It was with great excitement that I welcomed my little-big-sister to town a week ago. For those who don’t know the family structure, she is 6 years my senior and for all that I am (um) big boned, tall and ungainly, she is petit, short and extremely agile. So much so in fact, that I’ve actually seen her be in two places at once. How we are from the same womb I will never know.
Bearing this in mind, I always make sure I’m feeling fit and have my game face on for some athletic type stuff when she’s around. It's fortuitous that I often mootch around in my gym stuff for the whole day - and so I was that I found myself scaling the mountain behind our house on the very afternoon that she arrived.
It was actually Mr. Professor-pants’ I idea so I sort of blame him and his recent fascination with Aron Ralstons’ story (a.k.a 127 Hours). He initiated the adventure because naturally, when you see a movie about how someone survived being trapped in a canyon for 5 days, rehydrating on their own pee for the last three, you want to try it. Despite the well-worn path to the beacon, the four of us decided to take the scenic route and boulder our way to the top.
I should point out that hiking with my kids is stressful. Mr. Professor-pants has turned out to be a bit of a mountain goat and manages to get himself (alarmingly quickly) to heights that I couldn’t possibly rescue him from – not even if I had an IV of adrenalin attached to me. Not only that, but Too-fast-too-furious has a nasty habit (still!) of finding random somethings en route to chew on. This could be a piece of plastic from a careless hiker’s drinking cap, a dead rock-climber’s old shoe, or a used band aid that has found renewed purpose in his mouth. Truly, I have given up on him giving up his oral fixation and plan on buying him cigars to chew on. George Burns at age 6.
I should also point out that my little-big-sister is a rock climber. A va-ery good one. One who has the ability to scale an entirely smooth surface like a hunted gecko. As we clamber away, she tries to assure me that I just need to get into the ‘zone’. WTF! What zone? The Zone Of Death? When I finally face the fact that my walrus attitude is not really working (apparently slithering is NOT very rock-climberish), I really put my back into finding this whole ‘zone’ thing.
At the time, I didn’t hear anything snap. There were no ripping noises and I didn’t accidentally break wind from physical strain. However, when I woke up the next morning, it was clear to me that I no longer had use of one of my legs. Which is a pity really, because I walk so much better with two. The pain emanated from my pubic bone (what? There’s a muscle there?) and stretched down to around my mid inner-thigh. I quick self-diagnosis on the Internet (Doctors love it when we do that) revealed that I’d done something funny to my adductor muscle – most likely the adductor brevis or longus. Hard to tell really, because my thighs look absolutely nothing like those on the anatomical drawings.
Now what is an adductor brevis between legs, you might ask. Well, you know how when you get into a car and require some enthusiastic muscle to bring the second leg in – that’s your adductors working. That and of course, it’s the muscle that helps you perform useful daily activities like split jumps, inline skating and just plain walking.
Suitably humbled, it turns out that fear isn’t enough of a motivating factor to give you instant climbing abilities. And just so you know, should you get grievous with your brevis, I can guarantee that having an ice pack on your pubic bone will not be the highlight of your year.