In which I lament my years of running which I still miss and which I would like to return to except for my knees

by Lorin Michel Tuesday, October 6, 2015 8:57 PM

I started running when I was 14. I don’t remember why. I just remember I did. It always made me feel good. And since it was good for me, I continued to do it. I ran through high school. I ran through college. I slacked off a bit during my freshman year of college and I got a little heavier than I’d been before. The infamous freshman 15 though in my case it was probably closer to the freshman 5. I started running again. I got a job waitressing, which is actually great exercise, and I got thin again. I could always tell by the way my jeans fit.

After college, I continued to run, though some years I’d log more miles than others. After first-husband and I split up, I actually started running more. I’m not sure why. I think it made me feel better about the situation, about my choice. I never regretted getting married the first time. We had to do it in order to finally break up. I didn’t regret breaking up either though you can’t help feel a bit like a failure, even though it had long been pre-determined by the universe that we were not destined to be together.

I remember one New Year’s Day deciding that I was going to run a loop I had already driven to determine mileage. It was just under 6 miles. I was excited to see if I could do it. As much as I always liked to run, I never ran more than about 3 or 4 miles. It’s how much time I had before work. But on that New Year’s Day I had lot of time. It was cloudy and cool. I laced up and off I went. It was great. It may have been the beginning of the end for my knees.

My mother has bad knees, or at least bad knee. Hers came from dancing when she was young. Mine, I’ve no doubt, came from too many instances of my feet hitting the pavement and sending shockwaves upwards. No matter how good the shoes are, and I always wore decent running shoes, I was still inflicting shock on my joints. Couple that with any kind of genetic malfunction, and presto change-o. Bad knees.

My right has always been the biggest culprit. I have my share of braces in the closet to keep it in line when I need to. When we moved in March, I made the mistake of running from the car to the house because the movers were arriving and I had to park a distance away. I hadn’t run in much too long. I felt my right knee instantly twinge and nearly give out. It has been bothering me since. I used to recover more easily and more quickly. Evidently those days are gone.

Lately my left knee has been bothering me as well, though in a different place. My right knee pains me on the inside right, the left knee pains me on the back. I thought maybe it had to do with stretching or lack thereof. Because my right knee was bothering me, I haven’t been stretching out as much before we leave on our walk with Riley. I also think that hard tile floors may be wreaking a bit of knee havoc. 

I think, too, it has to do with what I lovingly call age rot. No matter how well you take care of your body, eventually things wear out. It’s like a car. You can baby it, make sure it’s always washed and waxed, change the oil regularly, and it will still break down at some point just because it’s being used all the time and it gets tired.

There was a meme on Facebook several weeks ago that said someday all the health nuts who don’t smoke, don’t drink and don’t eat potato chips will still be lying in a hospital someday. The difference is they’ll be dying of nothing. In other words, still dying. 

Believe it or not, I’ve actually entertained the idea of getting back into running as a way to alleviate my knee pain. I know that’s not logical, but it always worked in the past. While I get my bad knee(s) from my mother, I think I got the running even when in pain thing from my dad. He was always a big “shake it off” kind of guy. As in: You’re hurt? Shake it off. 

Besides, I miss running. I miss the way it made me feel. I miss the way my clothes fit. If it’s not too late, maybe just maybe I’ll lace up the Asics and head out. I wonder how far I’ll get.

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live out loud

Comments (1) -

10/7/2015 6:01:44 PM #

You'll regret it in the morning!!

mom United States

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