Update from the sidelines - featuring the letter "P"


I wanted to give an update from the Corbin Camp. It's been two weeks since my last post and a lot (ok, not too much) has happened since then. 

I am well over the hump (I hope!) towards returning to being a complete triathlete. My official count down is on until I can start back to all three sports. 

A few words in particular have been going through my mind the past 6 weeks: pain, persistence, poise, positivity, patience, pissed, progress. I thought I'd give a brief insight into my time in the injury sin-bin thus far. I am sure many of you can relate. 

1. Poked & prodded, pity-party, perspective + pain

This was stage one of being put into the injury sin-bin. In early May I came up with soreness in my left hip flexor. I put up with a fair amount of being Poked & Prodded trying to find answers. Finding out what is going on inside of your body is harder than you think. Two MRI's, four sets of x-rays, three physios, two doctors, advil, crutches, and some tears later I had answers. Finding out you're injured straight up sucks. Nobody wants to be here, and every time I am here, I swear to myself, never, ever, ever again will I put myself in this position. For two weeks I threw a pretty big Pity-Party. I went through the daily motions of living, but let's be honest, I had a giant pit in my stomach. This felt like a bad break up with the (second) love of my life. Injury is lonesome & isolating. I felt as if I was in a dark injury cave and left feeling all alone. Nobody could possibly relate to this feeling, nobody has walked a mile in my shoes. The world was pretty much ending :). All I did was think of what could have, should have, would have and what I currently didn't have. Sport is engrained in my life. It is who I am. I think it's totally normal to have this emotional suck and feelings of being let down. It's ugly and not fun - but it also provides growth & Perspective. I went from completing x2 Ironman builds and reaching peak fitness levels (being unable to start either race), to not being able to stand on my left leg to put on a pair of shorts. Talk about the ultimate reminder to not take good health for granted.  I also was in a fair amount of Pain early on. I remember longing to just feel like a normal person: wanting to walk across the parking lot without a limp, wanting to run upstairs to grab the laundry & not think twice, or being able to go to a summer BBQ and stand on my feet. At night I would lay in bed hoping a bad gremlin would come in the night and cut my leg off and that the Fairy-Godmother would magically replace it with a healthy one. None of that happened, what I needed was some positivity & patience (time). 

2. Positivity, pool + patience

I knew the pity-party needed to end. My past injury sin-bin mistake is letting the pity-party last waaayyyyy too long. Negative Nancy gets you nowhere and I needed to muster up every ounce of Positivity and move onwards. I replaced the can't with can's, the would have's with "I will's", and my focus was turned back to the basics: getting better each day. Each day I wake up, and remind myself that I am one step closer to reaching my goals than I was the day before. Corny? Sure is. But it's true. At times I have found myself doing the "fake it until you make it" to feel the positivity. It's worked. The one thing I have been able to do is swim, so I have spent the last 5 weeks in the Pool. Swimming sure is fun when it's all you can do. Haha. Actually I do think swimming is fun now - we have a great group here in Bend and they push me well outside my comfort zone. My swim has always been a bit behind as I was a late bloomer in the triathlon world and didn't start swimming until my mid-20's, so this has been really good for me and perhaps the silver lining. The highlight of my days are swimming 5-7k and pushing myself in the pool 7 days a week. I thought I was hot tamale's with all the swimming I was accumulating until I asked Julie Dibens how much she swam in college at LSU. Let's just say there's a reason Dibs is first out of the water at most races :). The latter part of May I was tested with my Patience. I really wanted to be able to log some biking miles, and it felt like time was moving like sand in an hour glass. So slow. When would this be over? It felt like my time in the injury sin-bin would never end! Then about a week ago - things started to change. I was seeing some progress! 

3. Progress + process

This brings me to the past week or so. I have been seeing some great progress. My daily pain is nearly all gone. I am strutting myself around parking lots, and I can now do the fancy trick of balancing on one leg to put on my shorts pain-free. I am also seeing progress in the pool, even on days when my upper body is saying no-more. I have been reunited with my bike and have also started to cross-train a bit. I never thought I would get excited about the prospect of water-running or the elliptical machine, but in the name of reaching my goals: I will cross-train with the best of them! This injury has been a great reminder for me to focus on the process and not the outcome. As I talked about in my last update, the reason I ended up here was that I likely was rushing to get ready for Ironman Texas and getting greedy looking at the end of the goal, instead of appreciating the current moment that I was in. So, I have been enjoying each day - marking my progress and enjoying the process of getting back to 100% me! 

4. Passion + perseverance 

Several times since early May I have questioned what drives us to continue forward when things aren't going according to plan. Sometimes this happens on race-day, sometimes it is a bad training day. For me personally, the words passion + perseverance come to mind. When you love what you do and are passionate enough about it, you find a way to persevere when things aren't going according to plan. There's something inside inside of me that refuses to give up.  Time on the sidelines is never fun, but I have found comfort in the fact that I have faced struggle before & come back as stronger person - mentally & physically. Daily, I have been striving to appreciate this opportunity to grow as an athlete. I also feel fortunate enough to have an incredible support system. I am eternally grateful for the meaning of true friends: you people know who you are :). Thanks to everyone that has picked me up, dusted me off and loves me when I exude all colors of the rainbow. Injury isn't easy and I wouldn't be able to continue on without the help from others: Chris, my family, my sponsors + my supporters. 

Thanks for reading - hopefully my next update will include a pair of running shoes :)

Make it a great weekend!