A Real Pain in the Butt

In addition to the challenges of living in the world of COVID-19 I’ve found an additional pain in the butt and it’s actually – a pain in the butt. Here I will share an additional complication that’s impacted my regular routine and ability to manage through the already challenging COVID-19 environment. I’m doing what I can to shift focuses a bit and be creative. I’ll share what I’m doing and would love to hear what you offer up as well.

Over the last month I developed a good amount of discomfort leading to pain in the butt/sit bone area. I was diligent about tracking when it hurt, where, and how it progressed before seeing doctor, Dr. Gerard Bogin, two weeks ago. After completing his diagnostic and treating the rest of my lower body he deemed I see another doctor to  identify if there was anything else going on internally as the worst part of the pain was not muscular.

I quickly was able to get blood work and met with the doctor last week and the results of the blood work could not have been better. It ruled out all serious chronic illness scenarios and led to a diagnosis on the same page with Dr. Bogin – tendinitis between the muscles attaching the hamstrings to the sit bones. Through both consults our working hypothesis was the root cause was how my bicycle and bicycle seat was interacting with my butt and hamstrings. A couple things came out of this to address:

  • During hard efforts I have to ensure my placement on the seat is appropriate for the amount / length of stress. I have been on the same bike and seat combination for five years but I changed my workout structures earlier this year that are increasing the frequency for my body and butt to be more forward on the seat.
  • Replacing my seat; while taking the bike in for a tune-up I shared the situation and we identified how the one tip of the bike seat (illustrated in the blog photo above) had shifted downward…potentially driving into the buttocks via a poor angle
  • Going for a bike fit to see if I could alter anything based on recent developments
  • Rest – I have to stop cycling for a couple weeks to get the inflammation down (this after already self-shutting down for almost two weeks prior)
  • Therapy and Home Exercises – work on the hamstring and buttocks area to loosen up, stretch, and take stress off the tendon and surrounding area

I consider myself fortunate as there are several more complicated issues that can result from excessive cycling and/or internal chronic illnesses that are unrelated to cycling. I have a clear path forward to get back on the bike soon. This is always a tight rope -needing to push the body hard for performance while also monitoring it often and some times coming down with injuries from time to time. It’s a part of the game to manage. All worth the life it provides.

Cycling made up 9-10 hours a week of my training load and also served as a great stress reliever. With that out the window now in the short-term I’ve done a few things to fill the void but I’m certainly missing all of the positive benefits of being on the bike.

The doctors both concluded I could run while avoiding strenuous efforts so I’ve added more miles and runs during the week. I think the combination of COVID-19, dealing with the injury, and the USAT Duathlon National Championships (sprint and standard distance) being postponed last week that were scheduled for May 30-31 has put a damper on motivation to do some things right now. It’s understandable and everyone is dealing with some sort of challenge living in the current environment.

I’m doing the following things to help me stay in the game and welcome considerations:

  • Increase my days of therapy on by body; some prescribed via the doctors and I’m also treating areas that have either been issues in the past or simply to prevent other issues from popping up
    • One of these is yoga via Jessica Wright. This 58 minute Vinyasa Flow session is just what the body needs and it’s working that upper hamstring area well
  • Meditating (attempting to be more consistent)
  • Connecting with family and friends
  • Giving – giving to others is such a great pick-me-up; author Shawn Achors calls it, the conscious act of kindness
  • Eating healthy – I’m focusing on eating as much whole plant foods I can and in this environment it only helps boost my immune system more to fight viruses
  • Getting enough sleep and downshifting prior to and at wake up (electronics turn-off prior to bedtime and delay on wake-up)
  • At wake up, not looking at anything with potentially negative news for at least 90 minutes. From a recent podcast I listened to – People who watch just three minutes of negative news in the morning have a whopping 27 percent greater likelihood of reporting their day as unhappy or depressing six to eight hours later.
  • Managing information I’m taking in – read/view information from trusted sources that do not have agendas fueling communications. Also I’m consuming information about the current situation in chunks and not constantly throughout the day.
  • Spending quality time with Morgan – we’re cooking together, watching movies, walking, discussing events, life, and her next steps in attending the University of Virginia Law School this fall. This has been a silver lining…more time with my girl.

My biggest hurdle lately with the additional setback is just getting started with some of the activities. So whatever I’m trying to accomplish, it’s the getting started piece I will work on to get momentum going. Two of my favorite phrases will serve me well and I just put them back up on my vision board:

  • Action Sets Mood – when you take action, mood follows
  • Keep Showing Up – be consistent each day

Thank you Rich Roll and Des Linden (respectively) for those…

Let me know your challenges and best practices and we can enhance our lives together.

– Add Health to your Life

Thank you Jessica Wright for producing these amazing yoga videos. 


3 thoughts on “A Real Pain in the Butt

Add yours

  1. Alan–I enjoyed your Zoom chat with Leo–just had a chance to watch it, as I couldn’t participate live. I’d enjoy a chance to ask you about a few things that I seem to be struggling with on my plant based journey.


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