At the beginning of 2017, there was a plan. In fact there were a few plans. They were good and exciting plans. Then I got injured and the plans went on hold. Then the injury turned out to be much worse than expected so the plans were abandoned. For this year at least. So I made new plans, just to keep going. But then I got injured again. Now I don’t know how to plan because I don’t know what is going on. I’m a Little Mummy Running who is stationary and without her identity.
The flat foot
Anyone following will know that I sustained a badly sprained foot arch in January this year (A Plan: There was a plan?). This was the postponement of my plans. By May the foot had improved but was now completely flat. The arch of my foot had collapsed. At this point I was advised that until further investigations were completed I could do nothing but wait.
The wobbly shoulder
I was given the ok to do Pilates, cycle and swim so I made new plans. I got a gym membership, attended classes, took part in a Duathlon with team Mummy. All good. Then I got injured again. This time my left shoulder. The cause? Swimming! Gentle breaststroke for 20 minutes. How does that even happen? I now have a months worth of strong painkillers and instructions to give it 6 weeks to heal. No Swimming, cycling or Pilates.
So what is going on? I haven’t had any follow up appointments since my ultrasound a couple of weeks ago so I can’t be certain. However I suspect, after some thorough reading of NHS Direct, that this has to do with Joint Hypermobility. In 2008 I joined a kickboxing club. I loved it. I was earning belts and kicking butt every week. Until one week during pad work, my opponents uppercut to my pad lifted my shoulder clean out of its socket. With only very little force.
Luckily my instructor managed to pop it back in quickly. A hospital check up, physio referral and months of daily exercises concluded that my shoulder wouldn’t get any better than it had. A few other tests suggested that my joints were hypermobile. That the ligaments and tendons allowed the joints a wider range of movement which left me prone to injury and dislocation. I was advised that if I carried on kickboxing it would happen again and again. I gave up and I was devastated.
Boom and Bust
Luckily in many ways I was moving around that time to live with Mr LMR before we got married, and would have to leave the club anyway. It almost made it easier. I moved, focussed more on running, got married and had babies. Because of what happened I always tried to be more careful and paced myself with my running. Naturally slow and happy that way. What I realise now is that maybe I was also being complacent. That although slow I wasn’t thorough. Not enough stretching or strengthening.
As part of my referral to muscular skeletal for my foot I have also been referred to psychology for pain management. I felt a bit of a fraud really because my pain isn’t debilitating. In fact most of the time I ignore it and keep going. So how surprised was I when the psychologist carefully drew me a graph and explained that I am a “boom and bust” type of person.
I think I am listening to my body but in fact I am just choosing to ignore it. The days that my family were too much and I was exhausted, I got up and ran so that the endorphins would mask the exhaustion. Because I wasn’t going far that was ok. My limbs never really felt recovered and the more I went the harder it got. By pushing, I declined and my body reacted. I have to stop pushing.
The journey of injury so far is me impatiently pushing for answers or trying to fix things I don’t understand. My psychology assessment brought out a number of issues from my adult life, especially since having the monkeys, that haven’t properly been resolved. I thought I had addressed them but I am coming to realise that I have barely scratched the surface.
I’m resistant to what I am being told. I feel guilty and like a fraud. I’ve been added to the waiting list for a programme of work that involves a mixture of physiotherapy and psychology. I am assured that I can set goals again in the future and I do not need to be limited but only if I pace myself properly. I’m not yet convinced.
What I do know is that although I ran slowly my life ran fast. I know this because as I have been forced to slow down, my monkeys continue to race past me. Busy and relentless. With all their needs that I am struggling to meet. I’m in a fishbowl bubble. Limited. Watching the world through the glass. Outside of the bowl I can’t breathe. I am better inside the bowl until I recover. Whenever that is.
So here I am with no plan. I hate not having a plan. Being unable to establish my limits I can’t set goals or set strategies. I know I want to get better but I don’t know how to get there. Last year I became Little Mummy Running so completely that I don’t have my identity. Little Mummy Plodding On maybe. It isn’t about running anymore. It’s about surviving.
What are you going to do about it?
I am being forced to really examine myself. Where I am and what has happened. I realise that Little Mummy Running isn’t just about the highs but it’s also about the lows. It is about breaking everything down into the small steps that build to big achievements. My loss of identity is forcing me to revisit old posts like It started with a sandwich and 31 Days of Self-Care. To get back to basics and rebuild my identity from the foundations. As I wait in injury limbo for the referrals and results that will hopefully fix me I need to be ready.
This plan is basic. Re-establish my identity. Drink water, eat only what makes you feel good and strong. Listen to your body and the advice being given. Be patient with yourself and others. But overall don’t give up. I can do this and my identity will be even stronger.