If there is one thing I'm known for, it's getting in my own way. Particularly on my journey of health and fitness. I am my own worst enemy, and it is something I have to work at: to get past my own personal roadblocks. My enduring efforts to overcome my addiction to food, lack of self-motivation, struggle to balance work life and personal life, attempt to be an attentive wife/mother/daughter/sister/aunt/friend, and still find time to exercise. Not letting the projection of what I think I should look like rule over me. And not lose my grasp on reality trying to do it all. Battles within my own mind and body. Every day.
But then sometimes, the universe puts other obstacles in my way. Ones I cannot control. Two such things happened to me this summer. The first, I did have a hand in. I put myself in a situation where injury was likely, and injury did happen. The second, I had no way to know or stop it from taking me out. Both are long stories, so this will be a two part post. So here's what happened first...
On the very last day of a lovely vacation in the breathtaking Adirondacks, my family and I were on a boat in the middle of Lake Placid. On the edge of this lake is a rather large rock. I had been wanting to jump off this rock for months. A self-professed adrenaline junkie, I could not resist. The thing is, it happens to be 60 feet tall. As in, six stories high. I had to climb through spider webs and pine needles, pulling myself up an old rope that laid down a rock face, just to get to the top.
And then there was the actual jump. The opening to leap through the forest to the dark depths is no more than a few feet wide. The top of the rock curves down and outward, so you need to get a running start and jump out - far. But there are roots jutting out of the ground, and low-hanging branches, not to mention the one that sticks out right near the jump off point, threatening to stab you in the leg, possibly pulling you sideways, and most certainly to peril. My husband keeps yelling up, "Are you sure you can clear it?" "Yes!" I yell back. "I can clear it!" I was pretty sure.
|Not me jumping...will try to create a gif and post my jump.|
The entry should be no issue. The glacier that created this lake years ago made it wide and deep. A hundred feet of water lay below me, with no debris or boulders in the way. I have jumped cliffs in the past, albeit not this high, but I know the drill. I have good shoes on, I know how to enter the water so as not to hurt myself. But it is cold. So cold. It shocks the body, shortens the breath, seizes the limbs initially. So after almost chickening out (I mean, my two small children were watching; did I want them to see their Mom's last moments?), I see another boat has stopped to watch me.
Well, now. I have to jump.
So, I do. I don't remember actually jumping. That moment is completely wiped from my memory. As I descend at near-terminal velocity, I remember thinking, Why haven't I hit the water yet? And I look down. And my right toe drops. And as I enter the water, my foot gets pulled in such a way that it should not. And the pain in my knee is instant and excruciating. Thoughts of giant fish or other underwater creatures are nowhere in my thoughts. Is it broken? Will I be able to walk? I can't even kick to the surface, how will I reach the boat? I try to gather my bearings, pull myself toward the light, and as I emerge, put a smile on my face. The iciness of the water has grabbed me, and I can barely catch my breath to shout out, I'm OK! But I keep smiling. Because I cannot bear to show my children I am in pain. I reach the boat and grab my husband's hand, and he can see it in my eyes. "My knee," is all I have to say, and he knows.
After an exhausting and interminable travel day home, I get it checked out and discover I've sprained my meniscus. I'm angry and frustrated, mostly with myself. I am sidelined with an injury I cannot mess with if I want it to heal. I was very close to giving up and falling into old habits. But, with the help of a trainer and friend, I work through my injury (which still hurts). I find my motivation again. I'm training hard and making progress. And hey, it's a pretty cool story when it comes down to it.
And then, just as I seem to be coming out of the woods of this injury, the second roadblock manifests itself...which is for another day. So until then, fitness friends...