A Dull, Lingering Pain

It’s hard getting ready for a 200km bike ride with needles in your groin. Let me explain.

Last summer I pulled my groin muscle. That’s hardly surprising: I pull my groin muscle virtually every summer, and every time it’s resulted in a brief recovery period and the resumption of regular activity. That didn’t happen this time; instead, the pain lingered into the fall. Running become difficult: I’d literally feel pain from start-to-finish. In December I decided to take an entire month off physical activity–but over Christmas, when I slipped on a patch of ice and my legs splayed slightly apart and the pain immediately flared up again, it became apparent that rest wouldn’t be sufficient. I did some reading and decided I had a sports hernia; after consulting with two doctors and a physiotherapist it was determined I had a severe groin strain with a side order of damaged pubic symphysis…which means I had muscle damage and cartilage damage.

Too much information? Probably–but that’s nothing compared to what you’re about to read. My first physio appointment was exactly five weeks ago, and since then I’ve been mired in the monotony of athletic rehab. My “training” has been reduced to having needles strategically inserted into my groin; after today’s session my upper leg looked like it’d been pounded with a meat tenderizer. I haven’t played soccer since before Christmas; when I spin I can’t even strap my right foot into the pedal. Meanwhile, if I’m watching a sporting event on television–and when am and I not?–I’m on the floor either stretching or working out with tubing. Pretty cool, eh?

I’ve been cleared to run, but soccer will have to wait for at least another couple weeks. Ultimately, I want to make sure I’m fully recovered before training for the Ride to Conquer Cancer begins in earnest. Rehabbing niggling injuries can be a bitch–I’m becoming an expert on these things–but it’s better than surgery, which in this case would almost certainly prevent me from doing the Ride in the first place. Thank goodness for small mercies, I guess. Happy Friday, everyone!

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