Tuesday, April 01, 2008

March Running Madness

As March began, there was one thing on my mind.

Sprinting at FULL speed by the end of the month.

Now that March has come to an end, I thought that I would reflect and update on the process.

Things started off great. I was determined. So determined that after the first day of running drills and various leg exercises, I could barely bend over and touch my toes because my hamstrings were so tight!

This led me to meet with Dr.Mohtadi to get some anti-inflammatory meds (Oh, how I love the anti-inflams!) .

During the first week, Susan (being the creative individual that she is) found a knee wrap with a little air pad in it to provide compression on the site of the plate. I obsessively followed the rehab plan, doing bungee exercises and heel to bum lifts with electric current on my hamstring, all in the pursuit of running with no pain.

Another exercise I did (quite hideously, I might add) is called a mountain climber. To perform this drill you lean over into a prone position with your nose, knees and belly button all pointing towards the floor. Then you drive your knee up to your chest like you are climbing a mountain! Well, I could do it 100% on the right (which, I guess is something to be proud of!), but negative 100% on the left...which was really concerning. It would seem that gravity, or the fight against it, caused me burning and frustrating pain...kind of like a sky diver who's parachute didn't open (that's a little morbid, Sorry).

So, at the beginning of the March 10th week, a little less than half way through "March Running Madness", I decided that I needed to take a more aggressive approach. I couldn't combat the pain anymore...in fact, it overpowered me in every way and I didn't stand a chance against it!

This led to another meeting with Dr.M and we talked about the options. He suggested we try a cortisone shot. Firstly because the anesthetic we had injected in February had worked quite well and secondly because at this point I was willing to try anything to get rid of the *%^&ing pain! I have always been a little wary of cortisone shots because I have heard that they can make you very arthritic when you get older. I know that this gymnastics thing is going to end one day and when it does I would like to be able to crouch down and crawl on the floor with my kids (when I have them of course...after I make "getting a life" more of a priority!!haha).

I decided that this was necessary. If it could provide me with the extra relief that I craved then it would be worth it. So, on March 10th, I laid there and did my best to avoid watching the GIANT needle squish in. I felt the fluid go up my leg, I bled a little bit and then I went on with my merry day! Yes folks, I got cortisoned! That sounds so much dirtier than it really is!

I was so hopeful that this would be the magic cure, the thing that would take that edge off and allow me to sprint as fast as I could pre-injury.

Following Dr.M's instructions, I took it easy on the Monday and then tested it out on Tuesday.

It felt good, but not incredible. There was still some achy, burning pain in my leg.

Damn it.

I was disappointed. I wanted this to be that instant miracle cure. Why did this injection not numb the pain completely?

Wednesday came and it started to hurt more than before the shot. Was it in my head??? Did I want it to work out so badly that I was actually convincing myself that it was worse than before because it didn't feel 100% better?

I don't know what was going on, but all I know is that the burn was still there and I got a little pissed off.

The thing that made me the most upset was that I could sprint in my head. No problem. In my head I was fast, smooth and powerful. Physically, I could jog well, pick up speed well, but when it came to 'full out legs faster than your body, 'Fred Flintstone style' running, I was unable to do it. My legs (especially the left) just couldn't keep up and it was so annoying!

(In the video, I am sprinting on the track at the Olympic Oval. It looks pretty normal, but believe me, I felt like I was running on one leg)

(Here, more sprinting...and the mats are all like that because they are taking the ice out. This way we can have summer sport activities held there, like the Canadian National Gymnastics Championships!)

The whole experience of getting the shot and having it fail made me feel a little trapped.

I couldn't push myself to get to where I needed to be...and I was trying. Apparently I have an issue with this patience thing sometimes!

I got a little down. I felt defeated. I felt lost. I felt like there was nothing else that I could do. I had tried everything and nothing seemed to get me past that point of plateau.

