“Scars. A sign that you had been hurt. A sign that you had healed.”
― Benjamin Alire Sáenz
How many times do you hop out of the shower and overlook those stubborn signs of persistence and perseverance?
Now, as a child I can admit to a number of so-called “not-so-intelligent” experiences that yielded some pretty ugly gashes, bruises and, finally, scars. From carrying a cooler larger than myself as a young, young child (and subsequently dropping it across my knee) to riding a scooter through Rocky Mountain National Park with my close friends (a day before my friend’s wedding) wearing thin spandex and a tank-top – only to find myself sliding down a small embankment with some of the most gnarly gashes I had ever seen — needless to say there was zero fist-pumping at the wedding and zero scooters from that point on.
So fast forward nearly 10 years to present-day (ah ’em wiser) April – someone who isn’t joy riding on scooters wearing inappropriate clothing and learning not to carry things in excess of her ability – however, my ability to become a scar-magnet has not seemed to slow down.
…everything from a bruised tendon from marathon training last year, falling off my new triathlon bike (in a busy intersection) a few months ago, and blisters on every toe (ongoing) – the scar saga continues!
So after many months and events, there are a few tricks I’ve learned to keep these bothersome byproducts of sports at bay
Let’s get back on the road to recovery
- Epsom salts, epsom salts, epsom salts – this isn’t your mind-blowing, cutting edge cure-all, but let me be the first to say that this tried and true bath-time fix has been one of my greatest allies in kicking sore muscles and soothing aching blisters since I was a athlete in college
- New-ish Trick– add some essential oils + coconut oil – why? Firstly, who doesn’t love the soothing smell of lavender? Secondly, for those who are suffering with pesky blisters or even chapped skin from chaffing or cold weather, coconut oil will help moisturize AND has natural antibacterial properties
- Neosporin / Bacitracin – another mind-blowing cure-all (insert sarcasm here), but in all seriousness, in more recent history, after falling on the streets of Nashville on a soggy morning run and NOT being smart enough to apply this stuff early on, I was on the brink of a lovely visit to the doctor with a pesky infection. I generally have this ointment in my desk at work (paper-cuts are rampant in the world of finance), in my bathroom at home, and even in my handbag because I’m a perpetual klutz.
- New-ish Trick– cold and flu season strikes and you can even apply a small layer just on the inside of your nose to help ward off pesky airborne bacteria.
- Compression Socks + Ice Packs – a dynamic duo to kick those sore muscles just after any activity – I have been obsessed with Pro Compression’s Marathon Elite compression socks for the last year and throw these guys on after long or brutal runs (link here: ProCompression Socks) with my CVS ice packs. By regulating blood flow, these wonderful (and often colorful) socks can help sore muscles during and after runs – although a significant amount of ongoing research does seem to suggest the “jury is still out” on tangible medical benefits. Placebo effect or actual benefit – these puppies have worked time and time again for me over the last year.
- New-ish Trick– a few days before longer races ( anything > 10K), you can find me sporting these guys at work when I’m taking conference calls from my office and the mid-calf version are my go-to’s when I travel for work on the plane. Who doesn’t want toasty feet on chilly planes and naturally I don’t pay any attention to the sometimes inquisitive/awkward stares. As someone who sits at a desk for the majority of the day at work, I want to arm my body with as much regulation in blood flow in the few days leading up to a race – so what if someone down the hall stares at you as you walk by?