"Coffee will stunt your growth!" "Gum takes 7 years to digest", "Coke and pop rocks together will choke you". These are all lies of our youth. We believe them because they were told to us by people we trusted. These were the words of mothers, fathers, grandparents. It had to be true, and we continued believing the untruth.
Out of the 70s and into the 80s. Enter Jane Fonda. Fitness Goddess. She brought it to the masses. Her striped hideous body suit and braided headband dancing around in the heart of the aerobics era. Oh how I loved my Beta video tape workout. "No pain No Gain" was drilled into my head as I sweated and "felt the burn". Oh I was smoking hot and I believed everything the fitness guru told me.
Here it is 20 years or more into the future. I'm not so smoking hot anymore, but I know a good workout when I see one. So I've done boot camp, spin class, stair running and trail running. All in that quest for health. As my body has aged I've felt the "pain". As I felt it I was transported back in time, back to the mantra "no pain, no gain". So it didn't really phase me when my knee started hurting on a more regular basis. I'm doing more these days, and like it or not, I'm older. (Notice I said old ER, not old), so of course I'm going to feel it more. I've had conversations with friends about the pain and they assure me that sometimes things just hurt, that's just what comes with some activities. I agree wholeheartedly.
So imagine my surprise when my knee decided to puff up like an old water balloon after my last run. Sure the run hurt, but no more than normal and actually not quite as bad. A fluke I thought, it will go away. But rather than go away, it go worse. By the time night fell, I could hardly bend my knee.
Two days later a trip to the Dr. confirmed my fears. There is actually something wrong with my knee. Not sure what because I'm in the midst of the insurance game before I can get the much needed answers of an MRI. But the conversation I had with my Dr. did not leave me confident.
ME: "Well, it can't be too serious right? I mean I can still run".
Dr.: "You have to be very careful about running when you are older"
Me: "I'm 41 years old, I'm not Old!"
Dr. "I said old-er, not old, I'm younger than you and I have arthritis from running"
Me: "Oh, well, but if it was a tear I couldn't run right"
Dr.: "Oh, you'd be surprised. The body is a remarkable thing, it can work through injury, the injury just continues to get worse.
Me: "Oh, so then, I have a 10k on Sunday"
Dr: "I can't run anymore, Dr. "G" can't run anymore, running on injury creates permanent injury. Have I ever told you about a book called "Chi Running"
Me: Yes, last time I was here.
Dr: Yeah, so are you going to listen to me this time?
Me: Yes, yes I will, So about that race on Sunday? You're saying I can't run my 10k race on Sunday then?"
Dr.: Long drawn out sigh..."I wouldn't"
He pretty much lost me after that. He said I can walk, swim (oh good, you all know how I feel about that one), and potentially bike if my knee can take it. Whatever, I just want to know when I can run again. I'm not going to give up yet. Much like those bandaged Tour Rider's, bloody and battered but still on the bike, I'm hanging on to a pipe dream right now. But I'm hanging on for dear life.
See, the problem is, I came to this sport "Older". I'm not finished yet, I just got started. I will listen and back off, but I'm not done. However I do have a few parting words for a certain evil doer.
"No pain, no gain" Jane? Really? Kiss my ass lady. If my MRI is denied, I'll be sending the charges to you!