*Insofar as I am capable of ever being serious about anything, ever, because I am a focused person, a dedicated person, an all-of-that-kind-of-stuff person, but serious? I’m not sure that’s the best descriptor, really, where I’m concerned.
I am thinking about injuries, and my history of accumulating them, and being like, “Ha! Ohai! I haz hurted myself again,” and then basically making jokes about it because that’s way easier than actually admitting that I’m hella pissed at myself.
But, like, I am.
Pissed at myself, that is (for my Brits: I don’t mean I’m drunk at myself, I mean I’m mad at myself … this time … which you probably already knew from context because you’re smart, but somehow my inner Smart-Alec just wouldn’t let me not say it).
Or, well, I was.
And then I realized that I’m looking at this incorrectly.
I have a habit of injuring myself mildly, which just happens in Teh Ballets and in life at large sometimes, because humans can be careful but can’t be perfect.
Injuring myself mildly from time to time wouldn’t be a big deal in and of itself.
The problem is that I also then have a problem of doing things that exacerbate minor injuries and turn them into major ones, like I did this week.
I’ve been mad at myself because I was like, “That’s just careless.”
Except, it’s not. Carelessness isn’t the problem.
The problem is that I don’t perceive pain normally and I’m stupidly hypermobile (okay, and my drive to do things like dance and aerials often exceeds my limited supply of common sense).
So, basically, parts of me don’t start hurting when they should, then stop hurting before they should. The level of pain I experience does not accurately reflect the severity of any given injury, nor do they reflect how much it has healed.
Theoretically, the deep muscle in my “thut” (that’s thigh-butt; you can thank my aerials instructors for that one!) that I could barely use yesterday should be causing a shedload of pain today, but it actually doesn’t hurt at all**.
**Maybe it would if I tried to do the things I’m not supposed to do. Maybe it wouldn’t. I don’t plan to find out the hard way. At any rate, it should at least be sore.
Note to self: THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT EVERYTHING IS FINE.
Likewise, parts of me stretch in ways that increase the likelihood of injury under certain circumstances. This is partly due to associated abnormalities in proprioception and pain perception (see above) and partly due to the fact that greater flexibility often correlates with reduced strength.
Not that I’m not strong; I’m just not necessarily strong in the places that will prevent me from doing things like yoinking the crap out of my turnout muscles.
I haven’t been treating this seriously. I’ve been too busy being delighted about the things that my abnormal pain perception and hypermobility let me do to be willing to countenance the fact that they also predispose me to injuries that I could better avoid if I was, basically, less weird.
As they say: “You take the good with the bad.” And I’ve been trying only to take the good, without accounting for the bad.
This past week, I turned a minor strain into a major one and bought myself several days off dancing and a term of about six weeks to full recovery (with appropriate management).
I wasn’t being careless. Things just didn’t hurt, so I carried on as usual. My leg was a little stiff and sore in the morning, but felt okay enough by the time class rolled around, and really quite okay indeed by the time trapeze class rolled around — so I proceeded with business as usual.
This is the same approach that bought me a layoff of a couple of months last year, followed by a long reconditioning period.
Obviously, a rate of one serious injury per year is quite a bit higher than is really sustainable.
So, in additional to healing, I plan to spend the next several weeks learning how to prevent injuries to my specific body. Clearly, this will mean developing both better awareness of what’s going on in my body and a greater willingness to turn to my live-in Physio (AKA my husband, Denis) when I think I have a minor injury and follow his advice.
And, of course, because I like to write about everything (if nothing else, it serves as a kind of external backup drive), I’ll probably be writing about this process here.
So there you have it. Some insights about injuries that I don’t think I really had before.
Also a terrifying picture of my butt. Holy chromoly. Who stuffed ‘roid-raging weasels down my tights?!