Friday, November 25, 2011

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

(Disclaimer - I am a not a doctor and do not claim to have any medical training.  Always consult with a licensed medical professional.)

Even when we take very good care of ourselves, our bodies are still vulnerable to the outside elements.  Whether we are graceful or clumsy, we can’t fully protect ourselves against injuries, which can occur during a routine workout, while simply bending down to pick something up, or by accidentally tripping on the curb. 

The dilemma that follows such a situation is whether you should continue to exercise, or take some time to rest.  To answer this question, I offer you a saying which I have learned to live by… “When it doubt, sit it out.”

Over the years I have suffered some minor knee injuries.  Instead of taking a few days off from running to rest my joints and let the inflammation heal, I always kept pushing and running through the pain.  I remember feeling so worried that if I stopped running for a few days, I would lose momentum and gain weight.    Unfortunately, one particular time, the knee pain got so bad that I had to seek medical treatment.  When all was said and done, it took a couple of months before the pain had subsided and I was able to run again.    If only I had just given my knees some much needed rest…ahhh, woulda, coulda, shoulda. 
Since that injury, and especially since Running Without a Watch, I have learned so much about how to take care of myself while running and while taking time off.  Recently, after bending down to bathe the kids, I felt a sharp pain in my knee.  I thought back to all of the mistakes I have made in the past and decided to handle things differently; I didn’t run until I was pain free for two straight days.  All in all, I didn’t run for six straight days.  During these days off, instead of worrying about it, I thoroughly enjoyed the extra free time in the evening.  

And wouldn’t you know, my weight never even changed! 

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