You know how, when you take on a new hobby or sport, you can sometimes get all gun-ho-let’s-go about it? It’s easy to do. Perhaps you stick with it. Perhaps you get burnt out. OR perhaps you take it to the next level, and the next, and the next until…you get injured. There is such thing as too much of a good thing.
Let’s say it’s a sport we are speaking of. Maybe, after you body scolds you for overdoing it, you give up your new-found love. Maybe you make adjustments and return to the sport with a wiser, more balanced, approach. OR maybe you ignore your body’s complaints, tell it to man-up, and continue what you’re doing.
We’ve all done it at one point or another. For me, my plans for the Boston to Big Sur Challenge took priority over the wiser, more balanced approach to running. A careful look at my exercise log reveals many entries where I complained of discomfort and/or pain (although mild) in my right ankle. And although I don’t regret moving forward with my [possibly] once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something truly fabulous, I wonder if a change earlier in my training might have prevented me from having to break from running for so long.
It isn’t always easy to discern impending injury from the little aches and pains of taking on a new sport or, in my case, taking marathon training up to the next level. Things most likely would have been different if these little complaints were more obviously signs of impending doom.
Now, with no reason to push through, I find myself backing off from running with only the mildest of complaint when, on my bike, I clearly feel the sore, fatigued muscular complaint of my low back. I know that my prior injuries to the area — the automobile accident (rear ending) of 2006 and bulged disc injury during my 2nd pregnancy — leave the area more vulnerable to subsequent injuries. Still, I focused on the ankle even though I felt, deep down, that there was nothing wrong at all with my ankle.
And…was it warranted?
Today’s appointment was not with the physician who told me that I could return to running after 2 weeks on anti-inflammatory medicine. Nope. I went to visit the sports injury massage therapist who works on me whenever I feel broken enough to throw down some cash.
I figured I had nothing to lose. If my ankle and foot showed no worrisome findings, I’d have her work on my back for the remainder of the hour.
Well, as her fingers began pushing and pulling, my body began experiencing that feeling that tells you to get up and run. Her fingers found areas that, although abnormally tight, were not out of the norm for my feet. I’m lucky that way. But as her fingers made their way towards my heel and up my calve, I winced and yelped a bit more.
She worked my foot and ankle for about 40 minutes. Then she moved to my back. More wincing and yelping occurred until finally I retreated into child’s pose. She gave me a few exercises for strengthening, and left the room.