But, in true Kyle fashion, I over analyzed it to death and came up with a solution. A better outlook. A new glimmer of hope.

Sure, the shot didn't work. Well, I guess we tried it and now we know. At least I won't have to get any more needles in my leg!

Sure, I had been busting my butt with physio. But you know what, even though I couldn't run at max speed, it was getting better. The pain was definitely less than it was at the beginning of the month. I did have more definition in my legs, which is very important when your legs are skinny to begin with!

These types of thoughts changed my perspective. I tried to keep telling myself that I was making progress. I decided that I needed to focus on this. I needed to continue doing the strengthening, continue to manage the inflammation with anti-inflams, continue running with pain, but also try to convince myself that it was a pain I could handle.

I am one tough motha f%#a and nothing is going to stop me from reaching my goal!!!!!!!!!!! Repeat.

This new attitude didn't come in an instant, it took a couple of days, but holy smokes did it change things. Attitude, approach and outlook are incredibly powerful...on both ends of the positive/negative spectrum. If you decide you feel great then you have a better chance of approaching situations with a positive outlook. Little things won't get to you. You'll see the green grass! But if you are down then everything seems like it is out to get you. That grass is brown and burnt to crap! haha.

I've come a long way. I am almost where I need to be. Remember, back in September, when I was sitting in a wheel chair and staring at the wall??? I am so far past that now! I still have time. More than enough time in fact. I just need to make sure that I am absorbing this time with positive energy, enthusiasm and belief in myself. It's guaranteed that this time will pass, very quickly I'm sure, and I need to make the most of every single moment.

My goal for the end of the month was to sprint at full speed. I am sad to say that I am not quite there yet. I tried, but full speed just didn't happen. I'm OK with that though. I'm OK with it because I know that I did everything I could do in pursuit of the sprinting goal. I've come so far and I am choosing to focus on this success and progress.

Now, because of my recent busy personal life, I haven't really been keeping the blog up to date with where I've been and what I've been up to. So here's the condensed version: We had a camp in Calgary and then I spent last week in Oakville with Kelly. Both were great. And, I am happy to say that I have a surprise for you...and personally I think it's even more exciting than sprinting on a track with shoes.

Can you guess what I did???

Stay tuned!



Anonymous said...


I don't know about what your specific tissue damage is, and what is getting inflammed and such, but I work at a sports physiotherapy clinic in Toronto, and am wondering if your Physiotherapist knows about "shockwave treatment" and whether or not it could help you with your pain. The physios at our clinic and the doctor who taught us about it, says that it decreases pain for frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, plantar fascitis and tendonopathy of all kinds. These are chronic, hard to treat, annoying conditions. Also that it gets rid of calcifications, and promotes new blood vessels. I'm sure your doctor and physiotherapist are the "best of the best", but you have this blog, so I thought i'd throw this out there, just in case.


Dylan Glynn said...

an Arabian double lay?

Anonymous said...


I am so poud of you, your spirit and your tenacity! I heard you speak 2 or 3 years ago in Niagara Falls. I really enjoyed hearing about your journey to become Olympic Champion. But, WOW!, your journey to the next Olympics is even a more inspiring story.

You mentioned that although you hadn't quite reached your goal as you had envisioned it, you were still satisifed knowing that you had given it your all. This is so important. As I work to reach my goals, I remind myself to do my best each day. Everyday is different, so the results may vary. What's my best one day can be very different from my best on another day. I can't beat myself up for the days when my best brings lower results. As long as I have given it my best effort, I am satisfied and I'm doing all I can to reach my goal.

You've got the right attitude. And it sounds as if you have yourself surrounded with positive people. Keep moving forward and remember to look back and see how far you have come and congratulate yourself on that - no small feat! I know that you will accomplish many more great things in your life. I look forward to celebrating them with you!

Best Regards

Anonymous said...

getting married

Anonymous said...

Sold your house?

Anonymous said...


Here's some info on that shockwave therapy I was talking about.