Sometimes we go boom

Posted: 06/25/2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

This morning, in a rather hard to explain maneuver, I dropped a grappling dummy on my nose. Yes, on my nose. Not on my face, but smack dab on my nose. Not my finest or least embarrassing moment. Especially with the amount of time I spend at the boxing studio. You would think I would be past such things by this point. Even my trainer, who was present, had to ask me afterward how the hell did I do that?! (Okay, he probably said heck, but whatev…)

Um…when I raised my hips up, it shifted forward, and I ended up going over, and then the back end slipped, and I didn’t control it. The butt of it hit me in the nose…

Um…yeah. Even if I had it on tape, I’m still not sure I could explain it well.

Luckily for me, it was the 30-35lb version and not the 60 lb version. Had it been 60lbs, my nose surely would have broken. Instead, I trotted off to the restroom and had the bleeding stopped pretty quickly. I wiggled the bridge – nothing broken. Probably just bruised – glamorous as that will be at work tomorrow.

Also luckily, we were at the end of our practice. When I returned 2-3 minutes later, my trainer had called the session over. Not that it mattered. I’d already decided that the injury wasn’t serious, and when I came back on the floor, I expected to return to sweating. These things happen once in awhile.

I’ve had sore hamstrings, shin splints, ass tendinitis. I’ve cut open a toe throwing a crescent kick. Numerous rolled ankles – the last one occurring when I was out on a run by myself and had to limp half a mile back to my car. I’ve got two pinched nerves in my back that blow up at their whim. I’ve tripped over a dog while running and ended up with bandages wrapped around both hands that made me look like the stigmata happened.

Most of these injuries a bit embarrassing to explain at the office.

Seriously, just try and explain ASS TENDINITIS to your co-workers. I dare you!

And I’m sure there’s plenty more I’ve forgotten. I’ve fallen down and gone boom my fair share of times. As an athlete, sometimes I get hurt. As athletes, sometimes WE get hurt. It’s part of the risk we take on for the reward. We push our bodies, our limits, even the way we think. Sometimes we push a little far, get a little clumsy or distracted, or rely on equipment only to have it fail. An injury happens.

This past week at group, a girl fell down on the run. Embarrassing. A little traumatizing. A slower runner at the back of the pack – a position I am all too familiar with – the feeling of being slower and alone compounds when something like that happens. The trauma deeper. Even worse, it was her first run with the group. I can only imagine her feelings, but none of what I imagine is good. Coaches talked her through it, but mostly they worried that she wouldn’t come back. Wouldn’t try again.

And that’s really the athlete’s choice, isn’t it? Do we get up or do we stay down?

If you’re going to push your limits on a regular basis, you have to accept that once in awhile, you’re going to find them. At least, if you’re working hard, you will. And that goes for an experienced athlete as much as it does for a beginner. Out of the hundreds of thousands of steps we take running, occasionally one of them is bound to go wonky. When you choose to spend time in a boxing studio, odds are that, at some point, you’ll get a bad hit by accident. Either one you throw, or one you receive. Statistically, it’s inevitable. We fall down. We go boom. We find limits.Then what do we do? Respect them and keep a comfortable distance? Recover and work to strengthen ourselves, so we can push against them again? An individual choice for each of us. Do you want to box your experiences in or keep opening them up? When we decide whether to stay down or get back up, that’s the choice we make. Do we stay within safe boundaries or are we still willing to explore?

It made me sad to think that the girl won’t come back to group. The coaches seemed pretty convinced she wouldn’t. I hope she surprises them and gives it a shot again. But that’s her choice, not mine. I already know what my choice would be, because I’ve been there, done that. More often than not, things go well. Once in awhile, you end up punching yourself in the face with a grappling dummy to start off a Monday morning. How it affects the rest of the week… well – for me – it won’t. Not really. I’ve learned something about my limits, even if it bruised the bridge of my nose. But more importantly for me, I learned something about exploring a new move with the grappling dummy and now I know what to do next time when I go too far over, and the weight shifts, and I don’t have control over it…

Namely, protect my nose.


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