Saturday, August 20, 2011


During parkour yesterday I was jumping from pole to pole and slipped off one of the poles. I sprained my left ankle and scraped my left knee and my right elbow.

I knew that none of these injuries were serious, and nothing actually hurt, but I had trouble moving, as if someone had punched me in the gut and knocked the wind out of me.

After a couple minutes it seemed better so I limped off to rest and get some water. But then something strange started to happen. The muscles in my arms locked up and got really tight and the arms felt like they were going to sleep. The tightness in my forearm muscles caused my hands to be pulled back and the fingers to be curled up up so they looked like the hands of the squirrel.

I gave one of the guys my car keys and asked him to drive the car to where we were and bring me my bread and water, which I had planned on eating after practice.

While he was gone, the numb tingling got worse and spread to the muscles in my jaw. I could only move my arm or jaw muscles with deliberate effort, and then only slowly.

It is a very odd sensation to hear your voice slurred and know that you're perfectly conscious and lucid. It probably sound like I had a concussion.

But the instant I started eating the bread all of these problems started to go away. All of the muscles loosened up and I could move freely again. I felt better even before any food would have a chance to travel down my esophagus to my stomach.

My body must have sensed the cascade of small injuries and assumed it was being mauled by a tiger or something. It was clearly trying to keep all of the blood out of my extremities, and tensing up the muscles to force the blood back into my core.

I am not sure why eating helped so much. We had been going for a full hour of a high intensity workout when this happened, jogging from one obstacle to another and then going up them without any breaks. So maybe my body had low blood sugar. But maybe the act of eating something convinced my body it was no longer in danger.

After I ate and my muscles recoverwd, I started to feel cold. It was easy to warm up by stepping outside.

Luckily my friend and I had carpooled to school from our apartment building in my car. When it was clear that I would be fine he drove me home and I took a hot shower and ate lots of food.

My ankle is still swollen and sprained but otherwise I feel fine now. I should be back to normal in a few days.

At the time, we called what was happening to me 'shock' but now, after I look up the term, I see that it was not. Shock is something different, and worse, caused by loss of blood. I'm not really sure what happened to me, but if anything similar happens to you, be sure to eat something as soon as possible.

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