Is it worth it?

September 2nd, 2013, 12am

It was 27°C with broken clouds. The breeze was light.

As I lie in bed tonight with my right wrist in a brace and a slightly painful left ankle I ask myself, is it worth it. With 2 years of CrossFit and a marathon (Big Sur) all injury free under my belt, I’ve proven to myself that careful training, never going to far too fast has allowed me to remain pain free all this time.

A few weeks ago, I did some downhill mountain bike with my brother. This, is exactly what I call too far too fast for someone who has not done any downhill in 10 years. I promised myself that I wouldn’t fall but still managed to tear a tiny ligament in my right hand during a light fall in the final 5m of the course. “Thank god it’s only the wrist” I told myself, considering the crazy course we followed twice more that day. When people ask me how I got my wrist in a brace I tell the truth, that I was downhill mountain biking in the middle of the Alps, at an altitude of around 2700m with my brother and that we had amazing weather and landscapes before us, and that I could not decently allow myself to complain. That it was “worth it”…

Today, I hurt my left ankle on a trail in Hayama on a beautiful day, much like that one we had in the Alps. I slid with my right foot and the left one stayed stuck where it was, leading to a “Tac!” somewhere around my ankle when my bone structure brought me to a stop in the weirdest position and saved my ass from a bigger fall. It hurt a bit then but not for the remaining 5km of the trail back home. I can walk but going up and down stairs is a bit painful but not swollen. I know that by tomorrow I’ll know how bad it really was. I’ll probably go get a few x-rays. Was it worth it this time too? Yes! I had a terrific time on the trail, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone running on an unknown trail, on my own (running in the woods on your own can be scary) and all that surrounded by beautiful views of the sunny Hayama bay.

But as I lie here I start adding things up and I am having trouble seeing how this is really worth it. These injuries will require rehab, may lead to persistent pain for months and lead to other injuries. They seriously reduce the amount of exercise I can do in CrossFit for the foreseeable future. They mess up training and race plans I had with friends. From here, I can already see myself covered in braces, immobile on a hospital bed for the next 3 years… I think I need to go out for a run before I freak out.

Deb, Gen, Peter, David Wade and 7 others said thanks.

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Paul Baron

Apps, Culture, Cakes, CrossFit, Trail, Space. Partner at digital agency @AQworks & non-profit @TokyoArtBeat_en. Twitter: @aka_me

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