As athletes, we're pretty terrible on our bodies. Injuries, and illnesses, for that matter, suck. There's no way around that. Right now I'm kind of dealing with both, and at a time where I'm on a reduced work schedule because of the holidays, it's KILLING me. As a general rule, I've always grouped injury, and to a lesser extent, illness, into three main categories with respect to sports, and the categorization has actually nothing to do with severity, but rather the source of the lost training time. This categorization existed long before I became a triathlete or even a runner or swimmer; it's just solidified itself in the last few years as I become more in tune with my body, as opposed to when I was a teenager and/or baseball player.
Stuff happens: I'm censoring the name of this category. That's not what I actually call it. This category is just the incidental sort of injuries, as well as where I'd put most illnesses for athletes. This is what happens when you're on the losing end of the Poisson distribution of rolled ankles, common colds, unavoidable bike crashes, etc that will at some point happen to you. These are the "when and how bad" injuries, rather than the "if" ones. They can be infuriating because there's little you can do to control it, but at the same time, I've always had the easiest time accepting these. I just accept to some degree, I'm going to occasionally roll an ankle awkwardly while running, catch a cold, or have no way around the guy in front of me on a group ride when he goes down. Obviously there are things you can do to mitigate these to some degree, like not running on trails (how can people live like that?), riding your trainer all the time (no thanks, Andy Potts) or being Bubble Boy.
|This is roughly what I looked like during my two back episodes brought on by weak core muscles. Image from PhysioDC, a Physical Therapist in Washington, DC, from their article here|
|You can, and should, zoom in. My drawing skills are subpar (well, they're kind of like snowman-level if we're talking golf terms), but the words make the picture, I think.|
|Although it's my SI joint that's still bothering me, this sight is what caused me to go to the hospital on Christmas. I have another helmet I can use in the interim, but I'll most likely be replacing it with one of the new MIPS-equipped helmets. As much as I've been told I have great calves, I'd venture to guess that my brain is probably still my best asset, so I'm happy to do a bit more to protect it.|