How the relationship between injury, luck and performance plays out over the course of a few months can be totally random - the line that we tread along these is so very thin at times. I've always liked the golfer, Gary Player's quote:
"The more I practice, the luckier I get"
I'm not sure that this works always though, if I take the last month of my life into consideration. It's seemed more like "the more I train, the unluckier I get." This is probably completely untrue, but it certainly has seemed that way. Or maybe I'm just getting paranoid about the ensuing trip to the US and not blowing out on some ridiculous bodily malfunction.
First injury to crop up was a chronic heel injury that once put me out of climbing for 2 years. It's never come back (touch wood) until this month! 2 back-to-back sessions of heel-toe bathanging hanging with sit ups, resulted in hideously painful heels again. I thought it was due to the excessive "invert time" intially, but in fact it turns out that these new offwidthing shoes that 5.10 have sent through the post are rather aggressive on the heels. It's all ok though.... a week of iced peas and flip flops have brought me back.
Secondly, I was trying some double fist stacking laps down in the cellar and boosh, I'm out of the crack, on my back and nowhere near the mattress. Cue swollen elbow and no armbars, deadbars or dyno wings for a while. How do I miss 3 matresses and a million boulder pads?!
The third instance really was a killer for me. A real moment of "have I blown the next 6 months of climbing for myself here?"Pete and I decided to take part in the Edale Fell Race a couple of weeks ago. Pete, because he's a local lad and he's done it every year (why??!) and me, because I'm an idiot. The race went pretty well to begin with, considering that we're complete fell racing punters - note that Pete wears headphones whilst competing (wtf?!) and I considered doing it in a hoodie as it was cold. We hit the top plateau over Kinder somewhere around 40th position and sustained the level of exhaustion until the drop back into Edale. At this point Pete started to run down the track like a madman and I followed like an old man. At the final steep section of wet slope I slipped over a couple times (my road running trainers didn't seem to be very adept at wet grass) and on one particularly hard fall I thought to myself "careful here old man, this just isn't worth it. Take it easy." Of course, I got up and instantly fell over again.... POP. Oh shit, the knee had gone.
Well, what am I moaning about? I had to not work or climb for a week, see some consultants and physios in the hospital (they gave me some fairly reassuring news) and get to know my pack of iced peas very well again. Apparently it's my ITB, the tear is only minor in all liklihood and the pain is only temporary. Problem? Nah.... not any more!
So it's back to the training once more. Psyche is running high and I'm can't wait for another beasting. Pete's coming round on Thursday for a massive cellar session. Bring on the pain.
In fact, it's only midnight - time for a quick session now.