Sometimes you just have to hit rock bottom before you get better.
This weekend I realized that the whooshing, odd machine-like noises in my left ear are just not getting better. And it’s starting to hurt. The liquid squishing around in there probably isn’t just excess pool water. Tomorrow I’m off to the doctor to see if I have another ear infection; last winter I was out of the pool for almost a month with one in the same ear.
I’m starting to feel like the Black Knight in Monty Python; you know, the one that keeps on fighting as all of his limbs are hacked off until he is only a head. This may be just a little bit melodramatic, but today I started trying to imagine where I’ll be if I can’t swim at this point.
It will be challenging, but really, many people and athletes have faced much worse. My spine is intact, my head is mostly okay if I steer clear of too many Margaritas, and I can walk.
Walking is actually going better! The Iontophoresis patch treatment I spoke of in my last blog is really starting to kick in. Most of the time I am virtually painless and I get sudden urges to try running. Today I did a 2 mile dog walk and cut 2 mins off my pace, which means I’m moving towards a brisk walk pace instead of ambling. I just ran out of physical therapy visits, so I am crossing my fingers that my doctor will recommend a few more weeks of those to get me really on track. My new goal is to push my dog walks to 5k several times a week and to walk every day. I’m not always so kind to my dog.
Today I went and joined my old gym. Although just getting an outdoor swim pass seemed like a real money-saver at the beginning of the summer when I thought I’d be running and cycling outside, now it’s just not proving to be enough. At the gym today I did my weights, and felt inspired to do more abs seeing all the young 20-somethings sweating out. An added plus was being able to watch the Olympic semi-final swim heats as I worked out.
Against all odds, I’m going to keep trying. My therapist was very positive this week that if I keep stretching, icing, strengthening and really ease back into things (which he spells out to me as doing only 10 mins of cycling at first), I will come out on top of all of this. He knows my goals and believes in me, which really helps.
On a slightly different front, I also tried something new today; a Scrabble club that a friend encouraged me to attend. I am always looking for ways to meet new people and get away from my computer. The guy who runs it is kind of a caricature; a very friendly, bright small man with humongous glasses. He asked if I was a beginner, intermediate or advanced and I didn’t know what to say. In most things I am terrible at evaluating myself, but I told him that I did okay online yet had plenty of friends that can beat me. He stuck me with a nice woman who only liked playing one-on-one and was “very, very good.” This was all a little intimidating for a first adventure in a brainy club. She turned out to be serious about it, but also willing to bend the rules a little (she had a cheat-sheet of all the two-letter words out). We both won a game AND she bought me some yummy gelato. I even was able to place this funny word that came up on my rack:
It’s been a day of rethinking, reflecting, and a little pushing of my own boundaries. It’s always worth it in the end! I only got into triathlons when my ankle started to fail and I couldn’t run as much. Just think where I’d be if I’d quit trying to challenge myself then! It’s time to reinvent the wheel one more time, but I know I can do it.