Friday, May 6, 2011

Knowing your limits

I think that it was back in 2000 when my hiking hobby came to an abrupt and immediate end.  My brother and I, along with a small group of friends were avid hikers.  We would go several times a week, and try new trails and mountains as often as we could.  Sometimes, we would take the mountain bikes on the trails, but regardless, we all soaked up the views when we arrived at the summits.  Mount Liberty, at 4,460’ in Franconia Notch was the beauty that did me in.  The Liberty Spring Trail is a total of 8 miles up and back again on rocky terrain.  When I say rocky, I mean that it felt like stairs for most of the way to me.  (Check out this pic to see what I mean.)  Even as an experienced hiker, this one took its toll.  My knee started hurting on the way up the craggy granite, but I kept going.  It kept hurting, and I kept going.  Finally, I was in tears, only halfway up the mountain.  My brother tries to convince me to turn around and bag the trip.  Nope, I was too stubborn.  I was too determined to quit.  Tears ran down my face the entire way up the mountain as I grimaced in pain, so I was glad to reach the summit marker and relax for awhile.  I barely remember going down the mountain, which is probably better since I’m sure it was excruciating.  As it turns out, that I had torn my meniscus half way up the mountain.  I split it right down the middle.  And I finished the hike.

I share that story because I want to point our how stubbornly stupid I can be, which is a great reason to find a fantastic coach (which I thankfully found at Laconia Athletic and Swim Club)!  If I had turned around when my brother said to, I’m sure I would have healed far better, but I was foolish and didn’t admit to my physical limitations.  All my determination could not undo the damage that I had done by being young, "invincible" and foolish.  So, you’ll see in my training logs (follow me on Twitter or Facebook for those) that I’ve started training at the track with walking, and only running in brief bursts.  It does feel funny to begin a journey as a Triathlete with “only” a walk.  Thank god for a good coach to slow me down and pace my training.  As I’ve said before, it’s always one step in front of the other. [Since I started training back in March, I’ve been focusing on strengthening that knee, and (knock on wood) have had no issues, only feeling stronger and more stable.  I’m sure as the excess weight continues to melt away, that additional relief will help.]

In my next post, I should have some exciting news about an additional sponsor and some new gear!  Check back for details! 

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