In 2003, I got a pretty bad running injury. Then I tried to run through the injury for about a year before finally giving up and letting it heal.
I became really depressed.
My entire ego was tied to my running. If I wasn’t winning my age group or running a PR, I didn’t think anyone would like me. I still feel this way some times. But this is a story for a different day.
During that year my brain changed the way I ran. I can’t tell you exactly how…because who knows exactly how they move? This kind of this happens unconsciously. The brain is a master at avoiding pain.
So now I run really funny. No “haha” funny. More like “messed up” funny.
I have pain from this.
Sometimes it’s barely noticeable and sometimes it bothers me for days even if I don’t run.
In 2009, my left calf spasmed almost every day at work. For a full year. It was so frustrating I wanted to cry. I actually did cry a few times.
I’ve tried changing my stride in every way imaginable to fix it…
…shorter strides, higher cadence, lean to the right, fire the glutes more, run on my toes, run on my heels, run with no shoes, run with two different shoes on each foot…
Unfortunately, trying to change the way I move makes worse things happen. I get new weird pains…a stabbing pain in my back, a grinding hip pain, or stress fracture like pain in my feet.
The lesson I’ve known academically but keep forcing myself to learn the hard way is this:
The way you move now is the best way your body can move in its current condition.
So what is the best way to get past an injury that still plagues you to this day?
To tell the truth, I don’t know.
But remember that part in bold. That’s important.
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