How An Injury Almost Brought An End To My World
I just came back from a 5k+ run. The first 5k in many months. I was forced to take a break from running because of an injury. One of the few I have in my lower body.
Today I will not talk about “how to’s” like I usually do. Instead I want to tell you something that happened when I was 13-14 years old that almost brought an end to my world. I hope you will enjoy it nonetheless. There is a lesson in it, it’s not random.
Four years into Karate I experienced debilitating knee, ankle, foot and Achilles pain. Mostly knees and ankles though. Little that we (my parents and I) knew that the way I was trained was the cause of what was to become severe knee meniscus damage on both knees.
Injury that I’d have to struggle with for many many years until I learnt a different way to use my body.
Back then, when the pain was unbearable to the point where I could barely walk, I asked my parents to take me to a doctor. They in turn asked me to ask my Sensei for a referral. So I did.
And I went with my father to the doctor I was referred to. I was 13-ish back then and Karate was the only thing I knew besides school. It was my life, the essence of who I was and it still is now more than ever.
The doctor looked at me, my spine, how balanced my body was and so on. A full body scan. And then he began listing all the skeletal and muscular imbalances he could find.
At the end he told me “You cannot practice sport anymore at least until you are 20 of age. Even stop running for a bus.”. And I said “ok”. He repeated the same thing to make sure I understood (I remember this as if it was yesterday). My answer was the same.
It was settled then, no more sport (not even running for the bus) and weekly electromagnetic therapy for 1 month. Or I think that’s what it was. No way physiotherapy or anything else, straight into other stuff.
That meant that my whole world, everything I knew then was about to vanish together with any dreams I might have had back then
Walking to the car I had tears in my eyes. My father came to me and said “What’s wrong? You will still practice your sports. Don’t worry.”
And so I did, and do and always will. All doctors advise me to have surgery and tell me that my knees may lock at some point. None of them ever gave me hope. But my father did.
Even if I am not fully recovered after 15 years I am better now than ever before.
That does not mean I encourage you to not listen to your doctor. It is important to listen and understand the consequences of your decisions. Maybe I was just lucky…
The point I want to make in this story is that an injury doesn’t have to be the end of the world. And my example is very small compared to others.
There is always a way around everything. It’s a matter of patience and perseverance, attention to detail and looking for ways to optimize the way you use your body, the way you function.
Many injuries occur as a result of body misuse. So when we begin to use the body in a different way we can address those injuries. It takes time though, and patience and consistency are very important.
[tweetthis]Many injuries occur as a result of body misuse[/tweetthis]
What I always tell some of my family members who, every time I meet them, remind me that running causes injuries is that I will grow old and be in pain anyway, so I want to live my life now (and enjoy it) and worry about those things later if they ever happen.
Taking care of your body
No one is perfect, and I am one of the experts of imperfection. Although I strive for it.
However the more you take care of your body and give it what it needs to thrive the better chances you have to keep active and strong for many, many years.
There are 90 year olds who are at their peak, they’re fit and strong and there are 15 years olds who cannot lift a 1kg shopping bag and are obese. So age is not an excuse – but you knew that already right?
Look after your body and it will always be loyal to you.