazing according to my hips, glutes and upper hamstrings.

Today was the first day I completed all sets, all reps of my range of motion work and it was totally pain-free. My hips are tired. Well, fall off the body exhausted but I completed every last little hip-up, leg lift, glute activation, modified warrior pose, etc that was on my list! I know there’s no weight involve but I’m saying it anyway:

Level up Warrior Girl!

I am behind on studying but able to concentrate again. I am done wallowing and back to worrying about passing the test, failing at my new adventure; back to the excitement of possible success and living my passion.

I am back to becoming!

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Breaking the Rule

I broke my coach’s golden rule. It is a firm rule in the best of health, a near impossible one to break when I am down a hip. But I have two coping mechanisms to navigate this murky world: 1) I don’t eat; 2) I run. His suggestion is I eat. His golden rule is no running. Ever. Just so we are clear: sprinting is not considered running. Sprinting is revered.

All was well through step 1 of rehab. After the initial shock of being hurt, I realized this was a chance to rebuild and work out some technical issues along the way. I guess I was still positive. I would have maintained that too, I believe, but then life happened. It happens at the worst possible times doesn’t it? Being injured, staying positive, making progress; this was where all my energy was focussed. I was looking left and life hit me from the right.

For the last 5 or 6 days, when life was tearing me apart, I did my best to navigate within the rules. Normally I would use this life-hurts moment to set PRs, establish record times but I am out of commission. If I don’t find a way to work this out, I will get stuck, or so much worse – lost, in the murkiness. I have been both before and I won’t be that person again.

So I broke the golden rule: I went running. It was slow. My hip hurt. I kept going. And tonight I ice. I know I should regret this. I know I may have set back my recovery. I also know, for now, my heart has peace, life has a bit of clarity.

I can tell you with complete certainty: I am not telling my coach. I am going to have a hard enough time justifying the apple I ate to make calories today…but that’s a story for another blog.