Last week for the first time in years, I got hurt. I was on my normal recovery-day jogging loop when I felt a sharp pang shoot up my right calf. I stretched it out on a step and tried to continue on. It only got tighter and more painful. This was more than just a cramp-- I was injured.
All my memories of being injured as an athlete came flooding back. Watching months of training slip away because I pushed a bit too hard during a rep; waking-up desperately hoping to be pain-free and healed; and gingerly taking the first few running steps. I’ve been here before, and I don’t like it.
Just as I thought that my week was turning around, a second wave hit. This time in the form of a stomach flu. I started feeling queezy when I left the office on Wednesday, and by the time we had reached Millbrae Station fifteen minutes away I had thrown up twice and fainted. When it rains, it pours.
But this isn’t a post about the not-so-glam week that was. It’s a lesson about rest and self-care. Before I got injured and sick, I’d been hard-charging for weeks. I couldn’t remember a night where I hadn’t woken up 2 or 3 times, or a week when I had done less than 4 workouts. Getting injured and hurt was my body’s way of telling me: ‘Enough is enough. You are not invincible. You need rest’.
And that is exactly what I was forced to-do; REST. The latter half of last week was spent horizontal, downing ice-blocks (popsicles) and flat ginger beer, and munching on dry crackers. Feet-up, uggs on, Netflix on-tap. I had imagined myself drinking from a different type of tap over the weekend, but this is what my body needed and quite frankly, the only thing I could manage.
Am I back to 100%? Not quite. I have some soreness in my right calf, and my appetite is still coming back however I feel much, much better after some time-off. In my head, I still have my hyper-resilient 21 year old body, but the truth is I need a bit more time and patience at 31. This is a hard lesson to learn, but a valuable one.