Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Mind is the Athlete

To be perfectly honest, this has been a pretty tough week. I knew it would be. This was my last week to see if my knee would finish up this whole healing process and I could move on with life OR I was calling in a team of help.

On Monday, I saw Josh, my amazing Sports chiropractor. My knee felt like it was in the entirely wrong place, and he took care of it. It was sore, but it felt better. He told me to "swim my heart out."
Now, to be perfectly honest, I have been swimming short 1000yd swims on my schedule. So on Tuesday, I swam 4000yd. That's normal, right? Well, I got in some trouble for being overzelous.

Stomach bug wednesday.

Thursday, I decided to be reasonable and swim 2000. But I was so upset. I need to be TRAINING. NOW. Seriously. IM St. George is right around the corner. Everyone else was at the trainer sessions getting ready to rock the bike, and I am stuck swimming a lame short swim. I ended the stupid swim with tears in my goggles. Seriously. That defeats the point of having goggles. They are supposed to keep the water out.

Friday--this week is going well, right? I bent down, my knee popped, and it started REALLY hurting again. Awesome. Friday, I had a meeting with Coach, Laura and Mark. All three of us are doing St. George, so we were have a meeting/pep rally. Well, coach starts talking about his plan, and counting the weeks backwards with the big workouts, and I start crying like a baby in the starbucks. How embarassing. At least no one saw me in my goggles! Here I am crying in front of the people I have ridden up mountains with and gone on crazy runs and are coaching me to these epic races. Ugh.

Fortunately, they are really really supportive, and all of them have had wicked injuries at some point, and for some crazy reason they all seem to sincerely believe in me and my recovery.

Ok, enough negativity. Time to jump out from all of these bad thoughts, tears, and stressing.

Here's the gameplan:

Yesterday, I talked with Laura's sports chiro. I love my sports chriropractor, but this guy specializes in Active Release therapy. Here's how the conversation went.

Dr.: Describe what happened..
Me: Explained the race and falling on my knee.
Dr.: Did something happen to your left calf?
Me: Seems unrelated, but not really.....oh wait, I remember--it balled up into a giant knot and I punched it really hard. Does that count.
Dr.: *Laughs* yes, yes that counts. I can help with this. I know what's going on. I think I can fix it. You need to come in as soon as you can get yourself here. Your calf keeps pulling Josh's ajustments out of line, and I can fix it.
Me: Are you busy right now?????????????????????????
Dr.: *cute kids in the backround* Ummm...yes, we open on Monday.

So, first off, that is PROMISING! I am cautiously optimistic

Second--I have another appt with Josh on monday.

Third--I have an appt with a sports specialist at Emory on Tuesday.

Fourth--I have a Physical Therapy appt on Friday.

I am going to fix this. I HAVE to fix this.

My friend Kelly sent me an email asking if I could talk about what inspires me to train. What makes me want to get out there when I don't feel like it. (Kelly is in the middle of this picture!).

This is clearly the best AND the worst time to talk about it, so here goes.

Endurance sports seem to fit my personality. I deeply understand and enjoy setting a goal, working hard, and reaching the goal. I have always been this type of personality. It is important to me that the goal be difficult enough that I have the capability of reaching it, but it is going to be a struggle.

Now, this leads to a LOT of frustration when something stands in my way (injury, time, exhaustion, etc). But it also means that they payoff of reaching that goal is huge. It is huge for my personal belief in myself, my gratitude for those that helped me, and my confidence.

I will say that every time I have gotten back into training from an injury, I have trained with such a sense of gratitude. Thankful that I feel better, thankful that I CAN train, thankful for those around me who support me, thankful that I lead a life that allows me this kind of joy, thankful for every step I can take, and thankful for my health.

That doesn't mean I WANT to do every run, ride, or swim. It doesn't mean I don't have days where I drag myself into a lame workout. But the payoff of dedicating myself to a goal is SO huge for me.

This was rambling, I know, but that is where my mind is right now. I am trying to get my mind right because until it is, my body will not be ready to go with it. My coach reminded me that "the mind IS the athlete."

Kelly, I promise I will write more about inspiration as I train for my next goal--on the hard days and weeks. I am sure that as my physical and mental state change, my inspiration and ideas about it change too.

What inspires you? Why do you train? Why keep going?


  1. Best of luck with ART. It helped me so much - it seems we need a team of people to keep us healthy!! Seriously. I love ART. It hurts. But it works. Good luck.

  2. So many people have had great success with ART! Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes!

  3. I train to stay healthy and to give me goals to reach. You and Sparkles inspired me to run (and to keep running now!). Glad you are getting some specialists to help. You are one tough cookie, Kacie!

  4. My heart goes out to you. I have been in your position many-MANY times. You're absolutely right-when it comes to endurance sports, your mind-and your mindset are KEY. we all get down-and the key is not to get stuck there. I have been very fortunate, through my injuries, to have "developed" an amazing "medical staff", and if you need absolutely anything/anyone, I will help you in any way that I can (helps that we live in the same city). Seriously-I wouldn't be walking if it wasn't for these people.....please, pleae, email, call, DM...whatever you choose. This is a hurdle-maybe a big hurdle, but it doesn't define you :)

  5. Thanks y'all. I love love my "medical staff," but email me your peeps Andree! I am so excited to try out some ART. I think it is really going to help me.

    Erin, you are amazing, and you have come so far SO fast! Thank you for the kind words...they mean a lot!

  6. I just want to give you a big HUG! Hoping that the ART stuff works it's wonders on you! :)

  7. Oh no! I didn't realize you had gotten injured - at the Tashka Trail run? Good luck with the ART!

  8. Love you Kacie! All will be well....I'm sure!

  9. Hang in there. It sounds like you have a great group of people helping you get through this!

  10. First off, YES that WAS me at carpool a couple of weeks ago! and I did find his jacket in the art classroom! Thanks for your help!! What a crazy small world sometimes :D

    I'm glad you are being smart about your knee and getting the right help!! I hope ART works for you; I've heard great things! I'm sorry you are feeling so crummy about everything, but your path is going work out, no worries!

  11. Hang in there French Fry! I train because activities are F.U.N. Work is NOT life. I keep going because I know even if today sucks that another day is going to ROCK. Super athletes inspire me to push boundaries- when something sounds like a gross distance, then it sounds like something to try; Or at least aim for one day a long time from now. When I was competing in ballroom dancing and cracked my rib, got a mysterious foot injury , and injured my quad I kept going because I knew that the reason I began all this was because I LOVED doing it. It made me joyously happy. It's all about the LOVE and joy for me- not so much the goals. Love fest 2011.

  12. ART has always made my life better....will work for you too sweet Kacerieee....xxxxxoooo

  13. I'm sorry your knee is still bugging you. I hope the doctor had some magical words yesterday for you. Keep your chin up it iwill all work out even though it doesn't seem like it now.

  14. LOVE this! And you! You totally inspire me! :-)