JohnstonPT: Helping Aches & Pains

NEWSLETTER THE HEALTH & FITNESS

2020

NOTES FROM GRANT With the arrival of spring weather and the temporary closure of gyms in the US, I’ve noticed a wonderful uptick in outdoor activity in our community. And I’m happy that

times. When this happens, I reallywant to run how I used to run. Far and fast. The problemwith “how I used to do things” is the same formost people: we forget howmuch time and patience it took to get to that point. But wewant to do those things again and we want to do them now. One of the things I love about running (also one of my favorite aspects of rehab), is the progressive nature of it. If you’re consistent, what you can do today pales in comparison to what you can do in a week. Or a month. Or a year. And when you stack these time periods, you can achieve things you never thought you could. Invariably, within the first week, I’m trying to see how fast I can run a certain distance. It usually goes well, the first time. And the second time. But it’s unsustainable. The problem here, of course, is that I haven’t done the work to do that yet. This becomes an issue because, as your PT would tell you, your body hasn’t adapted yet! With this recipe, you’re far more likely to develop a tendinitis, muscle strain or achy joints. Which is exactly what has happened many times in the past. As I said, just because I know, doesn’t mean I do. I’m sincerely hoping and planning this time to do better. Honestly, in summary I’d ask 2 things of you. First, if you see me out running sometime in the next few weeks or months or years, yell atme to “SLOWDOWN!” If I’mdoing fine, I’ll probably ignore this advice, but realistically its more likely that you’re right and I’m impatiently, pushing it a bit too much. Secondly, when you need PT, now or in the future, appreciate the process. Understand that the work you’re doing today reaps amazing benefits in the future. It might not be as immediate as you (or we) hope, but I promise it’ll be worthwhile.

I’m one of the many outside enjoying the weather and getting somemuch-needed exercise in a period of social distancing and stress. I consider myself a runner. I ran track in college and spent the following years training for marathons. At that time, running was a central part of my life. As with many of my habits, much of my energy, and even social activities, were focused on or influenced by my running habit. And then I got busy. It turns out, when you become an “adult” you have responsibilities and time and energy constraints- that can quickly seem overwhelming. This probably isn’t news to most of you, but it caught me by surprise. Frankly, my running habit took a back seat and since then, running has been a part of my life in a sort of ebb-and-flow pattern. I’ll run for a bit, then some other priorities take precedence. For the better part of the last two years, running has taken a back seat. Now, for the reasons mentioned above, as well as a little bit of nostalgia and curiosity, I’m back to running. Being “back to running”, as being “back to (anything)”, is a tricky thing. I spend a lot of time educating friends and patients on how to run efficiently, avoid injury and really, how to train smart. I do that because I’ve studied it and I know, generally what we should do. But that’s where things get tricky. Just because I know, doesn’t necessarily mean I do.

And that bringsme to how Imess things up. See, over the past several years, I’ve “started running again”, multiple

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