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.
What did I do to deserve this? I was trying so hard. No, if I was trying hard enough then I wouldn't still be too heavy and too slow. The harder I try the more setbacks I get hit with. What is wrong with me? It wasn't like I was actually ever going to reach my goals anyways. I'm such a failure.
A week ago I was struggling with the fact that my first few races were not going to be as great as I was hoping for. Now, I'm not even sure I'll be at the start line. I've spent the past three days contemplating what to do from here. Obviously, priority number one is to stand up straight again. But the thought of losing my training grove for even a week absolutely destroys me. I thrive off of the structure and stress relief it brings. My confidence blooms as I see progress. And now, I get to watch it all melt away again. I feel like I'm in some cruel experiment - testing the bounds of human resilience.
I don't question my desire to pursue athletic goals. I don't question my ability to persevere.
I question if a new door will be opening soon.