Friday, April 9, 2021

The Long Hard Road to Recovery


My ever faithful workout buddy, Otto

I believe a hard aspect for any of us as athletes, those who workout and train often, coming back from an injury or being sick is never easy for us. We always want it to happen faster than it is going to. Become frustrated quite easily, which, truly makes it all far more difficult and agonizing than it has to be. It is humbling. We want to push and do what we were doing before and when it doesn't happen at our speed, first workouts back, frustration begins to set in. All true for me anyway.

Giving our bodies the time and space they need for full recovery is difficult. There is a balance between taking the next step, being able to fully recover, heal, and pushing to hard to quickly, re-injuring or re-lapsing, we prolong the recovery processes. We forget just because we are feeling better does not in any way mean our bodies are truly recovered. 

I have been on a journey of recovery from having the virus. I was lucky. No, I didn't luck out with some mild case. Mine was more moderate. My immune system had a good fight. It definitely hit my lungs, which is normal for me. When I was a teen, my poor lung took a beating. Every time I got sick, or my allergies would kick in during the winter months, it went to my lungs, accompanied by an angry cough. Chest x-rays yearly to check for pneumonia, spots on my lungs, anything to point to my rough cough. Thankfully, every time, it was negative for anything, just a nasty cough. Inhalers and steroids later and months it would calm down. As an adult, I consistently feel like I am suffocating. I feel like I have an elephant sitting on my chest and a boa constrictor wrapped around my lunges. Breathing is difficult for me. That the virus went to my lungs would be expected. With all of this, my case was mild. No where near anything I fought in my younger years. Good mild case of a virus for my body to become stronger.

Yes, not being able to breath makes CrossFitting difficult. I swear I am suffocating through workouts. Part of why I do CrossFit and train hard, strengthen my lungs.

Because my body did fight an upper repertory virus my lungs were mildly impacted. As I was beginning my workouts and walking, my lungs were on fire. My first walks with Otto were slow and short. My endurance was gone, felt like it anyway. It sucked. I would go for a short walk and be wiped out. I took things slowly not pushing my body hard, giving my body the space and time it needed to heal and recover. When I felt a little stronger, I added more length to our walk. As my endurance and lunges healed, I added the hills, the mountain, more distance. 

I have slowly been working on regaining strength as I recover. My first work out I did, body weight squats, reverse rows, lunges, plank, my lungs burned. It hurt. I did a set, rested, tried another, waited, I cannot even remember if I decided to do a third set or not. I might have called it at two. It was frustratingly humbling. I have a better understanding of those who are beginning a workout regime for the first time. It is not easy. 

I had to remind myself, I am recovering, rebuilding my lungs and body. It is going to take time. I do not want long term damage just because I am impatient and want it now. I need to trust the process. Work slowly. My body is doing far more important things, rebuilding. It doesn't need to be pushed hard in workouts. As I felt stronger, I did a little more. Recovered. Rebuild. Add a little more. I know it will be in  no time I am fully back. It is the greater understanding of recovery, coming back, giving myself grace and trusting my brilliant body. Remembering my future, not only this moment but thinking long term.  

Several months out, I feel amazing. I am stronger and healthier than I was before getting sick. Allowing my immune system to fight the virus was one of the best things for me. My body needed the opportunity to fight a virus, rid itself of cells that needed to go, breakdown, get lots of extra sleep, take life easy, slow down, have a stronger immune system and rebuild itself. My immune system fought, like a champ and it came out victorious. 

I am back to full workouts, even sprinting again. I feel amazing!
Thank you to my brilliant body.
Were your mitochondria go your health goes.
Love you guys

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