I can go months and months without being able to wake up and feel “normal”. In fact, I am pretty sure I have forgotten exactly what normal feels like. I walk differently, I leave my shoelaces tied so as not to be forced to try and bend over or I adopt a fetal position to get the job done, I ride in a car with pillow support to try and keep my back in a more bearable position…all the things some might take for granted are an obvious effort for me. We run ourselves into the ground. Literally. As in, the effort it takes to merely stand up is too much for our body to handle at times. Last year I almost had to go to rehab for my addiction to Ibuprofen.
Right now my body feels like it is in a heightened state of distress. First there are the chronic problems, such as the horrifically tight lower back that teases me with signs of improvement that never last and the right hamstring that refuses to ever feel like the left one and finds comfort in staying in a perpetual knot. Add to that the tendonitis that has developed on my left kneecap presumably from all the increased jumping I have been doing in practice, and the other knee that just will collapse on occasion, especially after a hard session of running, supposedly because whatever muscle or tendon that connects to it has become extremely tight and pulls it out of position. Ouch. And finally there is just my clumsiness. On Saturday I was in the process of taking a bar off the rack and it slipped out of my hand and fell directly on my foot. So 45 pounds from about 6 ft. up caused an immediate screaming fit from me and a swollen and bruised foot for a few days. Luckily the foot is okay though.
So what’s the solution? More ice baths. Baths with Epson salt. Stretching. Tons of money spent on massage therapists and chiropractors. All of this so I can continue to train as best as possible. If I were to wait until I felt absolutely fantastic without an ache in site, I would be close to collecting social security. So while track bodies may look good, they hardly ever feel good. Take comfort in that fact the next time you secretly yearn for the chiseled perfection that we possess. :)