After a very frustrating last ten days I thought I would dedicate this blog to injuries. I have had my share of injuries in the past. 25 years of playing contact sports (mainly rugby, boxing and mountaineering) has seen a long list of things such as; fractured right ankle, dislocated left ankle, broken left leg, two broken collarbones, multiple broken noses, concussion’s, broken teeth, broken wrist, dislocated fingers, torn ligaments/cartridge’s/muscles and numerous cuts requiring stitches.
The most frustrating injury I have ever suffered is Osteoitis Pubis (OP). OP is an overuse condition, affecting the groin area and was a result of over training in boxing and rugby. This took 2.5 years to recover. I spent thousands of dollars on physio’s, yoga, surgeon’s consultations, pilates and painful cortisone injections deep into my groin. However time seemed to be the only thing which cleared this up and I only recovered completely around 6 months ago.
Last weekend I played a game of rugby (the first in a long time) and woke up on Sunday with sore ribs. After a strenuous rock climbing session 3 days later my ribs became very painful and I knew from experience it felt like a rib cartilage issue. A 2 day trip to India on Thursday and Friday saw me in more pain just from breathing and lying down. A visit to City Osteopathy on Friday confirmed it was in fact torn rib cartilage. Rib cartilage is a very painful thing to injure, it hurts like hell every time I laugh or cough, breathe deeply, move suddenly or lie down. And the recommended cure? Rest for 6 weeks and abstain from all physical activity! Not really a very attractive option for someone training for one of the most extreme and dangerous endurance challenges on earth.
Having suffered so many injuries in the past I have a well established routine which I followed here also. I go through an initial period of sitting at home and sulking, getting depressed and moody before going out and trying to train through whatever injury it is. So I sat at home yesterday in a foul mood with ice packs on my ribs before getting up this morning to take part in the Swissotel Vertical Marathon, a running race up 72 floors of stairs which I had registered for together with Stephanie some weeks back. Not wanting to miss this event I decided to just try and walk the stairs slowly and not put too much stress through my ribs. So around 8AM this morning I set-off up the stairs with a few hundred other people. Adrenaline kicked in and I pushed harder than I should have on the way up. After 11 minutes and 9 seconds I popped out on top, in a world of agony. I was doubled over in pain at the top of the stairs while trying to take as small breath’s as possible to avoid causing more agony to my ribs. In complete ignorance of the fantastic view from over 200m ASL in somewhat reminded me of the feeling after summiting a high altitude mountain! After scrounging up a bag of ice and applying this to my ribs for a half an hour, I felt a little more comfortable and was very proud to see my personal trainer (Darren Blakeley from UFIT) run a very fast 10m 22s race and come in at 5th place in the men’s 40 – 49yrs category.
As sore as my ribs are, the most painful injury I can ever remember suffering was breaking my leg whilst playing in the Hong Kong Sevens in 2002. The thought of the pain that swamped me immediately following that injury, as my ankle dislocated and my fibula snapped still makes me feel a little nauseous and I hope I never get to repeat that sensation! Attached is an XRAY showing some of the plates and screws inserted into my ankle – which are still there.
Due to breaking my leg in the Hong Kong Sevens, I was out of rugby action for over a year. I therefore could not take part in my rugby clubs (Singapore Cricket Club’s) tour to Bali to participate in the Bali ten-aside rugby tournament. I had taken part in the previous Bali ten aside tournament, had a lot of fun and was looking forward to the next tournament. I was naturally disappointed not to be able to attend because of my leg injury. That weekend in October 2002, is sadly etched forever in history. As my team mates celebrated in Paddy’s bar in Kuta, Bali, two terrorist bombs exploded, killing seven of my teammates and badly injuring the others. I am not an extremely spiritual person however I often think of fate and that breaking my leg maybe happened for a reason.
None of the injuries I have ever had – can really rival the image you see below!! This is taken from a health and safety memo, sent out to warn workers who work at heights about the dangers of wearing too loose fitting climbing harness! I am sure all males who view this will be grimacing and sucking in their mid-riffs whilst imaging the suffering this poor bloke must have gone through here!
Well here is hoping I can recover as soon as possible from this rib injury and get back into my training. I hope you all remain injury free and healthy. If you are not feeling healthy then I recommend you go and visit Dana Heather at Balanced Living. She has me on a 100% natural nutritional plan which really has done wonders to my energy levels and general health. Of course you need to balance healthy eating with exercise as well, so go and attend some of UFIT’s daily bootcamp training sessions as Fort Canning or Botanical gardens. These are very reasonably priced and great value for money. The last three months has been the busiest time of my life. I have travelled hard for work, trained hard for Everest, had a huge amount of work meeting with sponsors, writing articles and working with charities, moved house and been arranging our wedding coming up in December 20th. This all takes an enormous amount of energy and I can’t afford to get sick or run down. No one else will do these jobs for me. The nutritional plan and getting strong and fit has really helped in this respect.
Please also check out the latest press on the climb released this week.
A nice article in Expat Living on training for Everest:
The second Video Blog on ESPN star.com (Go to other sports -> the hit squad -> Axe for Everest Episode 2:
Look out for the Expedition FACEBOOK page which will be launched this week also – the name to be released shortly and the winner of the prize to name the FACEBOOK page also will be announced. The winner will receive one week worth of UFIT training sessions!
Well that’s all for this week folks, whatever project you are working on, whatever is your ‘Everest’ which you maybe struggling to climb – remember that nothing valuable comes without a struggle, hardwork and sheer determination. Setbacks, Injuries and disappointments will always come along, but it’s how you deal with these issue’s that separate winners from losers.