July 5, 2012

Yesterday, I waited in Dublin Cities summer, outside a physiotherapists office. This guy comes very highly recommended by a climber, is the Irish Olympic team physio and has been for a long time.

I’ve been injured forever, I am sick of doing stretches and heat packs, I want to be strong. My plan is to walk in and get given a set of exercises that can help me get strong. The universe laughs when you make plans.

I go inside, there are Olympic medals on the wall, autographed kit from Irelands top athletes. He is not like any physio I’ve met before, his room is big, airy and full of exercise equipment and mirrors.

He has grey hair, dark skin and asks questions tersely as I try to constantly elaborate…saying way more than I need to in the hope that he will hear something that will make him say…ah…I can fix that.

He does ten minutes of stretching me, pushing, poking and moving and sits me down…the first thing he says is

“I’m sorry”

My insane emails and ramblings have shown him how much climbing means to me and he knows that everything he says after this point is going to break my heart.

I will never be able to train like other climbers…I know I am staring at him, and he is talking but already in my head I hear nothing. In my head I am cutting deals and waiting for him to stop talking so I can tell him that not climbing is not an option.

He keeps talking, I’m a difficult case, he has seen loads like me, Its congenital, my body would be in a heap if I didn’t do as much as I do…

Hold on…I stare at him

” do you mean…I have to keep climbing”

It’s not exactly what he means, I cry. I sit there, nearly 30years old and I’m crying like a little girl. I’ve missed the crucial points. He knows it. He starts again.

The car crash, the fall, it all just speeded up a process that was going to happen anyway. If I wasn’t such an active person I would probably be barely getting out of bed in the morning. The stretching, heat and hanging and strength building is keeping my body from just fusing all my joints together.

If I hadn’t  fallen or been hit by a car I would probably have just deteriorated slowly before I had a chance to do anything about it.

I am the opposite of naturally gifted, I have a congenital problem that means if someone else trained the
way I did for a year theyd be super strong and crushing

So…What is my plan?

Use Heat Packs
Take Pain killers when I need to
If it hurts stop
if it hurts afterwards don’t do it again
Throw away my weights and my theraband

But more specifically…
Fingerboards are GOOD for me!!!
As are pull ups 🙂
I am allowed to run for 30mins 3times a week

I almost cried again when he said I will never run a 10k again.

But then…he spent the last ten minutes of our session telling me what there was to be thankful for, that people with bodies like mine CAN reach the top, it is just about being different, being smarter and ignoring what works for most other people.

Everything he said makes sense. I am not injury prone, accident prone, careless or unlucky.

I spent a good hour crying and being angry.
An hour is plenty of feeling sorry for yourself time.