Sunday, July 15, 2012

"You'll Wreck Your Knees!"

This blog is mostly running-centered, so I assume most of you are involved in running or physical activity in one way or another. Ever have a concerned friend or family member warn you about the risks of running?


I'm not really a tattoo fanatic, but I love good art.
When Catra Corbett posted this on facebook, I felt it move me. Must be the profanity.

It might be a bit of a stretch, but this meme reminded me of the same situation. We're always cautioned to think about the future, and for good reason. Our friends and loved ones don't want to see us spiral into a decrepit state because we refused to take care of our bodies. They don't want us to have to explain our "foolish" behaviors from the past as we limp around. In a similar vein, people see older adults with tattoos, and assume they regret their youth.

The moral of this brief babbling is that we can't be afraid of marks from an irreverent and idealistic youth. My legs, arms, and face have scars on them from this and that: motocross bikes, snowmobile accidents, truck rollovers, bicycles, etc. I'm well aware that injuries come back to haunt us. I teach a class for seniors who are rehabilitating injuries and/or treating arthritis. They've all got pain. Do you know what most of them have? Stories. Incredible stories in which they've taken risks, made hasty decisions, and thought with their hearts instead of their brains.

I know the potential result of bad decision making all too well. Shit, it's the reason I started this blog. Losing my greatest role model to bad decision making woke me up. One could take it as a sign to hermetically seal themselves up and protect their bodies from their minds. Conversely, one might realize that any decision we make very well could be our last, but it could also be our best.

This struck a chord with me because lately, I've been finding myself shrugging things off. If a run doesn't go well, I say "it's not worth it" and move on. Though it's perfectly rational to choose my battles, I've got to do just that more often- PICK ONE!

I've picked a battle, and it won't be easy. As I write this, I'm icing a sore hip and counting down the minutes until I can take another hit off my asthma inhaler. I'm sweating and shivering at the same time. The battleground is the Tahoe Rim Trail. I'm running 100 miles next week. I'm going to run it as fast as I can on that particular day. No worrying about what place I'm in, or what color(if any) belt buckle I'll receive. I'm staying on that course until I finish or they pull me off. It's not even about running any more. When I tell stories to my kids, they're not going to give a shit if I'm my generation's Yiannis Kouros, they'll care that their dad was tough, and that they can be too. Worrying about scars, injuries, or mediocre finish times is a waste. A week from now, I'll have a tattoo- a badge of honor, or a scar. I'll be proud of either one, and looking for the next.

Give 'em hell, and my deepest apologies for pretending to be thoughtful. :)

8 comments:

  1. I think I must have an awesome Dad then, because I've got him talked in to running marathons (not ultras yet...). The proudest I think I've ever seen him of me was when I hobbled across the line in a 50-miler, having walked for the last 14 miles (bloody feet and ITBS from hell). But I finished.

    Still, yeah, you get concerned people wondering what you'll do if you tear an achilles, wreck your knees, or whatever. They say you should eat more, exercise less (the novelty of that concept amuses me), and just stop being so obsessive about such a fringe endeavor.

    Anyway, go run like hell, and hurt good.

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  2. I love that post.

    Just be alive !

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  3. You have really be on a roll with some penetrative post as of late. Good luck this weekend!

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  4. Good luck, duder! Give'em hell!

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  5. Nice post dude! It was great running with you at Tahoe. Congrats on gutting out the tough finish! And I like the bit about the tattoos. I rock a full back Polynesian tattoo myself. When people ask me dumb shit like, "why would you destroy you body like that?" I usually answer, "because it looks cool as fuck, and as an added bonus it annoys people like you."

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    1. John, "because it looks cool as fuck" is easily the most perfect response I've ever heard for such a question. You, are awesome!

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  6. Finally saw the Tahoe results! Congrats on the finish! Can't wait for the RR.

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    1. I'm trying my damndest to write one, but its so long! I guess recalling 28 fucking hours of walking takes a while. Imagine the final scene from "the book of Eli."

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