LooseCrew-JeffO: Mr. Lucky


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mr. Lucky

I've tried very hard to make my body progress at an unreasonable rate. I've been active my whole life, but I only started running with any seriousness two years ago next month. So I'm asking my body to go from a weekend-warrior, 7-mile run three times a month schedule up to the Leadville Trail 100 in little more than two years. That's not easy. So far, even with the injuries, I've been managing to succeed. I'm still on-track, even if barely so.

I was sitting at lunch yesterday and a co-worker said that my sprained ankle was maybe Nature's way of telling me I needed to take it easy. To which I immediately said, "Nature can go fuck itself!"

That seems like blasphemy, but I think that if it's not an actual obstacle, then keep on truckin'. I've destroyed most of my life by imagining limits that were never actually there. I'm not the only one. It seems like human nature to seek comfort at the expense of achievement.


At 1:32 AM, Anonymous Meghan said...

It's all about progressing intelligently, though, in terms of our fitness! Seems as though you're a pretty smart guy...

The human body can do so much. Mother Nature made a creature that is much more capable than most humans will ever know. I would perhaps challenge your coworker by saying that it's unnatural to not use our bodies in the active pursuits for which they were designed. Then again, that kind of judgemental/presumptous stuff from outsiders just gets to me...

Regarding your foot and its seemingly unpredictable pain: It's a sprain right? There's a right shite-ton of fluid build-up going on there, they body's natural way of protecting/padding the injury site so it may heal. When you're active, you 1) rile up that fluid that's already there and get it moving, and 2) cause more fluid to go to the injury site to protect it from whatever you are out doing. Fluid movement/new fluids put pressure on nerves, causing you pain. It doesn't necessarily have to be running, just whatever activity you do that activates this in your ankle.

It seems with sprains (and all soft-tissue injuries), there's a happy medium to be found. Activity is crucial for healing because it's the only thing that oxygenates injured tissue (the fuel of the healing process). Then again, too much activity riles up fluid movement and causes already damaged tissue to become further damaged, and you step back the healing process.

Eh, I ramble... Hope it feels mo' betta' soon!


At 9:45 AM, Blogger JeffO said...

I guess that would all make sense. A friend of mine said he had been laying off running because of his calf, but he keeps seeing people run with injuries and they're healing faster than him. It's just hard figuring out where the limits are because sometimes, initially, it's best to stay off serious injuries.

At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Meghan said...

It's all so injury dependent, you know?

If you have a hard tissue injury (bone), you've just got to rest completely until the fracture heals. Once a fracture heals, the bone can tolerate light exercise that puts only a little pressure on the injury site. In fact, tolerable amounts of muscle-strenghtening exercise (like lifting) will cause faster bone re-development. However, the bone needs more time to re-build to its former strength before it can endure full-capacity exercise.

Soft-tissue injuries are a whole different story. The severe ones (acquired from an acute action or exacerbated overuse) definitely need a period of rest to begin the healing process. Once healing begins (The initiation of the healing process for soft tissue injuries to us feels/looks like a visible change in level of swelling and a definite decrease in severity of pain.), then the soft-tissue actually needs exercise in order to heal. Ligament injuries, for example, absolutely will not heal without exercise. Ligaments have almost no blood vessels, so only a little blood (and, therefore, oxygen) naturally flows through the tissues. Exercise increases blood flow (and, therefore, tissue oxygenation) and speeds healing.

But, then, there's the "too much" exercise line to be crossed with any healing injury. One's body communicates this line to us, though. It sounds like you are doing a good job of listening to your body! With a sprain, you should expect a tolerable amount of discomfort and swelling while you exercise and for a short time (a few hours, maximuum) afterwards. With a sprain, very light stretching, followed by icing, followed by light compression is the best after-exercise remedy combo.

I ramble too much. :)

At 11:41 AM, Blogger JeffO said...

Hi, meghan,

I sure try to listen to my body, but it doesn't speak very loudly, and it's a big fat liar sometimes!

And you can ramble all you want. Feedback can only help. The good or bad is whether - or what - I decide to do with advice.

I might be calling you Dr. Meghan pretty soon. (Please don't bill me.)


Post a Comment

<< Home