Be Fit Fit: Relative ‘safety’ of being
In August, I hiked the mountains of Utah. My plan was to hike the Valley of Fire and the area, then Deer Mountain and Bryce Canyon trails.
Little did I know … The third night of my smoothly progressing solo vacation I suffered a bad concussion. When I tell folks about it, some heads are nodding in disbelief. Sort of hinting that, well, with my “crazy” lifestyle, “crazy” things surely happen sooner (eyes rolling a bit upward so you can see the whites a notch).
If we look back in the 1970s behind the Iron Curtain for more evidence, my mother already told me back then that it was the best to stay put. She always felt that we were the safest back at home, not engaging in any physical activity/Phys Ed classes (which she exempted me from for all my schooling years to come), not enjoying the great outdoors. She was so against all of that. She simply knew that it was “not safe” to sweat, so I better did not run (from or to anything).
We, usually, live our lives as a reaction to our childhood – either a confirmation or a rejection of it. As a reaction to my own early experience, once I successfully liberated myself from the conundrums of my negligible early years, I chose a life which has been quite opposite to staying put anywhere. I love the outdoors and to travel, meet new people, and love the “expect the unexpected” feelin.’ (Which, I guess, makes me a great Realtor and personal trainer, but I digress).
The hilarious thing is that my recent fall did not happen while I was running the trails. It happened due to the orthostatic low blood pressure of mine. At night, I got up way too fast to the potty, fainted, hit my head, and woke up who knows how much later. Alone. In my beautiful hotel room in Ivins rather than on any trail. Staring at the two crafty bathroom sinks from the spiraling perspective of the floor, not even able to reach for the phone. With a huge pain in my head and increasing swelling, and bruises all over the left side of my body.
I never made it to the fridge for the ice that night, because of the horrible dizziness. I stayed put and applied what I knew about concussions: more rest!
Instead of running 118-degree F trails, I didn’t move much the next 24 hours. I needed to change the hotel, which I did, but otherwise, I acted cautious. For the remaining of the trip, I scaled down to hike a few miles rather than run 20-23 of them, ate super well, drunk tons of water, and slept 10 hours at a time.
Experiencing the above in the relative and supposed “safety” of the resort room was not any “safer” than whacking myself on some random trail. I completed the trip as planned at a turtle pace, and got a CT scan confirming that it was a concussion and that “time shall heal.” Which it has done. A month later, I’m only experiencing some sporadic dizziness at waking up now, and I am fully back in the swing of both hiking and work.
All of that being said – and experienced – what is better and “safer?” To stay put or to go for it?
I vote to “go for it!” And I bet that the years of my hard work on the general fitness of mine just contributed to me surviving this random fall relatively unharmed! I’d rather die enjoying myself than staying put.
Magdalena Romanska, Ph.D., is a certified wellness coach and fitness specialist. She is the owner of the Be Fit Fit Personal Training Studio (befitfit.biz) and the Top 5% Chairman’s Board Realtor at the Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International in Sedona. Visit her “Be Fit Fit” blog at VerdeNews.com.