I learned an important lesson last night about Things You Can Sprain and Things You Cannot Sprain. Prior to last night, I belived that sprains were a joint problem–ankles, elbows, fingers… And then I rode for the first time in about two months, with me now 19 weeks pregnant, and discovered an uncomfortable truth: Women, you can sprain your Cavern of Carnal Wonders. Did you know that? B/C NOBODY BOTHERED TO INFORM ME OF THIS IN THE 27 YEARS I’VE OWNED ONE. (And yes, Cavern of Carnal Wonders is a technical term–didn’t know you were going to get an anatomy lesson today, did you?)
–And that noise you just heard was all my male Most Highly Respected Anonymous Readers simultaneously slamming their internet browser shut with a bang. (Sorry, Dad.)–
Some background info (not on the CoCW). For the past two months, I’ve been largely ground-bound, due to the extreme summer heat and my ridiculous pregnant intolerance of it. After some increasingly difficult rides in the afternoons, wherein I would find myself lasting about as long as a 20 min. warm up before I was dizzy to the point of Fall-Off-Or-Get-Off and seeing pretty, pretty colored circles, I realized I needed to take it easier. The last time I went out, it was only 86 degrees and all I did was brush Gabe’s mane and tail, fly spray him, and turn him out–I proceeded to get overheated enough to trigger a migraine with raging photosensitivity and nausea. I was just glad I made it home in time to puke on my own lawn.
So it was no surprise when Clayton decreed no more barn time during the afternoons, and that I must wait until the cooler evenings, which gives me an hour and a half window from about 7:30-9 at night. And after a long day pack muling this kid-filled gut around, it’s usually too easy to talk myself into doing it “tomorrow.” And when does tomorrow come…?
But I finally got my time management skills in check and practiced my parenting skills. On myself. “You can go to the barn tonight, but there are a few rules. First, you will wait until 7 when it’s cooler. Second, you are allowed to ride, but only for a short ride, 20 min. tops. To ensure that you aren’t tempted to make it a long ride, you will wear jeans instead of breeches, since jeans aren’t as comfy to ride in (and none of them fit you anyway. But that’s irrelevant to this lecture…) You WILL keep your pace no faster than a trot, and most of your training session will be lateral work at the walk.” I said this to myself firmly, in an authoritative tone. I scowled a little when I said it, to show myself I meant business. Even to me, I sounded convincing. I promised myself I’d behave.
And because I have the self-control of a three year old, I proceeded to ride for an hour and work on our bending and impusion at the trot and canter. I only did lateral work during my cool down at the end to appease my earlier parental self. And it was during that first canter, when I gave a beautiful half halt to lift his shoulders, that I felt something Down There go, “HE-llo!” and start frantically waving the national flag of France. I had enough forethought to realize that 1) I should probably stop even though Gabe needed the work, and 2) that twinge was probably going to bite me in the butt later. (Didn’t realize that was going to be more than a pun only half hour later.) But then that phrase about training popped into my head, the one that says that every time you ride, you change your horse, and if you aren’t changing him for the better, then you’re changing him for the worse. So I kept going b/c he was stiff and I’m mule stubborn.
When I dismounted later, I no sooner hit the ground than I came to the solid conclusion that I’d sprained my butt crack. You know, all those little muscles that you never knew you had on the inside of your butt cheeks? It wasn’t until I finished untacking, hosed Gabe, turned him out, drove home, and was walking up to my front door that I realized that the damage was more severe. I was actually walking like John Wayne. And a Jude Too comic, drawn by the awesome artist Lesley Bruce, popped in my head…
… and it didn’t seem like such an exaggerated comic anymore. Sooooo not funny anymore when you’re actually wondering if that would help….
But in related news, Clayton sprained his ankle really badly last Saturday while attending an event in D.C. It’s been fat and tender since then, but only began turning purple around the bottom edge last night. I was a pretty green color around the achilles tendon this mornig. We’re suspecting a possible crack or chip, which “we” intend to get checked out this weekend–meaning I’m forcing him to go visit the dr., despite his insistence that “[I] can still walk fine…it’s just a bit sore.” Between the two of us last night, we moved about as fast as an arthritic, paraplegic 80-yr. old.
Maybe the next time I warn myself to only do lateral work, I’ll listen, huh? So I guess my question to you, Most Highly Respected Anonymous Readers, is have you ever pulled your groin and what’s the best treatment for it?