I started running earlier this year, I believe around February. For about 8 months, I was doing really well. Started out running at the gym, and eventually moved outdoors when the weather became much nicer. I never really improved, which was strange. I kind of plateaued around 3-4 miles, but that was good enough for me. I just wanted to be active. The strangest part was how much I genuinely enjoyed it. I actually looked forward to nearly passing out and sweating. It gave me a sense of pride I didn’t really have before. Pride in accomplishing something, in not being a lazy asshole anymore. I bought new shoes, new running shorts, even had a running group of sorts. I looked forward to taking part in organized events, like 5K’s and the like. I was actually improving myself, for once.
My body did take some time getting used to the impact of the sidewalks and hills, but for the most part I didn’t have any problems. I’d hurt for a day and then I’d be fine. My recovery time was Wolverine-esque. This added to my belief that my body is incapable of feeling poorly for prolonged periods of time. I mean, the last time I hurt myself (the John McLane ankle sprain of ’07), I had one night of severe pain, and by the next morning, I was walking without a limp. I’m telling you, I was 99% convinced I was unbreakable, you know, like in that M. Night Shyamalamadingdong movie (Two Bruce Willis references in two sentences. Give that man a prize!).
But now I know that wishful thinking is a pipe dream, and that The Secret is officially a scam (not that this was ever in question before). There is no power in positive thinking, Oprah. Time to bring out your next wave of consumer mind control. But anyway, what had happened was……sometime around October I started having pain in my left ankle, pain that wasn’t going away. In fact, it started to spread like a fungus. While I was running, it would begin at the ankle, move up to the shin, then to the knee, then to the thigh, eventually ending at, and I kid you not, in my left butt cheek. I know. I chalked this up to months of running after decades of apathy, and decided I needed a short break. Smart choice, I thought.
So now it’s been almost two months since I last ran consistently. Hell, I haven’t even so much as walked briskly since a few days before Halloween when I decided a 5K would be a good idea (this did not end well). A friend diagnosed that I had a wicked case of shin splints, and that nothing could really be done. Rest was my only option. And that’s what I’ve been doing. Yet, things have appeared to worsen. I spend most days just sitting at my desk, but for whatever reason, by the time I get out of my car and walk to my front door, I have a noticeable limp. I look like Keyser Söze before the big reveal. It’s such a weird pain. I feel like my lower leg is half-asleep at all times. I don’t have any strength in my foot. I can barely move my toes, and lifting it vertically with my ankle is a near impossibility. Last night, as I struggled to find a comfortable position in my bed, I had a sudden worry that I might end up an amputee. All of this because I decided I wanted to look like Forrest Gump after he ran across the country. You know, minus the beard and half-retardation. But now I feel like I may end up like Lt. Dan.
So what is wrong with me? I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure the devil has entered my left leg, because I looked at my Dad’s Playboys from 1993-1998. Why pay a doctor when he’s just going to tell me the same thing, you know? I really do think this is my body’s strange way of telling me that it doesn’t want to be in shape. After years of inactivity, did I really think it would take to physical punishment without some kind of repercussion? Man, good thing I have health insurance. What’s too bad is I’m too bullheaded to go get this checked out. I’m afraid that even with coverage, I’ll end up paying out the backend with this malady.
What really is strange is that ever since I stopped running, I’ve actually lost weight. Again, I have no idea what my body is doing. For the last two to three months I’ve been sitting down all day, not exercising, eating nothing but fast food, drinking more soda and less water, and yet, I’m actually down 4-5 lbs. My leg may fall off, but at least I’m model thin. Anyway, I may not be going to the doctor anytime soon, but I do have a 12pm appointment with Dr. Baconator tomorrow afternoon. I need to know exactly what I can do to my body before it decides to call it a life and give up.