Your Equipment Your Body
As an alpine ski racer, I was hyper aware of my equipment. If you were off on your wax it could mean the difference between fifth and fifteenth. If your ski are too dull you can’t hold on the hard ice, if the skis were too sharp they would grip too hard into soft snow. It was always about the equipment and I spent hours a week in the tuning room. It was all about precision, knowledge and hitting the right wax.
Today, as an endurance athlete and obstacle racer I have a different set of equipment to take care of and the most important component is, my body. No longer do I have to spend the hours in the tuning room sharpening, stoning, waxing, scraping, brushing and buffing skis but I have a whole new set of things I need to take care of. In the past I worried about my strength and an occasional knee soreness but didn’t put mush time into my body. My races were at maximum two minutes, I barely hit an aerobic stride in that time. Now this is all different and I am just now realizing how my equipment has changed as well.
I take care in the right clothing, shoes, caloric intake, hydration and such but these are not the main concerns of my equipment. If they are yours, it is important to read on, and this is coming from a gear head. I recently, read two days ago, had this mental shift of looking at my body as my equipment. I have been battling minor injuries since World’s Toughest Mudder in December. First, it was callus problems at the back of my heals, which persisted for two months during which time it was difficult to wear anything more than sandals. Then more recently some hip problems. I try to keep my injuries out of the blog but am realizing they are a truth in sports and in life and to be honest should not be left out. A couple days ago I stopped being stubborn and stupid and started to look at my body as my tool and my equipment. If it is broken I can’t do anything.
So I have an appointment with a sports medicine specialist next week. Things like physical therapy, massages, acupuncture, in the past I looked at as luxuries now I am starting to look at them as part of the tuning process to keep my equipment (body) in line. I have not had a night in the last two weeks or more where sleeping on my side hasn’t woken me up as the pain has become that great. It is in all likelihood muscular based at least that is what I keep telling myself but it’s time to put the pride and stupidity of it will just get better aside and see the doctor. As I use to ask my ski coaches for wax recommendations, I need to ask the professionals (doctors) about ways to heal instead of randomly picking a wax or stretching crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. I know just enough to be stubborn which can ultimately just be stupid. If you have the professionals around swallow your pride and ask for help. So I am putting it out there and going to the professionals with hope it’s all for the best!
For it’s not that much different now than it was when I was ski racing if your equipment is not tuned up then you can never reach your peak. For now, I am only hoping this is just a “growing pain” in my journey of endurance racing and am able to move on quickly before it seriously effects my racing season.