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Am I or Aren’t I?

Driving to ‘work’ this morning, with the sun rising in my rear view mirror and the warm twang of country music cloaking me in my rental car, I found myself drifting in and out of a pensive state. Considering everything that could happen and, for some people, has happened in the grand scheme of life, my situation is relatively not a challenging one to deal with. It is merely…. tricky, for lack of a better word. The question I have learned that I need to ask is ‘Am I injured?’. It turns out that this question has been difficult to answer and even harder to CONVINCE myself of the answer.

I have had MRIs, bone scans, and x-rays with no significant findings. Manual examinations have come back with similar results. There are no broken bones, torn tissues or any considerable, tangible evidence supporting why I am, or more specifically my back is, unable to ski. This is also why my rehab program doesn’t seem to have a definite expiry date. I am able to do regular daily activities with a fair amount of ease, have not lost a huge amount of fitness and am starting to get back into normal activities in the gym. The only thing I care to be fit/strong/pain-free enough to do is ski, yet it seems to be the only activity that makes me feel like I have NOT had 4 months of rehab-type training and a nerve block in a lumbar disc. So, I ask myself again… ‘Am I injured?’

The answer is yes, and I am still having a hard time accepting that, but evidently that doesn’t change the facts that support the response. At first I questioned my pain tolerance, but quickly disregarded that after being reminded that I have dealt with multiple shoulder dislocations (some of which were out of socket for many hours, one even a double dislocation) and 4 major surgeries. After one MASSIVE freak out I honestly thought that I had digested my negative feelings regarding this situation. Alas, life teaches you lessons; it teaches you lessons constantly, continuously, and subconsciously. A couple of days ago I tested out skiing again, after 5/6 weeks (since my last attempt at skiing) off snow and one injection in my back. I felt confident that I would be better than my previous crack at skiing in Soelden. It wasn’t perfect, the demands on my back were, well, demanding, and I was in a fair amount of discomfort. However, the feeling of skis on my feet was right, natural, comforting. It was fun despite any discomfort. It wasn’t until afterwards, after lying down and being off of my feet for a little while that the pain really sunk in. I could hardly support myself in a standing position or bear weight on my legs. Instantly discouraged by the fact that the thing I love most didn’t love me back at this time, I let myself revert into a negative state. 48 hours later, 18 of which were shared between rehab exercises and physio, I finally found myself again! In food 😛

Set backs are going to happen. I try to be prepared for possible outcomes but am sometimes surprised, taken off guard. I wish I was positive, productive and prepared all of the time and I strive to be as often as possible, but I slip, I cower, sometimes I even loose sight. The important thing that I am learning is that I find ways to recover my strength, show my smile and solidify my determination again.

I lost sight for a while, forgot about things that I AM and focused on things that I AM NOT. It wasn’t until I binged on some amazing fish and chips, homemade chili-macaroni, every vegetable in my fridge and possibly an entire bottle of wine, watched the sunrise the next morning and reflected on who I AM, what I AM and what I am doing that I realized how things may be tricky to deal with, but they really aren’t so bad. In fact, I can say that I am doing well. I simply look forward to more snow under my skis and more wind in my face.

I wouldn’t say no to more sunrises or fish and chips either!

If you take anything away from this massive jumble of words I hope it’s something like this: Listen to your body and listen to your heart. Then, from the information that you’ve gathered, decide what you want to run with. If your emotions are mixed up, pick one that is productive and go with it. If your body is speaking to you, try to understand what it’s saying and address it. And for the mighty beard of Zeus, EAT FOOD! It doesn’t have to get much more complicated than that… for now.

If you made it this far, thanks! I’m finished ranting and you’re free to keep on keeping on, my friend!

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