Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lethal Weapon

I have learned a ton these last months of rehab. Enough that I’m halfway through Chiropractic College, apparently. I’ve found all this biomechanics stuff really interesting (must be the systems thinker in me) and I’m eating up all the various treatments I’m being subjected to for their therapeutic qualities and associated information.

And this has all resulted in me being a judgy, judgy bitch.

I’ve noticed that in running, everyone is an expert. You have an injury? There are 18 million reasons and corresponding solutions, take your pick. Most seem to have a mostly anecdotal basis and I don’t find fault in that. We’ve all got our own experiences and realities. But lots believe that what works for them should work for you, too, and that they know what’s going on with you.

Me included. It’s not quite clear what my expertise is but I now feel compelled to critique all other runners. Not to their face, of course. But if you run past me on the pathway one Sunday morning know that I am eyeing your heel whip and counting your cadence. And you will be found wanting, guaranteed. I look at several things:
· Foot placement: There are a lot of ducks out there. From what I’ve seen, the majority of people run like their toes have opposing magnets. Or worse, only one foot resembles the duck’s, which makes me wonder if they end up veering off to one side when they run.

· Core activation: There are lots of booties sticking out there, folks (though this very well may be on purpose). Suck in that tailbone! It will actually make your glutes work more, which is better for your knees and will do a much better job of filling in the junk in your trunk than pushing that trunk out there.

· Arms: These things flap around all over the place. Half the time I think people are gesturing at me. Or doing a Ukrainian Polka. Your thumbs need to be pointing up, people! Keeps ‘em from swinging around, keeping your core stable.

· Attire: I have witnessed a lot of inappropriate clothing choices. Cotton T-shirts are bad news, especially for long distances. There will be chafing. Those hot pink Keds look fab but will destroy your feet (and everything attached) at kilometre 30.

I, of course, am doing it all

How did I get so insufferable? A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, they say. I suppose that makes me lethal.

There’s a bit of envy there for sure. Because it looks so effortless for others and has been such a struggle for me (But not anymore, right? No! I am the moth of optimism, I am the moth of optimism, I am the moth of optimism...) . And so I want to cut them all down (moth of optimism!), make them as miserable as me (moth of optimism!), make me feel like I’m not the only inept one out on the pathway (moth of optimism!). I’m afraid I’m not benevolent enough to wish them success. Something else to work on, I guess.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Robyn - The Rehabilitated Runner

It's been a while since I wrote. Some more knee issues and an itis in my ankle tendon. And lots of feeling sorry for myself. But I've sucked it up and emerged from my cocoon of negativity! I have shed the caterpillar of misery! I am the butterfly of good thoughts! The moth of optimism!

Or at least I'm trying to be. I've had several messengers telling me to get over myself and while I secretly seethed as they were telling me this, they're right. This milestone is not going to be achieved by being a sucky grump. I know it's been the theme of this blog but you'll just have to deal.

To date I've been focusing on the things that are going wrong, that make me crazy, that are just plain dumb about this whole running thing. And look where it's got me! Hobbling about, swelling up, bruising, deep water running. Obviously this strategy isn’t working for me. So I’m subscribing to the Power of Positive Thinking. We’ll see how I do because in the past I’ve struggled with that way of moving through the world. Yes, I’ve seen The Secret; I even own a copy. But I believe that some of life’s biggest learnings and areas of growth come through toil and trauma and just plain wallowing. I think it’s okay to allow yourself to do that every now and then. Why, I did it just last Friday! For the whole night! By myself! It was............good..............

So now I have to turn these thoughts around. Here are my biggest whines thus far with my new thinking:

Having to watch what I eat –I will lose my cellulite that much quicker if I stop eating pizza pops for breakfast, using cheese like I would salt and pepper, and drinking gin.

Spending lots of money on running stuff – If I look the part, I become the part. I’ll be safer....and dayum, I’ll look good....

Injuries – I get a lot of attention wearing bandages and limping.

The agony of regular Active Release Therapy – At the end of my sessions I can usually get a small little neck massage out of my chiropractor under the guise of an “adjustment”.

Trying to fit it all into my very busy, very important life – I can blame having to run in order to get out of things I don’t want to do.

This body of mine really is a wondrous thing. I look how far I’ve come in a year and a bit in terms of strength and endurance. Wowee. I know it will take me where I need to go.