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.
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.