A Duel With Oneself or One’s Own Limitations


“True sport is always a duel: a duel with nature, with one’s own fear, with one’s own fatigue, a duel in which body and mind are strengthened.” Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Russian poet

Tuesday I began boot camp at my gym and today I’m thinking it would be faster to list what doesn’t hurt on me. The drills were filled with running, plank high fives, sit-ups, jogging log lifts, resistance band running, tire pushing, and obstacle course intervals over three waves. I realized during the tire pushing exercise across an acre of ground filled with fire ants, grass clots, hills and dips that when you get stuck you can either get low, dig deep and power through or stand back for a moment, access that you can’t force it over a particular area and adjust your approach. You may very well have to flip it a few times and then dig deep again to keep up the momentum. If you are working with a partner (shout out to Renee and Mary Elizabeth my boot camp buddies!) you might have to reassess your collective approach.

The same goes for moving nature. As my partner and I were pushing the tire we noticed a black widow spider sitting on her egg rocking and riding as we were pushing with our faces a few feet away. Instantly, my mind went from getting to the final cone to making sure the widow was staying put. Just as we noticed her presence we hit an area in the ground that we could not dig down deep enough to push through. We were not going to flip the tire because she could have flown somewhere and with my luck on the way back she would have hitched a ride on my leg. In that moment there were several duels going on at once. There was a duel with one’s own fear of being bitten by nature and the duel of overcoming the fatigue of the last wave. To keep focus on the environment and to gather the last reserves to push over the hump was a duel in which my own body and mind were strengthened. Thanks to help of a great workout partner I didn’t have to duel alone.

Now, five days later I am fighting another duel. A duel of mind vs. body. After the assessment on Monday and the training that began on Tuesday the pain from the fracture and defects in my spine started to make my sciatica flair up. Not only does the nerve radiate this pain down my leg but it also causes my right leg to go numb and lose the ability to listen to me when I tell it to move. In a later post I’ll explain how this is not the initial occurrence of this kind of pain. It’s been over two years since I’ve had an issue with my leg misbehaving. The duel comes from the fact that it is something that is beyond my control and I never know for certain what will cause the nerve to be impinged to the point that my leg refuses to function correctly. I started boot camp in order to wrap up those last 10 or so pounds, and/or gain strength, and I knew the regimen was going to be challenging. I wasn’t afraid of the challenge because I had been working towards making my core solid and my overall fitness was at a personal peak. I knew there was a possibility that something may cause a set-back but I never thought it would be this. Now, I need to focus on resting and healing while not thinking that I’ve failed myself because I need to miss a few of the classes. Just like my husband told me earlier today, “know your limitations so you can safely exceed them later”.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>