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Week 11: Getting my groove back

March 20, 2012

The weather continues to be perfect these last few days –– perfect for exercising outdoors. It’s one of the few times of year I actually find myself wishing I could be out running, soaking up the sun, enjoying the breeze and getting my exercise in. However, life has thrown me another curveball.
A few weeks back, I wrote about my shin splints. I received lots of great advice from people who know what they’re talking about on how best to treat them. Rest, ice, compression and elevation –– or R.I.C.E.
Everyone told me to take the shin splints seriously; that they would only get worse if I ignored them and tried to train through it.
So what did I do in all my glorious wisdom? I ignored them and tried to train through it. My reason being the Starkville Central Neighborhood Foundation 5k that is coming up this weekend; I didn’t want to have to back out after I declared so publicly I would do it.
I convinced myself that I just shouldn’t run on pavement, since that was how the shin splints started. But running on the treadmill? That should be fine. Walking on pavement? Sure. Walking my 60 lb. dog that pulls me all over the place on pavement? Even better. Except for when I finally forced myself to realize that my shin splints were not only not getting better; they were getting worse –– and for good measure, I gave myself a lower back spasm to boot. The final straw was finding myself about a mile away from home in my neighborhood and barely able to limp back home. My dog literally had to pull me most of the way, with each step sending a shooting pain from my ankle up my shin and into my knee. I even had to cut through someone’s yard like a thief. It was not my best or smartest moment.
Now, my impatience for weight-loss results forced me into an injury, and my impatience for the injury to go away has forced me to try and find another way to lose weight other than running. (Why couldn’t I have been blessed with just a smidge more patience than God gave an ant?) My first 5k will have to sit on the back burner, it seems, and no one is more disappointed in me than me.
That’s where the Wii game “Just Dance” comes in.
I knew I needed to keep moving, and I’d heard that “Just Dance” was a Wii game that could actually make one break a sweat while actually having a little fun. I took dance throughout my childhood, I was in the show choir in high school –– I’d like to believe I possess rhythm –– surely I still have some moves, right?
If the panicked look on my dog’s face the first time I tried it is any indicator, the answer is “wrong.” She looked at me like she was trying to decide if she should pull a “Lassie” and run for help.
I started one day on my lunch break. In no time I was flinging my arms and legs in different directions in my living room, while trying to hold a controller, no less, to the tunes of Brittany Spears and Rhianna. I felt that I was always one to two steps behind and thinking, “Who dances like this? This is not cute at all.”
Once my criticisms fell to the side, along with whatever shred of pride I have left, I realized the whole point was to sweat and I was definitely sweating. Soon my competitive nature came out and I was determined to be good at this silly game, even if I did feel like a total idiot trying.
So no 5k for me this weekend. I’ll continue forward with my resting, icing, compressing, elevating and dancing. New challenge? Learn to listen to my body –– and pray for patience.

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