Injuries and Reality Checks
February was apparently a doozy of a month for me. That's when my carpal tunnel began. It's also when I started having intermittent pain upon lifting my leg or bringing it forward. I thought it would go away, and it mostly did, but then it comes back anytime I hike or attempt running. It's pretty disheartening. I finally saw someone about it today. Apparently I've been repeatedly injuring my psoas muscle, which is part of the hip flexors. I felt sad and weak, certain that this pain and difficulty was an indication of my being out of shape and treating my body poorly. Lots of negative thoughts. The doctor thankfully put me in my place by telling me that the injury is an overuse injury and due to pushing myself to do harder hikes. The muscle is a deep and important one. The injury is compounded by the fact that it's occurring on the same side where my hip frequently goes out of place (due to a dislocated tailbone that I live with, but sometimes poorly by sitting crooked to compensate) and where my kneecap floats above where it's supposed to be, causing muscles to sometimes pull inappropriately.
When I'm feeling like walking around is a struggle and all I can do is PiYo, then I'm feeling lazy and fat and weak. This is a lie because PiYo is still no joke. But why have I not been reminding myself more of the things I HAVE done through the pain or that have caused the pain?? For example, that Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Falls at Yosemite? (pictured in this post) Yah, I could barely lift my leg before we even got to that point because the trail there is a continual uphill. But I did it. It's why I walked through the Sequoias with a limp the next day, but that didn't mean I was weak sauce.
So I was trying to think back to where this started. What was the biggie hike that did me in? Or had I started some exercise routine? I went back through photos (because they're basically my journal y'know) and I found it. This one at the beginning of this post. That morning at Death Valley when I saw the sun rising and raced out to see it. When I didn't put on socks or a bra or grab any breakfast first, but just hurried to the peak known as Dante's View. When I got so caught up in the moment that I just raced out to that furthest outcropping in the photo there, not thinking about the fact that I'm hypoglycemic and hadn't eaten- which led me to hurry back up that ridge faster than if I had been prepared, because I could feel my sugar dropping to bad levels. I remember, now, feeling the pain start then. What I had forgotten, and was just now reminded of as I went through my photos, was that this was the fourth hike I had done that week. It wasn't that I was some weakling. It's just that my muscles were too tight from all the work, shortened probably by sitting for the road trip to Death Valley, and they just snapped.
Here I've been beating myself up because I feel lame. Because I literally am lame. Because I'm finding that I desperately miss Red Rock. Because I feel so torn between this need/want to go hike and the fact that I know it hurts my body right now. The doctor says I need to lay off any hikes with hills or stairs or bouldering for a time. That sure doesn't leave much. It also means I'm not going to meet my goal of completing all of the Red Rock hikes before the end of the school year. The only ones I have left to check off definitely involve hills and bouldering. :( I'm going to let myself be sad about that for a bit, even though I think I was already recognizing that was the probable outcome. But I am also going to remind myself of these ones I've done since that time (yes, often with serious pain after or during) and remind myself that it's okay for me to rest and just do PT and mostly indoor stuff for a time... even if my allergies are finally chilled out and the weather is gorgeous (okay, I might cry about that more):
Sand Dunes and the Salt Creek and Zabriskie Point at Death Valley, Weeping Rock and Hidden Canyon and Canyon Overlook and some random trail exploring at Zion, Biking the Pa'Rus trail at Zion & through Springdale, La Madre Spring at Red Rock, touring San Francisco (hello hills), Point Reyes Lighthouse and that other little trail we got rained out on, Tomales Point at Point Reyes Seashore, the hill by Laura's house, Yosemite Falls and half the Valley Floor trail and Vernal Falls/Mist Trail and Mirror Lake at Yosemite, half the Moro Rock stair climb and the trail to the Giant Sequoia forest and Crescent Meadow at Sequoia National Park, Giant Logs at Petrified Forest NP, The Islands trail at Walnut Canyon National Monument, and finally the Aa Trail and part of the Lava Flow trail at Sunset Crater National Monument. <--- Whoa... All that in the last 3 months. Sometimes you just need to reality check yourself. Looks like I did enough that even with taking a break it will still likely average out to a hike per week for the school year, which was my other intended goal.