We’re moving along with meal prep for the second Thanksgiving, yesterday at my youngest daughter’s and hubby’s house with a few dozen in-laws and cousins, and again on Thursday for a crowd at our house. My son and his wife are already here for the week with the adorable youngest grandbaby, along with their sweet dog, assorted baby transport and carrying gear, toys, and feeding paraphernalia. My sister will arrive on Wednesday with 4 adult kids, the sleeping arrangements have been determined, and aerobeds designated.
Adding to the usual frenzy of activity during a holiday, I had surgery on my hand 3 days ago.
The ulnar collateral ligament of my thumb totally detached (if you’re into details) in a gym mishap a bunch of years ago. I was jumping on a bench, caught a toe, and landed full-weight on the barbell, requiring immediate surgery. This time, surgery was an incisement of a cyst that formed from arthritis in that thumb joint. It isn’t life threatening, and it’s not even very painful. So what’s the problem?
Things I can do…
Focus on the positive. Here I am typing, and I can hold a baby, wiggle my fingers, and do things like getting dressed, and showering with a plastic bag and rubber band sleeve. Peeling, chopping, and dishwashing are not happening this Thanksgiving, and that’s ok with me after hosting close to 30+ Thanksgiving dinners in my lifetime. This is not permanent, not life threatening, and I know there is a finite time in recovery. I can do lots of core and leg work. Rowing one handed encourages even more leg drive, and research has found that working the unaffected limb is beneficial to the injured limb!
Things not to do for a while…
Left handed pushing, pulling, gripping. Those moves are all part of my regular training programming, which includes barbell, kettlebells, dumbbells, rowing. Creativity is the name of the game these past few days, preparing to be one-handed for a few weeks. I got this. I am thankful that I have one hand that works great.
I know this injury is temporary and it’s manageable, but ask me again in a week or so.
After a more serious surgical procedure a while back, during rehab I was not sleeping, I was angry, and sometimes sobbing. I kicked myself in the butt and thought “buck up Polli”, “just take a walk”, and tried to ignore the psychological black cloud of being unable to train for a couple of months. It didn’t have to be that way. There is a ton of recent science and literature devoted to women’s strength – physical and mental – through and after menopause.
In this article in The Atlantic,Elizabeth Cady Stanton is quoted saying that she “believed that menopause had redirected all her ‘vital forces’ from her reproductive organs to her brain.”
Injury, illness, menopause, aging, life…we experience it all as women athletes.
If you’re feeling unable to do the things that have defined you, that keep you strong, fit, balanced, and sane, you are not alone, and you don’t have to figure it out by yourself. I am a part of the growing community of women working together to address these seasons of our lives.
Here’s a start: Join the FaceBook group Hit Play Not Pause to be a part of this amazing, supportive community.
Give this a listen: Overcoming The Mental Agony Of Injury on the Feisty Menopause podcast.
Wherever you are right now, let’s get together to keep you moving and feeling great.
By the way, the only mammals that live long after fertility are short-finned pilot whales, killer whales, and humans.