Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"You Would Have To Cut My Leg Off"

First off today let me wish my loving & beautiful wife, Michael a Happy Birthday! Woohoo ... You go girl! Love you sweetie! P.S. It's BirthDAY ... Not BirthWEEK!

I'm a pretty stubborn dude!  Not stubborn like my daughter ... but I can dig my heels in with the best of 'em.  And sometimes this unwillingness to stop and listen, combined with a fair amount of mental and physical toughness causes prolonged healing and unnecessary pain.

Take my body for example ... that's probably where this bull-headedness is most evident.  On several occasions, Michael has encouraged me to go to the doctor to get something checked out.  Most recently a leg issue.  But I always insist, "Nah, I'll just run through it."   When she pushes me a little, my stupidity driven stubbornness answers, "You would have to cut my leg off to get me to stop running!"  The conversation usually ends there by Michael concluding, "Okay idiot, limp around for the rest of your life!"  Then she says something mean like, "You're a broken down, slow, old-man anyway!"  Now that's just uncalled for ... love you honey!

It's probably just the way I was raised.  I'm small-town, old-school baby!  And "The CODE" says TOUGHEN UP!  I've been an athlete all my life ... football, basketball, baseball, and now marathoner.  I've had it drilled into me since I was five, "Walk it off!", "Tough it out!", "Don't be a wussy!"  Heck, once when I was 25, I tore some ligaments in my ankle and drug my foot behind me untreated for about 3 months because we didn't have insurance.  Did it hurt ... a little!  But I'm tough baby!
"My first baby came out sideways ... I didn't cry or nothin'!"  

So today, at 42 years old, when my leg is killing me, what do I do ... run on it until the pain is gone!  Now before you judge me and start a "comment section lynch-mob" about going to the doctor, hear me out.  This has obviously been a successful approach!  Is it the smartest?  Probably not!  But I'll never be confused with the most brilliant of minds.  And I'll bet if you were really honest, most of you who are serious about your sport do EXACTLY THE SAME THING!  It seems like most of the time ... heck 100% of the time to this point ... I WAS RIGHT!  It all eventually goes away.  Sometimes I have to slow down a little.  Sometimes I have to limp.  But for some stupid reason I look at seeking a professional opinion as "surrendering". 

So I guess the "question of the day" is this ...
Do you do the same thing?  Or are you smarter about your body and know when to have it checked out by a trained professional?

I know which one I am.  And like my grandpa used to say "If ain't broke, don't fix it!"
(Disclaimer ... Jim's actions should in NO WAY be taken as the right way to do things.  If pain persists, please seek professional medical attention ... seriously!)
... be great today!


  1. I am the exact same way. When I was a kid I finally got dragged to the doctor for one of my ankle sprains. He tested them out and took xrays and mris and what not. Turns out that I had torn 2 of the 3 major ligaments at some point. He was surprised that I was still walking. Whoops!

    I try to be better about it now. If it's something major, I get it checked out. If I think I can make it go away, I ignore it....bc if I ignore it, it doesn't exist, right?!

    Hope your legs feels better soon!

  2. I am horrible about listening to my body. I am trying to get better but I am old school also. The military life really hammered that home. You didn't go to sick call. That was for those trying to get out of work!

  3. What a great day for me to read this post. I did just that this morning.

    I had a very hard 18 mile work out on Sunday and my quads were fried! This morning my left one was still pretty sore but I could not, not run! So I got up and hit the treadmill. At first it was painful, but I kept pushing through and by the end of my 5.5 mile run, my legs felt great!

    In fact, I plan on running another 5 miles outside after work.

    Guess you know which one I am! :-)

    ps. Good Luck in Boston!!

  4. Oh my gosh--you and my husband were separated at birth. He is perpetually walking around with some injury and always comes out the other end ok. Not smart and not fair, either!

  5. Rub some dirt on it and get back in the game! :)

    Just kidding. I think it varies. If I know it's something significant, I will get medical help. If it's just overuse (or old age), muscle soreness, etc., I might go easy for a day or two to let it heal on its own. Then again, I'm stubborn too and might just go all out anyway!

  6. I am old school as well, the old rub some dirt on it and it will get better. I have learned that since I am getting older, my body doesnt recover like it did when I was a youngin, so first, I spend all day on WebMD and figure out what is wrong with me, if it looks bad, I head to the doctor, its better to get fixed now then wait and take longer for it to recover.

  7. Oh course I would wait till after Boston if I was you, priorities, my brother, priorities

  8. I can be stubborn. However, I learned a long time ago that my wife is usually right so I tend to listen to her about certain matters. She was the one who helped me get started on my weight-loss journey, and that's just one among many other things she was right about (she believed in me before I believed in me).

    If you feel like it is a bit of surrender, then consider it as if you're surrendering to your wife. That's not the worst thing.

  9. I am the same way, I never go to the doctor. When I finally do break down and the doctor asks me how long the problem has been bothering me, the answer is usually at least a year.

  10. Lately I've actually been going TO the doc, but they NEVER do anything for me... I'm back to "running through it".
    Go TWINS!!!!!

  11. I know exactly what you are saying. My motto has always been no pain no gain. Just run through it and it will go away. But after an injury that laid me up for 3- 4wk. I'm learning as I get older it is not worth risking not being able to run. So listen to your wife.

  12. I can be the same way. I feel like a fool when I self diagnose and the doctor confirms what I already knew. Big waster of cashola. I think you know yourself better than anyone and if it was serious I bet you would go.

