The Proposal

It was the first week of March. Saturday to be specific. Saturday night to be even more specific. Around 10PM. Jasmin sits next to me on the couch and asks me a very unusual question.

She asked me if I would be interested in joining her on a 100km 24hour walk event called Mammutmarsch.

I look at her with one of those “You gotta be kidding me, right?” looks and awaited her response.

She wasn’t kidding.
I took a moment to think about it. 100km… 24hrs…. walking…. Fuck it! Why not?

“Let’s do it!” I tell her. “When is it?” I ask.

“May”, she said.

“May, when?”

“May 15th….”

“On my birthday?!?”

“Yes.. on your birthday…”

I take a moment to think about it. 100km… 24hrs…. walking…. Fuck it! Why not?

[youtube id=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDYLL8o60ZM” width=”600” height=”400”]


 

Fast forward 2 weeks

Jasmin asks me on Friday after work if I’m coming with her to the preparatory-training camp for the Mammutmarsch tomorrow. A 40km 6-8hour walk. I did not realize that I had to dedicate time above and beyond the 24hours I would be spending on the day of the event (which also happened to be my birthday).

I declined. And eventually I withdrew from the event. I realized what a pain in the ass training for this thing would be and I was unwilling to invest time and effort in an activity I generally dislike (i.e. walking for walking’s sake).

Jasmin was pissed. Dealing with disappointing her was a consequence I was willing to face. Training for the event was not.


April 5th 2016

Jasmin went to the second long walk training session. This time it was 50km. At night. Between 10pm-6AM.
She woke up with some discomfort in her knee , but it wasn’t something serious. Or so we thought.
Around 4-5 hours in, I receive a call from her. She was tired, sad, disappointed, frustrated. Her minor knee issue turned into a major one within just a few hours. I told her to ditch the training and come home.
When she finally came home around 2 AM, I took a look at her knee to see what’s going on.
It had swollen up to 2x what her knee normally would look like.
The event was a bit more than a month away and now THIS shit happened!

IMG_8269

Obviously, Jasmin was not happy…


A Fresh Perspective on Injuries

What can we do now to:
– Reduce the possibility of exacerbating the already present injury?
– Reduce the possibility of further injuries?
– Rehabilitate the injury as fast and as much as we can in the short amount of time we have before the event?
– Manage current pain issues?
– Manage potential future pain issues?

These were some of the questions we needed to address over the course of the next few weeks.
Injuries suck. Especially when they prevent you from doing something you love doing.
But letting an injury ruin your psychological well-being will not speedup recuperation. As a matter of fact, it will probably hinder it.

One of the first things that happen when someone gets injured is they blame the body part that got injured. Fucking knee. Goddamn shoulder. My frickin’ back!
If your child got hurt you wouldn’t go up to her and say: “Why did you get hurt, you piece of shit?”
You would help soothe her pain and make sure she’s alright, and if she’s not, you’ll take the appropriate measures to make sure she is properly taken care of.

Well, same thing should be done with your body. If something gets injured, take care of it as if it were your child.

[youtube id=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05r_aidhEg8”600” height=”400”]


Rehabilitation & Strategy

After following my advice to slowly take up walking again and no running, Jasmin started her rehab by going to a physiotherapist.  She also made sure she stayed hydrated and ate well, did a bunch of mobility stuff and took supplements.

Because we weren’t sure if her knee would be fine by May 15th, we started working on a strategy that would increase her chances of finishing the walk even with an injury. So what could go wrong on a walk like this?

Blisters, dehydration, carrying a heavy load which may cause low, mid or upper back pain, hypothermia, etc.
So we found solutions for every little thing that might come up so that even though she wasn’t physically in the best shape, she would be extremely well prepared for anything that might come up that is under her control. We got a good hiking bag, hiking sticks, kinesio tape, military tricks to avoid blisters, load distribution tactics, etc. And if her knee started hurting again, we had a strategy for how to gauge the situation and how to decide whether or not she should carry-on. Also ingraining in her the belief that she can finish the walk by believing it myself first was crucial. When others believe in you, believing in yourself is much easier.


The Big Day

To find out what happened you need to watch the video.

[youtube id=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aofRqSUcyDg” width=”600” height=”400”]

To find out more about why the event got fucked check this website:

http://www.rbb-online.de/panorama/beitrag/2016/05/mammutmarsch.html