Working through this rib injury has been an opportunity for learning. I resent that. Whenever you hear the phrase “opportunity for learning,” you know it’s coming out of the mouth of someone’s sixth grade science teacher trying to coax him or her through the completion of his or her totally bungled potato-battery. Or it’s my mother during almost every phase of my adolescence when I came home from a crappy riding lesson with a sore set of glutes and a downtrodden face. I tend to sulk when the need for the phrase “opportunity for learning” arises. I do not like things that get in the way of my goals. In fact, I can’t think of anything that destabilizes the barely-functional bridges I’ve built over the pits of a self-loathing I’ve been attempting to navigate for most of my life. If I can’t be killing myself trying to achieve something, I have a hard time enjoying the process of living. If my father, or a smattering of other people, is reading this, he’s thinking “that is an extreme way of thinking about things.” You know what, Dad? You’re right. I’m extreme. You’re reading a blog about a girl who’s attempting to climb the national rankings in powerlifting, a maximal, extreme strength sport. If you don’t want extreme, please take a moment to browse such Internet entities as Pinterest, your local news station’s website, or maybe just close out all your browsers and stare at your desktop for a while.
The thing is, I can’t sit here and say being extreme isn’t sometimes misplaced, misinterpreted, and misguided. When injury has me on the brink of emotional meltdown–and it did this time, and it has before–the brand of extreme that’s causing that reaction has to be examined. I’ve been running from the act of this examination for several years now. When injury happens (that sounds like a 20/20 special waiting to be produced), I have done an excellent job at becoming completely unglued in the past. When I “busted my sternum,” I fell into a depression that left me 20 lb lighter and emotionally fragile. The Busted-Sternum Period was, of course, accompanied by a few other extremely unpleasant issues in my personal life, but the injury was basically what brought everything down. If I hadn’t had some fantastic support and if I hadn’t worked to try to see around some of the delusions I still hold about what is and is not truly important in life, this interruption in my training would have hit me harder than it did.
That said, I did end up suffering some hard hits over this. I finally went to a chiropractor for the first time in my life (after seeing both a general practitioner and a sports medicine guy) who, after telling me I pretty much had a dislocated rib, semi-literally jammed the thing back into place. Jason Bradley of Washington Street Wellness, you rock. I’m going to plug Dr Bradley here and say that should you or someone you know in the Iowa City area manage to knock some aspect of your skeletal system out of alignment, go see him. Not only is he damned good at what he does, he’s fun to talk with, particularly when you’re nervous about seeing a chiropractor because you’ve always been afraid of them.
So, that’s where I am with things right now. I’ve been doing some training and mostly keeping my strength up, although I had to basically take a full week off and have had to modify most of what I’ve been able to do for several weeks now because of this injury. I’m finally back to squatting and the rib is finally on its way to healing. There’s a lot of tissue inflammation in the area surrounding the formerly displaced rib, and that’s what’s hindering me now. It’s going to take my body a while to realize it’s back in order and for small tears to heal themselves up. This HAS been a learning experience, I’ll admit it. I’m not yet 27, so I guess I can allow learning experiences to take place now and then for the next few years. The point at which I will know everything, from what I have heard, is 30. I’m getting close.