Injuries, again

Injuries, again

I'm a fragile human being.

It takes a lot to say that, because my whole life I've tried to not be that person. I've worked hard to overcome fears, toughen myself mentally, and generally force my life into order. I particularly pride myself on being able to do basically anything physically. I'm not a good basketball player, but I'll make almost any single game competitive. I can't execute a tennis serve to save my life, but you bet your ass that I can rally like I played at least through high school. And while I can't keep up the pace for much more than 3 miles, I'll push the group run to 7 minute miles the morning after staying up late and drinking heavily, just because you doubted me.

Despite this impeccable resume, I keep hurting myself.

In some ways, it's no surprise. By doing all kinds of things, I open myself up to injury. I don't play basketball, so my hand-eye coordination isn't perfect and I'm likely to jam a finger going with a poorly timed jump going for a rebound. And I don't do much in the way of rotational sports like I used to, so I'll probably be incapacitated in my core muscles for a whole week after that intense tennis match.

On the other hand, it's extremely surprising. I seem to have excellent general physical preparedness: I can do basically anything without embarrassing myself because my body is physically ready for most things you could throw at it. I've squatted heavy, run long distances, climbing difficult routes, and even, in a previous life, dove to pretty decent depths in the sea. My body should be ready for anything, so why do I keep finding injuries?

Palm Springs from the top of the Museum Trail. I had to descend in complete darkness

The reality is that my propensity to hurt myself does not come from my ability to do things, but rather that my ability to do things comes from my extreme competitiveness, and at the age of 30, my body can't keep up with that competitive spirit.

I am not a tennis player, nor a particularly good runner. In fact, despite recently completing a marathon, I am currently near my lowest levels of total fitness ever. The lockdown years have atrophied away any muscle mass I might have had, and all the running has shaped my body to exactly what I dreaded coming out of college. Things weren't looking great, and then I went and broke my hand by getting my mind too excited for my body's capabilities.

It took that injury to make me realize that I wasn't done. There is still so much I want to accomplish in this life physically, and I can't let that fall by the wayside. I want to climb hard outdoors, I want to lift heavy weights, and I want to be able to show up to a pickup basketball game and have a good time, not just a competitive time.

I might be 30, but that means that I'm only 30. I won't give away my fitness without a fight, so despite my tendency to set my mind to things my body can't accomplish, I vow to continue to push myself. I want to come into the next year stronger, more flexible, and more resilient than I've ever been before. Sometimes it just takes that one more injury to show you it's still possible to fight.