You may have been thinking that this Quiet Hailer has been even quieter than usual. You’d be right. I’m in Kneehab. I’m on the anti-inflammatories, I’m doing the ITB strengthening routine at least once daily, heck- I’m even doing glute squeezes during the day job (it’s ok- I’m stood behind a counter so you can’t really tell unless my face is going weird, which I suppose it might be actually). Still, my right knee is refusing to behave as a right knee should.
People say ‘Oh you run too much- it’s bad for the joints!’. Well perhaps. But it’s good for the heart, the lungs, the mental wellbeing, in short- everything else- so I’ll carry on just as soon as I’m back up and running, but it sure is taking a while… In the meantime, let’s discuss the trials and tribulations of Kneehab:
- Get stretched and stuck up:
Pay a physio lots of money so you can get poked, pulled and covered in the fluorescent rave tape like an injured pro (also everyone will ask you- ‘Oh what did you do?!’ and you can casually reply ‘I think it was the 29th mile that did it, or perhaps it was the sprint finish with the heavily weighted backpack…’)
- Stay buoyant:
Once a week I’ve been paying to share a tepid bath with lots o
f nearly-naked strangers with varying levels of personal hygiene, just to try to maintain cardio fitness. Am I heart healthy? Perhaps. But in my heart of hearts I’m unsure whether the repeated chlorine dousing is making my skin happy or if the little pocket of pool water that refuses to leave my ear every time I swim might lead to cholera, typhoid or some other
water based miscreant infecting my being. Not to mention the gogglemarks…
- Get a home-gym going:
I had a terrible moment of realisation today that I’ve become one of those people with a ‘home gym’. There I was, ab-crunching to Sean-a-Paul on my yoga mat, resistance bands strewn across the floor and a dumbbell to my right (Ok so that’s not mine but still) and I hadn’t had a run for such a long time. I’ve never spent so much time staring at myself in a mirror to try and check joint alignment whilst performing squats. At least when you’re in your own house you can save on fancy gym outfits and cut
down on laundry by just doing it in your underwear. Yep- that makes the mirror experience that bit weirder. Just make sure you close the curtains first…
- Try not to become bankrupt in the process:
So far I have spent about £90 on Physiotherapy appointments, not including the cost of the other kneehab accessories. I’m sat here typing with an icepack strapped to my knee. I have a marathon to run in early October which I have already paid to enter. Gulp.
- Don’t let go of the dream:
The simple of joys of running into the wind with my own private soundtrack are things I am really yearning for in this perfect weather… I am not the kind of person who begrudgingly runs to try and shed a few pounds. I’m doing it for the pleasure. If that makes no sense then you’re not running properly. Find yourself somewhere beautiful where the natural world can fill you with awe and the leaves can feed you the purest, freshest oxygen. Run past a farm or two and wish the cows a good morning. Find yourself in total tree-lined isolation and have your own private dance party because nobody is there to see. Believe me when I tell you it’s good for the soul.
- Look after yourself:
We are never really kind enough to ourselves. How many times a day do you tune into yourself and answer those needs? How many times do you ignore the fact that you are hungry, thirsty, tired or experiencing pain somewhere because you have too much to do or are too busy serving others? This is general life advice really but it particularly applies here. (Gosh a typo just made me realise that I really want apples right now: tuning in to myself). There’s much to be said for ibuprofen but if your body is swelling up and giving you pain somewhere then it’s fighting- it’s telling you something isn’t right, and you can soldier on through it, drugged up and delirious to your needs, or you can listen and nurture the wonderful absurd machine that is you.
- Listen to your own advice
I’m on my feet all day at work, doing some epic shifts, I’ve already managed to walk into the bed today and bruised up my already sore knee, and the other day I managed to pop the chain off my bike and thwack the pedal into my shin (the right one, naturally). From now on I’m going to be better to myself. Today the farthest I will go is the kitchen and back. I will endeavour to eat everything in the fridge and do nothing but write, sketch and sew to my heart’s content. Rest now little knee (and bloody well hurry up please).