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The way the cookie crumbles

February 8, 2012

Property of Roger Hargreaves

Happy belated 2012! Blink and 1/12th the year is gone.  I had great plans to post food and fitness content regularly, but as the famous Lennon saying goes, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

However, that’s the past. It’s a new year, or at least a new month, and I declare 2012 to be the year of the cookie.

One of the biggest obstacles I dealt with during my blog hiatus was the recurring shoulder issue I talked about back in November. I was making great progress with physical therapy, doing my exercises like it was my job, stretching every day, and noticing drastic improvements in my posture, strength, and stamina.

Then life threw me the proverbial curveball. Or, in this instance, it was more of a proverbial banana peel: I slipped and fell down the stairs in the subway.

I wish I could say I turned my fall into a graceful tumble, rolling down the steps with ninja-like grace before springing to my feet in a photo-finish worthy of an Olympic rhythmic gymnast. In reality, as my feet went out from under me I instinctively did the most aggressive fallbreak I’ve ever pulled off, including during my brown belt test. I fell sideways as I slipped, which meant my right (injured) side did all the work of dispersing impact.

Then I bumped and slid down a few more stairs, taking some hits to my right hip and thoroughly terrifying a very nice tourist family who didn’t realize that day’s forecast was “cloudy with a chance of falling bloggers.”

I didn’t feel the effects of my fall right away. My Husband Elect, the brilliant Dr. Funkenstein, drew me an Epsom salts bath, dosed me with extra-strength Advil, and helped me coat myself in arnica gel. He was kind enough to wait until I was relaxing on the couch with a heating pad and a mug of hot apple cider before breaking it to me that I had a bruise the shape (and approximate size, from what it felt like) of Long Island on my hip. I wrote a note to my head instructor thanking him for drilling me in fall breaks until they were second nature. Other than that, I told myself how lucky I was to be young, in good shape, and well versed in the fine art of falling properly.

The next day, I didn’t feel young or in good shape at all.

I had a splitting headache, my stomach was upset, and I wanted nothing more than to lie on the couch and moan gently into a decorative throw pillow, like a Regency romance heroine jilted by her beau. I made appointments with the physical therapist and chiropractor for evaluation and adjustments, and resigned myself to missing several weeks of martial arts classes.

I know I take things far too personally, and I’ll probably never be able to stop being too hard on myself. But I can’t stand feeling like getting injured—again!— is something I could have avoided. If only I hadn’t been in a hurry. Why did I have to get injured now? Blather, rinse, repeat.

Obviously, a game of self-blame and regret is the least helpful mindset for healing and recovery. I may be a badass, but I’m still human. I’ve dealt with injuries that interrupted my training before, but I still have to remind myself  that I’m allowed to rest and heal before going back to the mat.

I’ve given myself permission to reorganize my priorities. Instead of my usual high-impact sessions devoted to self-defense techniques and sparring, I’ll be focusing on stabilizing and re-balancing my injured joints, and stretching out my sore muscles. My plan is to do a lot of walking and yoga, and become best friends with the resistance bands. If my PT gives the all-clear, I’m going to try modifying BodyRock’s High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions— I might not be able to jump, but I can lunge, squat, and row like a pro. I’m calling this my February Fitness Challenge, and I’m excited to share my progress here!

Along with my fitness challenge, I’ll be changing up my meal plan. While I was injured (and wallowing, to be brutally honest), I fell into the trap of ordering dinner in. Easy, but also expensive and wasteful (all those plastic containers!). Besides, even the leanest, greenest choices are probably not as healthful as what I’d make at home. So expect plenty of new non-dessert recipes from me, although it wouldn’t be ToughCookieNYC without some triple-decker brownies here and there.

Have you dealt with a fall or other injury? Have any fun exercises, neat new gear, or delicious recipes to share? Tell me all about it!

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From → Fitness, Health

One Comment
  1. Jenn permalink

    First I have to say that I love how Dr. Funkenstein has actually become a thing. Now that I’ve gotten past that. As someone who’s been falling apart for years I feel you pain. Before my last surgery I remember crying to mom about how I was “sick and tired or being sick and tired all the time.” I think just pushing yourself to be active even when you don’t want to is the biggest thing

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