I had a terrible day about two weeks ago. Awful. I hit the treadmill and wanted to cry. I pushed myself to (mostly) WALK 20 minutes. I only ran 3 of those. I was stiff and sore when I finished. My shins hurt. I felt flustered. This is not ideal when you're trying to build up mileage to run a marathon. 20 minutes? How am I supposed to make it 26.2 miles?
Something's gotta give.
Some co-workers of mine visit a local doctor who practices chiropractic in addition to Active Release Techniques, and I thought I'd look into it. For those of you that don't know what Active Release Technique is for, let me enlighten you (from the website):
ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.
Now to see that shin splints can be resolved "quickly and permanently" is encouraging. To know that my co-workers really like this doctor and have noticed differences in their own issues intrigued me. I made an appointment.
I was nervous, but I had no real reason to be. Judging by the thank you notes and photos framed on his walls, Dr. Jeff Mathews has worked with tons of successful athletes. He even is an athlete himself, so you can be sure he understands. I came in and he asked me about my shin pain and dug right in. Literally.
See, ART is like massage therapy in a way. When I go in to get work done on my shins (which I have done twice now), it's to break up the scar tissue that's built up and to loosen my (apparently very tight) muscles. Today, for example, I had to do a little bit of jogging so we could determine what the problem areas were. The main muscle in my shin (and yours too), the tibialis anterior, is tight. It needs work. It's affecting the nerve that's directly beneath it and it's putting way too much pressure on my tibia. My calves needed some loosening up, because those muscles were also pressuring my tibia. (I'm trying to avoid a stress fracture here.) And you know, my hamstrings are too short. So we're going to work on lengthening them.
The reason I'm excited? In my first appointment last week and my appointment today, Dr. Mathews said, "Oh, we'll fix this." Well, okay. "I'll make you a runner," he said. Well, that's awesome.
So basically, with a little work, a little rest and some determination, I'll be on my way to that September 5 marathon. Let's toast our Nalgene bottles to strong legs!
Why this matters to you: First of all, you don't have to listen to me complain about how I can't accomplish this goal. Second and most importantly, there's a lesson to be learned here. Think about it: no matter what you're doing, you likely will be able to accomplish it with a little work, a little rest and determination.
What I'm saying is - don't be reactive. Don't get upset when things don't go your way the first time. Be proactive. Put in some effort. Plan. Put your passion to work. You can and will accomplish anything you put your mind to. I truly believe it.
I'll leave you with my responses to tonight's #Fitblog questions. #Fitblog is every Tuesday night on Twitter and is a great way to connect with fitness-and-health-minded folks!
Q1) Do you consider proper nutrition and fitness to be an expensive habit?
I do think being healthy is more expensive than it should be. I was actually just thinking about this today! Fruits and veggies are typically more expensive than unhealthy options, and it costs money to invest in a gym, trainer, etc. It's worth it, but still unfortunate.
Q2) What are your favourite low cost exercise options?
Growing a garden (the best!), exercising outside, investing in a DVD.
Q3) How does cost of food factor into your grocery choices?
I love fruits/veggies so I will still buy them even when they are expensive. I think it's good to browse through the produce section and find things on sale, but sometimes you just gotta buy what tastes good. Seriously, the cost is worth it.
Q4) What are your best tips for staying healthy on a budget?
If you have a yard or a means of growing your own food, try it. Take walks. Find fitness buddies. And look for coupons!