Ok so it has been a little while since I have written anything. So I went under the knife about 2 weeks ago now for the Arthroscopy with tendon release. Essentially what this involved is going in cleaning up around there joint, of some scar tissue and tearing of the tendon (Image below if you don’t like these things look away!).
What you can see is this image is the tendon the white bit at the top then the replacement is the pinkish bits towards the bottom. In between you see scar tissue and
damaged tissue that was debrided in the surgery. In this surgery the surgeon also removed part of my tendon in an attempt to stop it rubbing on the replacement.
I had this surgery on a Thursday and I was back at work on the Monday and back on the trainer about a week post-op. Now I am starting to get back on the road. The whole process has cost me a bit of fitness and in the end it will be probably about 4 weeks of training. This has put me well behind my already tight schedule to be strong for para nationals.
So as you can imagine this is all very frustrating. While I wanted/needed to get it done it wasn’t the best timing and it was just another speed hump for me. This brings me to my point of the blog, the mental side of coming back. This is something that is often hidden but it is extremely important.
Coming back is very mentally taxing. It is difficult to be unable to do things that you could previously or even just to know the amount of work you have to do just to get back to where you have been previously.
I have found it to be very difficult. I don’t deal well with ups and downs. I really ride the highs and lows. I know I am like this and I struggle with it, it is part of my personality. This just makes me even more aware of it and how I should best go about dealing with it. It is an often forgotten rarely talked about thing so I want to go through my quick tips and how I keep myself on track.
So what can we do?
Take a step back and look at it from a distance. It’s easy on the comeback to get frustrated when you don’t make gains every session (I know I do) this can get you quite down. So when this happens I like to take a step back, look at the past month maybe 3 months and look at how you have improved in this time. This can instantly switch me out of the downward spiral associated with getting upset at the lack of gains.
Be unbiased. Look at your last week see how much load you have, see what you have done and how other sessions may have been great so its normal to have an off session here or there. Maybe have a think about how you had a bad day unrelated to the bike (work, family stress etc) that day so you wasn’t in the mood for it so wasn’t up to it. All of this plays in so try and be unbiased in your appraisal of the session.
Sometimes the above doesn’t work, it can be hard to be unbiased. So lean on others. Talk to the family, friends or guys you ride with. I often find when I have had a bad session these people are good to bring me back down to earth. Often those outside of cycling say it best as they will often say that you are even riding after what you have been through is a good thing.
Take pride in each of the gains that you make. This for me is massive. Often people let the bad sessions get them very down but don’t have the good sessions propping them up.
So I will say it again, take pride, live on the high of your good session for a week don’t just live on the low of a bad session for a week. How good was it that you passed that commuter on the way to work this morning and you weren’t even trying! We can all be very hard on ourselves and not congratulate ourselves when we do well, be your own biggest fan.
These are my quick tips to try and help you through a rut that you might be having. It is what I use and how I get myself through the tough times. If you are having issues and a few of these quick things don’t help consult your health professional. It is always good to seek professional help especially when it comes to your mental health.
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