Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Carpo

Sometimes I get really afraid that I won't be able to run any more. I wake up and something hurts, or my knee is swollen or I freak out because things just don't feel the way they used to and I'm convinced it is being taken away from me.

Truth be told, I think some of it has been taken. I shudder to think I've done permanent "damage" to my body. I can't bend my knees a certain way or put certain pressures on them any more. But maybe that is normal? We just have to be more careful. Maybe that happens as we age, things just work differently, take longer to heal and sometimes, it hurts.

It never lasts too long, I guess. But it makes me wonder if I'm doing the right thing. I mean, if I'm going to age anyway, and my body is going to change anyway, I might as well be doing something good for me. Something I enjoy. Something that keeps my heart strong and my mind quiet. What's the alternative? Sit? Do nothing? Lose more health? Age anyway.

I have no answers, I have no idea. I feel like I'm doing what I can, seeing doctors when I need to, taking preventive measures, praying. That should be enough. Consciously keeping myself healthy should be enough. And still I'm scared of it being taken away.

That's a little silly, I know. If I'm allowing myself to be afraid of running being taken away then who's to say I shouldn't be afraid of everything being taken away? Things far worse than my healthy joints could be gone tomorrow, and I don't want to live there. That's a place where we're constantly saying what if and when and why, which leads nowhere.

I'd rather run as though it is the right choice, as though it has only benefits and as though it is there to be seized. Sort of like the day itself.

14 comments:

Nicole said...

I had a professor who said Use it or Lose it. I think she was right in many ways, but at the same time I have the same fears especially when I'm treating people with knee injuries all day long.
This is my advice as a PT - take it or leave it.
There was a great study at Standford that followed runners from when the were in their 20's till their 70's. They had no increase risk of OA or knee problems. What they had was great biomechanics though when they ran. So, what I tell my runners and what I've just started to do. Is run but be smart about it. Stay flexible and strong. I think if you do strength training and stretch with running you could run forever!
Enjoy running and life.

JustRun said...

Cool! Thanks, Nicole. It's always good to know you're doing something right. :)

The Exception said...

We definitely can't live in fear - that is truly not living.

Run, run for the love of it and the health of it, and do it wisely.

Yes, the body does change with age, but the degree of change... that can be controlled to some extent! ;)

*kb* said...

Hey justrun, I'd definitely try to incorporate stretching too. I've been doing triathlon for 12 years and have completed 7 ironman. I swear I feel it everyday, usually stiff in the morning and always some ache or pain going on. I pretty much ignore, because I to can't imagine my life without activity! I'm also pretty guilty of not stretching and I think I'm paying big time!! Happy running!!! :)

justrun said...

Exception- I agree. I am trying to control what I can. :)

kb- Thanks for visiting. I agree about stretching. I have been doing it pretty regularly for a long time. I have called myself the Queen of Stretching, in fact. That said, it's one of those things we can always do more of and better.

A Life Uncommon said...

If running is what you love, keep doing it even if the bod is hurting.

I do think incorporating other, less taxing types of exercise rounds out our bodies and keeps us from over taxing the same areas. Yoga, pilates, plain old stretching... those seem to balance me well.

sue said...

I would defer to the PT - she seems to know what she's talking about! (...says me, the couch potato.)

Airam said...

Running is your passion so it's normal to feel cautious about it. I think that you'll be running for a long time coming ...

Maybe you could go to a physiotherapist to see what's up?

adam said...

Based upon my running injury history I am guessing that our bodies may be able to run for everyday of our lives, if our minds/brains only made all the right decisions and accidents didn't happen. The body will adapt most of the time. The mind seems to lag behind. Unfortunately, accidents sometimes happen and some runners (like myself) are slow learners! So my hard-earned advice: run for the day, just watch where you step and think twice when planning your running adventures.

brandy said...

That's tough- to worry that what you love to do is hurting your body. But I agree with others, keep doing it! Obviously it makes you happy, and I think it's better to enjoy your body, put it to use than to sit and be unhappy, not doing what you love.

Okay seriously. I think that last line I wrote is going to be incorporated into my pick up line this weekend. I mean, it works for running, but I could totally apply it to other extra curriculars as well. Man. My head is so in the gutter today.

Backofpack said...

Aches and pains are a normal part of aging. They kind of sneak up on you though. I try to ignore them when I can, take advil when I can't, and if something feels different, or abnormal, and it lasts longer than a couple days, then I think about visiting the doctor. I'm old, I know about these things.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

AS Nicole says, you are doing the right thing. Your knees (and the rest of you) would be in much worse shape if you didn't run. So so!

appletini said...

If you like to run.... just do it! I think our bodies tend to feel different anyway once we hit our mid to late twenties and approach the thirties.

I'm glad that you are doing something that you love :)

afuntanilla said...

i get it! nice reflections and sharing. this is it. right now. this moment. this day!!