Pain is subjective

Pain is a nebulous concept; it differs from person to person, can last an hour or years, and it is so hard to quantify. In December, I wrote about my experience with pain directly following the crash. What I did not anticipate was the transformation from an acute pain to chronic pain. My decision to race Galveston was questioned by many (including my very concerned mother who thinks I need a lobotomy). In my defense, … Continue reading

Read More

It’s not psychological!

Over the last few weeks, I have been conversing with a friend (also a professional triathlete) about the difficulties he has been experiencing in his training. He had stagnated. His solution: train even harder. The daily floggings coupled with poor nutrition took its toll not only in performance, but in health. His new coach recognized this and set about undoing the damage. Doctors were consulted and the results revealed some significant issues that would need … Continue reading

Read More

Injuries, Illnesses, Inconveniences

Injury is a dirty word in athletics (too bad it isn’t four letters). The connotation of time off, rehabilitation, searching for a diagnosis, or even the threat of ending a career is enough to make anyone recoil in horror at even the slightest niggle. I have been fully vested in athletics since my 7th birthday, so I am intimately familiar with injuries of varying severity on multiple body parts and illnesses both common and strange … Continue reading

Read More

The shoulder surgery list

The Top 10 When bad things happen, it is always a good idea look at the positives and not just the negatives to make the situation more bearable. In deference to David Letterman I have compiled two lists. From the home office in Boulder, CO: “JZ’s Top 10 positive and negative things about recovering from shoulder surgery”. POSITIVES Walking around with a sling and a sad look garners sympathy from strangers Banned from housework No … Continue reading

Read More

Anatomy of a comeback

Americans love comeback stories. Tales of cranky, washed up, fallen from grace athletes have been Hollywood fodder for years (my favorite is “The Champ”, the first movie that made me cry. And, how cute was Ricky Schroeder). What constitutes a comeback? Athletes suffer injuries regularly. I think it must be written in the preamble of the Athlete’s Constitution: If you train you will pay the consequences with some type of bodily harm. Since injuries are … Continue reading

Read More

The pain game

Every time I visit with a doctor, nurse, physical therapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist or go to an emergency room I groan when asked this question, “On a scale of 1 to 10 what is your level of pain?” I despise this question. Pain is incredibly subjective; a hang nail may be a level 5 for one person and a gun shot wound a 2 for someone else. I pride myself in having an unusually high pain … Continue reading

Read More