August 17, 2008

New Beginning

It's been exactly one week since my bike crash and I'm finally starting to feel a bit better. I slept incredibly late - until 11:15 - which seems ridiculous, but I stayed up late watching the Olympics so I needed it. I decided to stop taking the pain medication today in an effort to ease back to normal. Since I was feeling pretty good and had a good night's sleep, I made my first trip to the gym to see how it would feel.

I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical and it was completely pain free. I kept it at a low resistance and high cadence to more closely mimic running. I got some funny looks from my fellow gym-goers since I was working out with a sling and bandages all over me. The sling was great, but I still held my arm pretty firmly across my stomach and supported it on and off with my right arm to ensure there was absolutely no shoulder impact or movement. After a cooldown, I spent 15 minutes on leg strength training. I'm hoping between the elliptical and weights that my legs will be ready to transition back to running where I left off. The only thing that hurt after my 50 minutes at the gym was my knuckle. This is proving to be one of my most painful injuries since I essentially lost my knuckle in the crash. It is going to take several months for the skin to fill back in and I imagine it will be painful for quite a bit longer.

This little workout made me realize just how much I've changed over the past three months. There was a time when 30 minutes on the elliptical might have been my full workout for the day and I was content with that. Now it's something I did to test my boundaries with an injury and I'll most certainly be doing more on each subsequent trip to the gym. My training over the past three months made me really happy. Not only am I more fit than I've ever been, but I feel better - more healthy, more positive, more fulfilled. I also felt accomplished from tackling new challenges and stretching out of my comfort zone.

While I hate being stuck indoors at the gym, it felt really good to get my heart rate up and get moving again. It was a tiny step, but an important one. It was a new beginning for my next phase of training. This phase will be focused on healing, regaining strength and retaining as much of my hard-earned fitness as possible. Instead of dwelling on my limitations, I'm going to focus on the possibilities. With hard work and a little luck, I might come out of this stronger than I was before.

Elliptical Training
Time - 33:00

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