Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Disaster Strikes
“I prefer a disaster unalloyed, in which I am no longer tormented by the possibility that things may improve.”
- Montaigne

So, because I’m an idiot, I decided to try my first Crossfit session – six weeks before my Nepal trek. (*) Even as we were walking down there, I idly wondered out loud to my friend, “Hmm, I wonder what the injury rate is among first-time Crossfitters…?” Well, 100% it turns out, regarding me. Yeah, I got injured.

Actual gym in Tarifa where I got done

For some reason it didn’t kick in until four days later – but when it did, it was like it had been winding up all that time. I could hardly get out of bed; and when I did I could hardly walk. Just hobbling ten steps to the bathroom was excruciating, and actually caused me to involuntarily shout (I stop just short of describing it as screaming) in pain. Even rolling over in bed was a pain festival, and resulted in much groaning and yelping. As you can imagine, suddenly my prospects for getting over the nearly 6,000-meter pass at Renjo La in a few weeks seemed to be receding rapidly.

Actual bathroom in my flat in Tarifa; actual Renjo La

I finally managed to stumble 100 yards or so down to the Centro Medico, where the nice Spanish doctor felt me up, did some ultrasound, and pronounced it a torn adductor muscle. (Put more offputtingly: I'd pulled the living hell out of my groin.) My guess was this happened during the “Sumo deadlift” segment of Crossfit – I did go really light in weight as a bow to never having done any of that stuff before; but once we got going, I of course went pretty hard trying to keep up with the veterans (and my ego). Oops.

Because I'm really an idiot, I went for a run on the cliffs five days later. (*) In fairness, it had started to feel a lot better. But when I got back, I could barely walk again. (*) I generally think every injury is going to be the career-ending one. (Your health’s going to fail at some point.) And you can bet I’ve been thinking it with this one.

Actual cliffside trail outside Tarifa

Since then, it has continued to dog me, which has continued to rain down anxiety, if not anguish, on my head, frankly. Not only was my ability to complete the trek (at all) in danger; but all of my remaining training plans were pretty much out the window. I figured my pre-trek focus had just gone from “get in best shape of entire freaking life and crush the Himalayas” to “try to make sure I’m able to walk.” (Life, it appears, can be humbling that way.)

But the instant I got back to London, I hobble-ran out to see my sports physio guy and, as more than once previously, he said a bunch of incredibly helpful and reassuring things, to wit: After having laid off it for at least five days, recovery actually consists of training – to repair, regrow, and re-strengthen the muscle. I just needed to make sure it was moderate, controlled, and increased in load slowly and steadily. So I immediately got back into some lifting the next day, and the day after that an unloaded stair climb of 200 flights (which was basically where I came in, but heigh ho) – and, thank the dear Lord, am planning a blessed run next week. If nothing else, this episode has reminded me to treasure the ability to do these things.

So, in the end, it looks like it’s going to be somewhere between “best shape of my life” and “able to walk” which I guess is, had better be, good enough. The main point I suppose is that I had to absorb a significant setback, and but still managed to battle back (eventually). (*) And, aside from recording the moment for my own future edification (I forget all my lessons otherwise), this is why I’m dispatching about it: if I can trek the Three Passes of Everest with a mangled adductor muscle… you can pony up $/£/€10 to help impoverished and earthquake-traumatised Nepali children:

Obviously, to those who’ve already contributed: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, and please give no more. But if you’re seeing this for the first time, perhaps you’ll want to to join the campaign and earn yourself a warm glow for helping out some tots who could definitely use a hand. Thank you!

  3PoET     charity     danger     depression     dargbles  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : NEMESIS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm by Michael Stephen Fuchs

ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Fourteen - Endgame by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Fickisms
ARISEN : Odyssey
ARISEN : Last Stand
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 1 - The Collapse
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 2 - Tribes
Black Squadron
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 3 - Dead Men Walking
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 4 - Duty
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 5 - The Last Raid
ARISEN : Fickisms ][ – This Time, It's Personal
ARISEN : Operators, Volume I - The Fall of the Third Temple
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