Don’t Do Stupid Things

I don’t know how the pros handle life. Imagine you’re training all year for Kona, and then two days before it you stub your toe or hit your knee on a table leg and you think “Oh great, is this going to take a minute or two off my race time and put me in 4th place?” When hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize and sponsorship money are on the line, it seems like you would go crazy.

As someone’s grandma used to say, “You would do well to have such problems.” I don’t have such problems, but I have other problems on a somewhat lesser degree. In two weeks I have my last triathlon of the season. The idea this year was to only do sprint distance triathlons and see how fast I could get. I’ve tailored an entire year towards this, and this triathlon is the big one for me where I go all out, using everything I’ve learned from the previous races.

Then, a few days ago, we ran out of printer paper. On Monday I went to Office Depot to pick up a $25/box of printer paper. I found the box, and hoisted it onto my shoulder and walked to the checkout counter. I paid for it, hoisted it onto my shoulder again, and carried it to the car. Once home, I hoisted it onto my shoulder again and carried it inside. No big deal, right?

Later that day, my arm started hurting around the shoulder area and down a bit toward my elbow. “Uh-oh,” I thought, “Did I overdo it? Pull something? Strain something? Bruise something?” I figured perhaps it would go away overnight. The next morning I was supposed to have a swim workout, but my arm hurt even worse than before. I skipped the workout, since the movements that were causing the pain seemed to be similar to the movements I would make while swimming.

Today it still hurts, and I skipped my bike and run workouts because I’m afraid even those might make it worse. The pain doesn’t occur all the time, only when I move in certain ways. Picking up my 30 lb kid, for example, doesn’t hurt at all. But if I’m sitting at my desk with my right hand on my lap, and then raise it to start typing, the act of raising my arm five inches to the desk hurts quite a bit. Steering a car doesn’t hurt, but lifting my arm to the steering wheel does, as does lifting my arm to push buttons on the car radio. And yes, today it hurts just as bad as it did yesterday, or at least I think it does.

So will the end of my season be ruined? Will I not be in peak shape due to missing out on training leading up to my race? Will I even be able to race at all? I don’t know, but it’s kind of annoying that even have to think about this, and of course I can’t blame anyone or anything but myself. But little did I know that hoisting a box like that would lead to an injury, although I must confess there was a little voice in the back of my mind that told me to go get a shopping cart. But maybe something else in my mind was telling me that the 16-year old kid working at Office Depot would be really impressed if I just picked up that box like it was nothing. Stupid, stupid, stupid. But I guess it could be worse. At least I’m not a professional triathlete with chiseled features and the body of a Greek god worrying about losing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  • Bruce

    It’s hard to think you’ll be out of a race because of an injury. Think of it this way, it’s ONE race. You could of broken something, gotten hit by a car while biking, torn a tendon etc. etc. Basically, no matter how bad you think it is, it could always be a whole lot worse.

    Hope you heal in time and would like to see your post race recap!!


  • http://thetriathlonjunkie.com John Howe

    It amazes me how we do everything we can to train and prepare for these races, but sometimes it is the tiny things outside of our control that ends up taking us out of the race. I had a similar experience at nationals this year when my bike was lost in shipping before the race. What a nightmare! I wrote about it on my blog at thetriathlonjunkie.com , great writing, keep it up!