I fell backwards, and reached out to break my fall. Two of my fingers bent back, and I broke the middle metacarpal (the bone directly under my middle finger.)
My first thought was laughter - how silly to break your hand falling off a stool. My second thought? The Fitness Quest. I cancelled my upcoming gyms, explaining the situation. It was devastating to have just figured out what you like to do - only to have it all come to a grinding halt. No weight for 6 weeks. No exercise then for 6 weeks, right?
My first week, I hiked. The swelling made that difficult to continue, so for the second and third weeks I decided to change it up. I'd go back to four of my original fitness partners, and ask them to modify a workout around my broken hand. Injury is the most common reason people stop working out and lose fitness. Could I do it while injured? I was about to find out.
Lucille Noggle, certified Pilates instructor at Wellbridge Health Center, was my immediate go-to. I had just completed my final Pilates session hours before I broke my hand; indeed, I truly believe classical Pilates is one of the best exercises for my body type and temperament. Even so, I was nervous returning to the studio, knowing that many of the sequences involve the hands. How could they be adapted? In addition to the broken bone, I had also wretched my right shoulder in the fall. The nerve pain I had been experiencing in my arm topped the pain of the broken hand. Would this be further aggravated?
With over 500 different sequences in classical Pilates, Lucille assured me that we had many areas to work while avoiding the injury. As I laid back on the Reformer, I noted the tension in my right arm, and the way I reflexively stiffened my right hand. My body was in full blown protective mode, yet here I was in what I considered to be the safest place in the entire Quest. It was just myself and Lucille, one to one, in a private studio. No distractions, just a focus on the flow, form, breath, control & concentration of each movement. I relaxed as I felt my body remember the sequences and perform them (surprisingly better than before in some cases), and was relieved that I hadn't lost all that I had gained in the prior ten weeks. Fear of losing what I had achieved, although minimal in so many ways, was my driving goal. It had taken forever to just get marginally healthy. I could not bear to go through those three months again.
As the session went on, I carelessly bumped my hand against my leg while standing up off the machine. I had gotten distracted by the ease of the exercise; the jolt of pain reminded me of my broken bone. The throbbing continued as we finished up, and I found if I laid my palm on my abdomen it eased the pain and protected it more. Lucille counseled me to look or what I could do, instead of what I couldn't do over the next few weeks. Pilates was still a go with modification. I looked forward to see what else I was capable of.
Lucille Noggle, CPCC, CHT practices at Wellbridge Health Center, 1055 Ruth Street Suite 9B in Prescott, Arizona. http://www.wellbridgehealthcenter.com, Phone (602)418-8969