Monday, 23 November 2009

A Blessing In Disguise

It has been a while since the blog was updated, but I figured that now is as good a time as any. There have been a few things out of my control that have limited the updates on this blog of late.

The two main things are that I had an appendectomy three weeks ago and we’ve moved to our new (own) house and as such I am without Internet. The obvious thing that I’ll be writing about today, is the appendectomy and the recovery from it.

About three weeks ago on a Sunday I started to experience severe stomach pains, which landed me on the operating table. Though the operation itself was pain free, it still put a stop to my training and fitness.

The overall loss during the operation: 3KG of muscle, which in my frame is A LOT!
I had worked hard to push my mass up and I thought I was standing pretty on a healthy 90KG. OK, the BMI still said I was over weight, but given that my body fat percentage is within healthy limits, I’d say that it was a good weight to be on and build up from.

But now I have taken a couple of steps back and I’m facing a challenge to re-gain the lost muscle and start making headway into improving my strength and physique for the up and coming season.

I have just finished my first week back on the weights and full contact training on the ice. What I can say for both is that it has been total murder. The weights that I deemed easy have been more and more difficult to lift and my confidence on the boards is gone, along with any jump and speed.

It was to be expected though. And I did prepare myself mentally for it as well, but I didn’t know to expect such a drastic experience. I suppose my mind was at the stage where I expected that I could pick up from where I left off, but I’m now climbing a small up hill to get back into the swing of things.

I was ready to curse the process, but remembered what a good friend of mine is going through and is struggling with. My buddy Nick broke his leg a year a go and is only just getting back to rehabilitation. He’s struggled with it as well and I hope that I gave him some sound advise on getting back to it and the need to work hard to get back to doing things he loves. If he didn’t he’d lose all but the memories of him doing those things. It is difficult to get back on the saddle after a long time off from any sport or hobby.

I remember when I first went to the gym and started lifting weights after the operation. It was difficult to get anything done, motivation was gone, but at the same time I knew that if I did not do the work, my goals would not be realised.

So how do you approach training after an operation, no matter how big or small it is? I have taken the view that it is a blessing in disguise. The way I see it, the operation gave me a break from training, which I wouldn’t have taken otherwise. Where yes it was boring to stay at home and not do anything, it gave me a chance to recharge my batteries, mentally if not physically. Though it has been tough to get back to the routine and pushing the weight I was used to, I’m now able to start working on apparent areas of weakness in my body and make myself stronger that way. After the first session and the incredible frustration I felt, I am now able to approach training with the same passion as I did over a year ago. At the end of the week (Sunday 22nd November), I felt happy about the progress I made, which is something I hadn’t felt in a while.

I know guys who have gotten back to playing their respective sports and everything after long times off from serious injuries or illnesses, where some have had to have several operations or organ transplants. Recovery is not an easy road to travel when you’re desperate to get back to it, but please treat it as an opportunity as opposed to a chore. If you’re able to approach it with an open mind, you will be able to reap those benefits you did to when you first started.

To me it has been a great experience to learn about myself and re-discover progress. Even if the progress is getting myself back to the old levels, it is still something I have not experienced in a while and as such I can approach training and the game with the passion that I did a long while ago.

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