Thursday, 29 October 2009


In gaining temporal distance from my thesis only now am I beginning to understand what came before. This year was a whirlwind; parts of which I will never recover from. I also made some strides; building upon it is my current challenge.

Whilst digging out my mountain biking kit, I flippantly muttered to myself ‘I would give anything to be back in shape’. After thinking about it, no, I wouldn’t give up what I fought for this year. Being as out of shape as I am it’s incredibly difficult just to think of all the work that I need to put into it, let alone actually do it. This time as well, I know that it won’t be OK. I’m broken; yet, the surgery sounds worse than the condition.

As amazing as it might sound, I’m coming on with my physio in leaps and bounds. I already aced the first set and am nearly a week into the second round with next to no pain. There is one huge caveat though; I haven’t been climbing in ages. That is where I think the trouble lies.

I’ve been trying to work on my poorly neglected cardio with a bit of mountain biking and some running (I managed 5.4k which for me is next to a miracle). I even got myself a new pair of running shoes as encouragement. I noticed that just a little bit of exercise makes such a huge difference to me. I have been sleeping better and yesterday I actually felt oddly optimistic.

Swinley Forest

For a few weeks just after my viva, I couldn’t conceive of anything more than just going to work and even that was an enormous chore, despite the fact that it was doing something I enjoyed. It was as if I lost a part of myself in the 95 pages that comprised my thesis. I was spent. I couldn’t fight anymore.

In some way I am even happy not to be climbing. I think I needed a bit of a break from it and I definitely had other things to focus on. I also think that if I go back to climbing, I need a whole new strategy. That will of course take some time to figure out.

Slowly, it’s coming back. I just wish that running didn’t hurt so much, but I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, or even possible for that matter.


Minister of the Masochistic Truth said...

Definitely keep looking to the positive. In getting back into shape, you can see that progress and gains that you take for granted when at top form. It's good to bust a gut sometimes and start from scratch - it keeps us honest. And hey, you're not broken, you simply have to modify and adapt to what you've got. This forces you to be creative in your approaches to training - freshening things up, and so on. While I'd not go as far as saying that injuries can be a blessing, they do make you grateful for the things that feel good, and put things in perspective. I heard of a Canadian soldier who lost both legs in Afghanistan training to return in a combat role - the first ever double amputee to do so. So, again, perspective and the limitlessness of possibility!

Jenn said...

Thanks for the comments. I'm having a rather tough time at the moment and really appreciate it. J

Minister of the Masochistic Truth said...

No worries. I hope that you feel better soon. If only our bodies were as strong as our resolve, eh? Perhaps 'hang in there' isn't the best well wishing to say at this point, but I hope it made you smile! These tough times will pass - just try not to be too hard on yourself.

Best wishes,


Maya Alexander said...

Have you started the climbing again?
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Ella Green said...

We all are happy that you have started it again.
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