Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Missed Signs

I'm a big fan of planning.  This is no secret.  I sometime feel like I spend more time planning my life than living it (I realize this isn't good).  Especially when all of my plans end up like this:

Of course the key to making any plan successful is to not blindly follow it, but to listen for feedback and adjust along the way.  I did not do this last fall.  I ignored pain in my foot and carried on with my scheduled races and rides, and ended up putting myself in a boot for weeks, having thousands of dollars of medical testing done, missed weeks of work - all for something that could have ultimately been prevented had I just rested and slowed down.  I missed the signs.

Coming off this injury and back into training, I started working with Sheriff in the hopes of avoiding this situation again.  Having an expert coach to help me sort out the fine line between pushing for progress, and pushing to injury.  In yesterday's notes to me for my speed/hill run, my coach wrote:

"Don't blow anything out. You are still recovering believe it or not from Sunday [long run] and a run like this which ignores warning signs can get you injured. Back off if things feel weird or drop to 30min"

I did drop it back to 30 minutes.  I felt fine, albeit a little tired.  His words turned out to be prophetic though, because as the day went on a familiar pain in my foot set in and grew worse, so that by evening I was limping.  I was also fighting back panic.  Last night Sheriff would reiterate his earlier notes to me (as though I didn't listen).  Which I did.  I suppose not hard enough.  Sometimes those signs are easy to miss.  Even with friends like Spark calling me a loon for skiing on a rest day.  (Spark says that if we could average my drive to over-train and her tendency toward laziness we'd make the perfect triathlete.  Will work on that....)

So now I'm icing and eating ibuprofen like candy - keeping my foot up with the cat on my lap.  I'm trying to keep the flashback of those weeks I spent on crutches at bay.  I'm hoping that all the work I've done to get ready for the 10 miler and my first half marathon in March isn't in vain - that I can still race those races.  I don't even need to go fast - that I can just be there and finish on my own sneakers.  It's easy to feel calm when things are going well - right now I'm not really very calm.  But committed to taking things day by day.


Another area of my life where I feel I've missed the signs is my cake business.  I get asked a lot "How is it going?"  Truthfully, in some respects it is very good.  I stopped taking custom orders when I got hurt last year, after a grueling and precarious session stacking a 3 tiered wedding cake while on crutches.  No thank you.  

So now it's a New Year and business is again steady.  Our phone rings at least once a day.  Cake decorating used to be something that I loved to do - the artistry, the challenge.... The problem now is that most of what I do is paperwork and customer correspondence.  I don't get to see people's reactions when they see their cakes, because I'm always at work.  Most customers are nice, but some can be very draining.  On a body and spirit that is already drained and tired a lot of the time.  Jedi and I have discussed what to do many times over recent months, and come to the decision that we will be shutting down the business once our youngest is in full-time school.  That's 18 months away.  

A recent order - roses and hydrangea cupcake bouquet

In the meantime, I'm taking on some projects for family and friends in February and March - just because I think they will be fun.  An outer space birthday.  My niece's Woodland Fairies birthday party.  Legoss son's 5th birthday Karate cake.  I will actually go to these events, and I will see the children smile at their cakes.  I will not fuss with money or pricing - or any red tape. It's my hope to rekindle my love of cake decorating this way.  We continue to take orders from paying customers as well, so per usual time will be of the essence.  But it needs to be done - otherwise something that I love will stay something that I currently dread.  And I'm not willing for that to be the outcome of Owl and the PussyCat Cakes.

It is so easy to make a plan and then push and push with it until you wake up one day in pain.  I created a very successful business that is currently taxing to me instead of fun.  I committed to races and training plans and have still not learned to fully listen to my body.  Let's not even touch on the career issue.  Or parenting.  This is just all the more reason be present and focus on every moment of every day - so you don't miss signs and end up somewhere you don't want to be.

Please cross all fingers and toes that I recover and hit the road again soon.  I'll keep you all posted.

What's the worst injury you've lived through (athletic or otherwise)?  
What did you learn from it?

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