Know pain, no gain

Sunday I did a long, difficult yoga practice. Haven’t done yoga for a while now, too long, as I have been working on lifting, strengthening, foam rolling and trying to deal with my chronic plantar fasciitis. I managed to get into headstand pose almost by accident, as I quit thinking about how hard it was and just did it. I used to stand on my head all the time as part of gymnastics stuff we did in elementary school, but that was, quite obviously, a long time ago. I collapsed forward after a few seconds and smashed into the bedside table – not a lot of room where I do my yoga, but I get it done. But man, so sore the next day. Which was yesterday, the first day in months that I can remember it being both over 50 degrees and actually warm enough to be outside in a short-sleeved shirt, if you are jogging, which I was. I didn’t intend to, plantar fasciitis and all, but I kind of felt I needed to, so I went with my instincts. I remember thinking how very, very slow it felt like I was going the whole time, like jogging through quicksand. This is partly because of the winter bloat and partly because I haven’t run literally for months. In fact, I was running a lot faster than I thought I was, so that’s something. I have exercise-induced asthma as well, which is generally well-managed but running is about the toughest thing to deal with. So the heavy logs of legs trying to run through quicksand, and then difficulty breathing, even though I remembered to do my inhaler before starting. Things seem to get generally better with the breathing after about a mile and a half, but it never becomes easy, the way it used to feel when I was a regular runner. I remember thinking that the first 5K I ever ran was when my age bracket was in the 20s, and now here I am in the 40s and still able to run, if not elegantly, fast or far. I’m grateful for that.

I read about a friend of a friend last night who was prepping for some kind of horrible surgery where they’re going to inject cement into some of the person’s bones, as the bones are weakened and break easily because of years on Prednisone. I was on Pred. for 5 years for ulcerative colitis. The doc said it’s why one of my ribs broke back when I was kicking ass and taking names as a security guard, doing the Navy Seal workout twice a week and, in a bored night of folly while managing a haunted house one night, accepted a challenge to try to do a handstand push-up (against a wall). Which I did, but the rib was the consequence. It’s also the reason the broken vertebra in my back, which came from a horse-riding accident, didn’t heal up right, it’s skewed angle pressing onto a nerve above my SI joint, causing me all kinds of problems these last 15 years or so. And then there’s all the organs I’ve had removed, and other surgeries, and other broken bones. Frankly, it’s a wonder I can even walk around anymore. So yes, I was very happy to be out there, slogging through the quicksand, contemplating whether or not I can squeak out one more 5K this year out of this old body.

I suppose a couple of glasses of wine and an Epsom salts bath aren’t the typical post-run activity, but that’s what my body wanted, so I gave it to her, to thank her for her very hard work, and then some cheese and crackers, calories be damned. Today feels so sore, it’s like I’m breaking in a new body. Must keep going, until the day I can’t go anymore.


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