Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Building a new mythology

Two DNS races have come and gone and I feel it is safe to dare to venture out of my self-imposed silence.

You see I was somewhat concerned that I was starting to whinge a little too much about how sore my foot was and how I was not getting to run or race.

Well. Nothing has really changed. Using the scale my physiotherapist uses, my pain level ranges between a 7 (out of 10) and a 2 (after a dram or six).

I skipped two races and a whole load of training. I just don't feel like waking up at 5 am to train right now and, frankly, I do feel kinda sorry for myself. And I've probably not been the best company of late.

So how is this not whinging and complaining? Well, I'm doing other stuff. Spending lots of time with the fruits of my loin and the love of my life. I re-shingled the garage roof, and cleaned out that garage making room for a mini new addition to the fleet.

I volunteered and was either a "captain" or a volunteer for two local races: See Dick and See Jane Tri For a Cure. For one of the races for which I DNS'd, Regina Beach Duathlon, I served as a race official and an uber volunteer, getting there at the crack of stupid to help set up the bike transition. The picture above was my reward. The sunrise picture is also a bit of a reminder for me that another way may be dawning for me. Or maybe is a little cliché.

Some days I just want to rip my foot off and start over! But then I'm reminded of the parable of the man who complained that he had no hat until he met a man who had no head.
Paranoid Larry and his Imaginary Band "sing" about this way of thinking too.

But, I have moved passed this way of thinking. I am doing my prescribed physiotherapy exercises daily. I'm doing considerable self massage - sometimes enlisting the help of others - and I'm running. Yes, running. I'm only running around the block, mind you, but those 2.5 minutes are my favorite time of the day (other than the self massage with the enlisted help of others heretofore noted).

I was running for a minute at a time on the treadmill - wearing nothing but my bare feet, but that got quite dull and somewhat chaffed.

I did end up purchasing some Vibram Five Fingers. I wear them around the block. I have been wearing them a lot. In fact,  I wore them for the whole day of volunteering/officiating at the Regina Beach duathlon. Did they help my feet? How should I know? Nothing I've done so far has made any difference, but at least I am trying something. Between the massage and the overnight foot splint and the Birkenstock Sandal wearing and the stretching and the foot epsom baths and ice, ice and more ice and the OTC anti-inflammatories and,  of course the platypus sacrifices (I made that last one up - it was a cat) at least I feel like I'm doing something.

I thought it was about shoes, but it really wasn't. 

I thought it was about triathlon and training, but it really wasn't. 

I thought it was about keeping fit and not ballooning to 270 pounds again, but that wasn't it either. 

What is it about? 

Who knows, I'm still in pain all the time. But I know this is a test of an entirely different kind that I just can't run or bike or swim or fake my way through. This is tapping my resolve, my sense of humour and my perseverance like they have never been tapped before. 

Once again, I'm on the outside. The side that I was on before I became an Ironman. The side of the little boy looking in the sweetie shop window liking his lips and fingering nothing more than one penny in his otherwise empty pockets.

Being on the outside suits me.
For now. 

I'm focusing on doing what needs to be done, rather than what I think I should do. I'm learning. I'm adjusting. I'm taking the time to hand wash and dry the new car. 

In so doing, I'm noticing the scratches and the dents and seeing how they reflect my position and the clichés and metaphors with which I have surrounded myself. Perhaps this is about building a new personal mythology?


  1. I went through all that last year. It will get better Terry, just give it time.

  2. Thanks, John. I know you've gone through this in spades.

  3. I wanted to weep reading this post.

  4. Oh Lauren. I'm keeping a positive attitude and this too shall pass, as John wrote. I just miss running. Thankfully, I run vicariously through adventures, such as yours.


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