No one ever could have predicted that I would become a runner. While I was all legs growing up, I wasn't fast (and in those days it was more important to be fast than to have any endurance) and I was always picked near the end for any sort of team game.
But by high school, running took over my life and during my freshman year I paid a price for it with a stress fracture in my right foot. It was a challenging time of my life for many reasons but I bring this up because in January I once again hurt my knee and something from thirty years ago kept coming back to me.
A year and a half ago, Lilly and I had an accident on the landing of the stairwell in the house. She was flying down the stairs, I was heading up the stairs and we collided– her head to my knee. While nothing hurt immediately the next day I couldn't run. And I didn't run for about two months. But somehow I survived and all was well.
I have no idea what happened but somehow I hurt my knee again, this time with no collision. My Chinese doctor cupped it and said it appear to be an old injury because there was no energy to pull out of it.
Back to walking I went.
This was where my fifteen year old memory returned. With the foot injury, I wasn't walking really well (which led to a compensation injury in my hip) and I remember someone saying to me, "You shouldn't be running if you can't walk."
And it was my friend Art who told me of some advice he found in a magazine a long time ago: that if we aren't professional athletes, we'll have a lot more days of exercising ahead of us. Because of that, we should take the time to let ourselves heal.
So I did. I walked and iced and walked and iced. Finally I wasn't hobbling around anymore, back to walking like my normal self. I started to run a bit. And slowly but surely I'm amping it back up.
I often talk about how one of my biggest challenges is realizing that the world won't end tomorrow, that there will be enough time to do everything. And the same goes for running– I worry that one day I won't be able to run anymore so it's like I want to get as much in now as I can.
However, I have to slow down and remind myself. All is well. I'm right where I'm supposed to be. And once I do that, I can relax. Which probably also helps me heal quicker, too.