Getting through injuries a humbling experience while training for goal circa May 2-8, 2013; Seminole Chronicle
This past weekend, I attended the 2013 Orlando Europa Show of Champions as a spectator, not as a competitor.
I'm not going to lie, it was a hard pill to swallow watching, not participating.
I've been training for the 2013 bodybuilding season since January and seriously training for this particular competition since March. By early April I was pleased with my progress and excited to be experiencing the Europa Show of Champions for the very first time.
However, a few weeks ago, I felt shooting pain from my lower back all the way down to my calve muscle during my cardio session.
I recognized this pain as sciatica, because I've experienced it once before, many years ago.
The last time I had sciatica, it seemed like an eternity before it finally went away. I'm sure my stubbornness to continue to run or walk with it didn't help the healing process.
Have you ever trained months and months for a competition, race or tournament and had to cease training due to an injury?
One Saturday night in 2002, eight weeks away from the Disney Marathon, everyone in the house had just gone to bed, and I had stayed up to eat a bowl of ice cream.
I rose from my couch, turned the TV and lights off and walked into the kitchen to put my dirty bowl in the sink.
As I was making my way back through the dark living room to the stairs, I jammed my big toe into the coffee table. The pain was excruciating.
I sat down on the couch, in the dark, and began to cry.
I knew at that very moment I would not be able to train for at least six weeks. Earlier that day, I ran 16 miles without stopping for the very first time during my training.
As you could imagine my excitement turned into despair after breaking my toe. I allowed my toe to heal and began training a couple of weeks before the marathon.
I didn't finish in the time I was hoping for; nonetheless, I finished making it one of the best experiences ever.
As for competing this season, I'm not sure when I'll step onstage again.
Meantime, I will continue to train, making necessary modifications to my exercise plan, especially my cardio sessions.
On Facebook one day, I asked my friends, "When injured during a workout, do you keep training or wait it out letting it heal?"
The majority of my friends replied with, "Wait it out." One friend and fellow competitor replied, "I keep training, but I don't train that specific injured area or I go easy on it. I ice, I medicate ... I never stop training."
I believe the hardest part for me during all of this will be not getting discouraged and being patient - not one of my stronger suits.
However, I know in the long run it will be worth it and better for my health and well-being.