Thursday, May 17, 2012

Running is Bad for you!

As you all know I have been recently sidelined with a pretty serious running injury - torn soleus muscle.  To say it has sucked is the understatement of the year.

Now in my civilian life I work in health care in a hospital. This means that I have been  traipsing around the hospital for weeks in a gray aircast and more recently replaced it with a pink compression sock.  I have been asked over and over again what happened and invariably at least once a day someone says to me - you should not run it is bad for you.

Now congratulate me here because I have not had a total melt down or freak out on these people or even lectured them I just smile and walk way.  Some come by this belief because they have had a medical "professional" tell them this.  Using such phrases as it is bad for your knees or other joints and it is too hard on your body.  Some have suffered injuries that do not allow them to comfortably run, some may have structural issues, bone density issues or asthma and well some - if I may be so bold to say - are just out of shape and not motivated.

I grant that running is not for everyone - it is hard.  Depending on the surface you run on it can be very hard on your knees and other joints.  Depending on your weight it can be hard when first starting out.  Depending on your core strength, shoes, posture, overall health, etc etc it can be very difficult.  But the one thing I have learned time and time again that nothing worth having or doing is ever easy.  If it was everyone would have or do it. Mostly to be a runner you have to have desire - it is just that simple - DESIRE.

Running needs to be done in stages to - that is start slow and easy building strength and endurance gradually.  Make sure you have the proper shoes and make sure you are working on your form. Cross train this builds up the other muscles and improves your core.  Plus you don't need to run every day or run very far.  I remember when I first got back in to running 12 years ago I had some issues - Plantar fascietis in both feet - I remember I went to one medical person and they said you should not run - well I did not like that answer so I told them so and went to a different person and told them that if they told me I should not run ever that I would leave that I did not want a canned response that I refused to accept that response and that they needed to think outside the box and help me find a solution.

Why was I like this about it?  Because I had the desire  and Terry Fox.  When I was very young and an avid runner  I ran all the time - I  lived to run - we lived in Winnipeg and I ran year round.  I had a cross country coach who told us all about Terry - how he ran a marathon every single day with only 1 leg.  And while I did not know really what 26 miles was,  I had run 4 and 6 miles and knew that was far so 26 must be really far.  We trained so that when Terry came to Winnipeg we would get to run with him - well we all know what happened and we still ran that year but not with him.

My thoughts have always been if he could do it with one leg then there was a way I could do it with 2 - find me the way.  Well I pursued and eventually we solved it with orthotics and I have not had a problem with my feet since.  Any time I have had an injury or issue it generally has been due to running form, pushing too hard or the odd time things completely out of my control - like someone tripping me.

Since I started running again I dropped more than 20lbs, quit smoking, lessened my drinking.  I look a lot younger and generally feel better physically and mentally.  Yes sometimes my legs are sore but before I started running again I would get stiff and sore if I did any kind of activity.  I also know my blood pressure, heart rate and overall health are much better.  Finally my social life is also better I have made great friends who I know will be in my life for years to come.

So is running bad for me - respectfully I would say to those people NO - not running is bad for me.  

Peace out Shaun

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