Writing

The Return of the Tri-Ostolete

It turns out that, even if you run slowly, you can mess up your foot. And even if you stop running, and cut down on other on-your-feet activities, and go to physical therapy, and acupuncture, and change your diet, and have your own plasma injected into your foot, it can continue to stay messed up. For 3 years. If your main source of exercise motivation has stemmed from racing in triathlons, what do you do?

Step 1: go for your free consultation with a personal trainer at your gym. Choose to meet with Paige. Paige is awesome, will clearly become a champion of yours even though she’s not the rah-rah type. Don’t exchange high-fives with Paige after a difficult set. That’s not her thing, and it’s certainly not yours. Instead, sign up for more sessions. Paige will get you hooked on strength training. Paige will tailor your workouts so they don’t aggravate your injured foot. Paige will show you that, despite your 3 abdominal surgeries and your colostomy, you can make your core strong again. She will teach you the word proprioception, your body’s sense of its position and movement in space.  In her patient, gentle way will tell you yours is poor. You can still learn the moves, though, despite this flaw. Another obstacle overcome.

Step 2: learn of a new surgical technique that might help your foot. Fork over more money. Undergo the procedure, which involves sucking the badness out of your heel: calcified bone, damaged tendon. Keep going to the gym with the boot on your foot. Feel badass.

Step 3: Receive a letter from your ostomy nurse, Laura, another champion. A group of people with ostomies are getting together to do a triathlon in August. Team Ostomy United. Would you like to join? Even though your doctor told you you could start running again, you’re not ready yet. But you can walk. There’s a sprint-distance option. 5 kilometers. You can walk that. Visit Ostomy United’s Facebook page. Learn another new word: tri-ostolete. Think: that’s me.  Read stories of cancer survivors who just signed up for their first endurance race. Cry. Register.

Step 4: Tell Paige about your race plans. In response, Paige declares on the spot that she will sign up too. Even though she’s a runner, a trainer, a badass, she’ll walk the run course with you. It will be her first triathlon. Argue about who will be slower, who will have to wait for whom. Up your exercise routine. You’ve got a race to train for again. Finally.

2013-05-27 14.49.03

You, Lavaman Triathlon, 3/24/13

5 thoughts on “The Return of the Tri-Ostolete

  1. amy

    I too have a hard time with propreoception and have had several patient Pilates teachers that have allowed me a whole new relationship with my body.

  2. Reblogged this on Iris Graville and commented:
    Lopez Fit, the new fitness center in my community, has been helping my strength-building efforts with its circuit training classes and equipment. My goal is to do a workout three times a week, but some days, my motivation flags. This latest post by fellow writer and Northwest Institute of Literary Arts MFA Program alum, Janet Buttenwieser, is a new source of inspiration for me. I bet her essay, “The Return of the Tri-Ostolete” will fire up others, too. And for more of Janet’s beautiful, thoughtful writing, check out Laws of Motion, recently published in the online journal, Under the Sun. Janet’s piece is the epitome of the journal’s guiding philosophy: “An essay is a short piece of prose in which the author reveals himself in relation to any subject under the sun.” ~ J.B. Morton

    Thank you, Janet, for permission to re-blog your post. I’ll keep lifting, pressing, and stretching in solidarity as you train for the Team Ostomy United Triathlon in August.

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