  13. Yup, same way here. Run until it doesn't hurt anymore. However, I couldn't take my hip pain any more and went to get ART done last week. Now it hurts even more damn it.

  14. I get it checked out. I want running to be fun, at least most of the time, and if there's real pain, something that's not just soreness becuase you worked hard, it ain't fun. And the pros can help! My neuroma foot has been pain free since I got it looked at and got the right insert for my sure. Definitely worth the trouble!

    I do agree w/ you, though--you have to find the right practitioner, someone who understands that you *need* to run and won't tell you not to unless it's the only way for you to heal...and run again one day.

  15. I'm awful at listening to my body and usually end up paying the price :(

    I have always celebrated my birthday MONTH but my boyfriend has a birthday in July, too, so now I have to share :(

    Happy birthday Michael!

  16. IS birthday WEEK, not DAY!!!

    i push through it to a point, but then i wimp out and seek help

  17. Hmmm...I took over a year of my life trying to let my body heal itself and when after that year's time I was worse for wear, I THEN finally gave in and went for help. The help worked and had me back running within two months.

    I lean towards the professional assistance now :-)

  18. I'm definitely stubborn. I always try to just naturally allow my body to heal unless it's IMPERATIVE that I seek help. :)

  19. If I'd listen to my body all the time I'd be completely insane as something is always not right. When it is the same something for a while, then I try to see the doctor.

  20. Good post! I'm pretty good at running my body into the ground. I'm paying now for months of overtraining & catching lots of sicknesses. If I had to do it over...I'd not run 50 miles a week, eat & relax more, & not treat my body like the machine it's not. Hope you recover quickly! :)

  21. Happy Birthday Michael! And we are all about birthday WEEKS at our house =)

    It depends on the pain whether I get a Dr. involved or not. And how much my hubs bugs me to have it checked out.

  22. thankfully, to date, I have not been injury prone. When I feel twinge of ANY kind I immediately start to ice, and I take a lot of ice baths. I am self pay for medical issues, so I am more likely to take time off, than seek medical advice. So far the ice works for me.

    Happy Birthweek Michael!

  23. I am Mrs Deny. I will ignore for sure until it is way pass too late. I broke a finger in College and did not go to the Dr because I did not want to miss any basketball games. I am a lefty and of course it was on that side, I ended up playing with my right hand for most of the season. I had a couple of minor health issues recently and I lied to the Dr about how much I run because I was afraid he would say to stop.

  24. I'm not sure I'd go to the doctor the week of Boston. My worry would be he would tell me something I did not want to hear and I'd have a little voice inside of me the entire marathon. Walk it off, you wuss! Haha! Good luck on Monday!


  26. I think there's a difference between running when it hurts and when it's injured. Hurt may be okay, but not injured.

    BTW, I went to the Padres game today. Sat in 3rd row behind the dugout. Pads on in the bottom of the ninth. Walking out I look to my left and literally one foot away from me was Phil Mickelson. I gave him some tips.

    Good luck on Monday.

  27. Just wanted to tell you to have a blast on Monday - will be thinking of all you guys out there and sad my injury left me sidelined this year but that's ok I can cheer better now that I'm not running it. Good luck, smile big the entire way!

  28. good luck with the pain! Hopefully it nothing serious.
    If I start to feel pain anywhere, I first try my usual treatment regime:
    foam roll

    If the things above don't fix it, then you might have something more serious on your hands. I've had a rash of injuries the past 6 weeks (sprained ankle twice, ITB pain), and mainly caused by soccer I think. I found a sports clinic that really helped. Maybe if you can find a sports clinic around your area they might be able to help - most of the guys at those clinics are athletes themselves, so they will do whatever they can to help you get back out there. And at least you will know what you are dealing with.

    But I wouldn't get it checked out now, you are almost to Boston!

  29. Good luck on Monday (found you through Caroline's post) :)

    Hope the leg doesn't give you too much trouble.

    Oh and I tend to head to the PT pretty quickly...and that's not being wimpy ;)

  30. I am the exact same way! I've had a nagging knee issue lately. It's really nothing major, and it doesn't hurt every time I run, only sometimes. I got one of those knee straps that basically just makes it less painful to run, but I don't even like to use it and only do so when it's absolutely necessary. Should I go see a doctor about it? Probably - but I haven't yet. Instead I just listened to the guy at my local running store who said it was probably a little tendinitis in my knee and told me I need to ice it (which I don't enough) and I bought some ibuprofen cream and a strap.

  31. Doctors... what are those? :)

    I run through all kinds of things and think it'll just go away. Sometimes it does... sometimes it doesn't. I'm a gambling woman I guess.

    Best of luck Monday!

  32. Do you have another daughter I don't know about? Because I'm definitely not stubborn... JUST KIDDING. Lol =)
    I almost always run through the pain... I must come by it naturally. I figure what doesn't kill me will just make me stronger.
    BOSTON. GET EXCITED. =) Love you!

  33. Hi Jim, found you through Caroline's Post...good luck to you. I have to say I have yet to read this post in full because I have kids at my feed and have to go take care of some brawl in the back room but Good luck at Boston!!! Oh, and I totally laughed at your comment about birthday not Birthweek! ha a good hubby and make it a week. ;)

  34. I have run through the pain before, and it bit me. I'm more careful now, and if there's a pain, I'll give it a moment to go away, or else I'll back off.

    Tough call on when to go to the doctor. I would say if you have insurance, why not go to the doctor if you don't know what you're dealing with.

    Enjoy the trip to Boston!!


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