A little known fact about my trip to Kalymnos last month is that about a week after getting there, I managed to tweak an old hip flexor injury during a warm up route. I wasn’t sure how bad it actually was until we were hiking back to the boat... I had spent most of that day doing dragon lunges in between belays and stints on the wall.
The most pain came whenever I needed to high step which, unfortunately, is one of the few decent skills I’ve managed to hone during my climbing career. I tried to simply laugh it off as I half hobbled down the trail and I was soon able to convince myself that the mild but stabbing pain that was rattling my right hip with each big step would dissipate after a night of good sleep.
The next morning, I woke up stiff but okay enough to climb, and so off we went.
Every morning, I awoke a little stiffer than the previous day and with each new “try hard” and each new high step, the pain intensified until, by the day Andy and I went to Telendos for our multipitch adventure, my eyes were running with tears from the pain. But still I climbed, trying out every intermediary, looking for any chance to smear rather that hand-foot match or heel-hook with my right foot. I climbed every day I could until the final day when I was too wrecked to keep trying.
And then we went home.
I soon discovered that running was an impossibility and after a very much looked-forward-to “back to work” 5K run, I gave in and called an acupuncturist.
I made my appointment for mid week. By that time, I couldn’t even lift my leg to pull my shoes on without experiencing a stabbing pain in my hip. I decided to drop myself out of the half marathon I was scheduled to run that weekend. I went to acupuncture with high hopes that, at the very least, I would be able to dress myself with little trouble the next morning.
I was completely blown away with how improved I was after the first session. I stood up from the table and was immediately able to pull my boots- pain free! I made plans to return the next week and walked, without a hitch, out to my car.
My decision was made: I would “run” the 10K in Madras so I was at least not wasting my entry money. Andy and I drove down that Saturday and I watched him cruise across the finish line, tired but in first place in his age division! I had spent the morning jogging at 12 minute pace through a beautiful, snowy canyon.
At least progress had been made.
This week, I ran a few stiff miles early on but by Thursday, I was bopping out 735 pace, happy as a clam that I was actually able to move.
Thursday night, I dreamt about doing a track workout.
Today, I went for another acupuncture session and was able to fully lift and extend my leg- without pain!
Tonight, I rode my horse- without pain.
And then, stupidly, I decided to go bouldering.
BIG mistake. I cried my way back to the freeway after spending the session climbing everything under V3 that didn’t involve any dynamic foot placements.
This sucks. It’s so hard to not get down on myself when I am definitely healing, but after two VERY successful weeks climbing abroad, I was psyched on climbing and hopeful that I was healed enough to have a good session.
I also might not be able to enjoy opening weekend at Meadows if I can’t ride my toe edge AT ALL.
OOF. So, in an effort at positivity, here are some things I CAN do- without pain:
1. ride my horse!
2. run (not on the track but I can run)
3. walk up and down stairs
4. turn over in bed without waking myself up.
5. get dressed.
6. do sun salutes and dragon lunges.
7. hangboard workouts.
8. play with my furry and feathered roommates
9. bake delicious holiday things.
10..... all other boring life activities.