There is something about physical pain that brings the demons out to play. Today they run untamed. I spent the past five months with my head down, focused on rebuilding my body and slowly increasing training so I could stand in the starting corral as a competitor again. I played recovery by the books. I spent countless hours foam rolling and doing foundational strength exercises. I track my HRV daily to avoid overstressing my body. I reintroduced running slowly. I did so much pre-hab that progress seemed slow. I constantly wrestled my inner competitor, that somehow still exists, to accept that slow and steady would win the race. And yet, three days ago my body completely betrayed me and my back seized up with no warning.
I started with the obvious and analyzed my weight chart from the past year. A 30 pound gain between February and July. Are you freaking kidding me? I wrote out my 2016 troubles, as part of an exercise to accept and let go of them, making it easy to realize how this happened to me. I had spent those six months on four different types of steroids, two different types of pain killers, had surgery, experienced a two week long ocular migraine, went legally blind for a month, couldn't stand up straight for two weeks, and that's just the short list. 30 pounds in 6 months. I never understood how this could happen to people, but now I do. The weeks of physical and emotional pain, not knowing what was wrong with me or how to fix it, the mounting financial bills, having loss the ability to exercise away stress -- I relapsed into binge eating and they are not kidding about the weight coming back on faster than it came off. As someone who had spent the past 4 years slowly and consistently chipping off 60 pounds, seeing the scale climb so fast rocked me to my core. It obliterated my confidence and slowly turned my world into a gray haze.
Emilie Jones is an OCR athlete on a mission to become an Elite racer. Follow her journey through this blog and on social media.