Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pre-Emptive Therapy

I trained for and ran my first marathon this October (yea!). I tried once before and failed due to injury, and stayed out of the game for too long, with disastrous results. This time around, I decided I actually wanted to finish the darn race, so I tried a different approach. I made an appointment with a physical therapist BEFORE I was injured, to prevent the inevitable onset of the shin splints that plagued me for so long. And guess what? I accomplished my goal of running pain free, and will probably run another marathon this year, with the goal of beating my first time.

Why do I tell this story, when so many of you have heard more about my shins that you could ever dream of? It's because I felt GREAT after my race. I followed the recovery plan, gave myself lots of rest, and promptly forgot everything I learned in PT about the benefits of frequent tissue massage with The Stick. "That's for when you're injured," I kept telling myself. "I'll use it when I feel sore," I said. So I increased my mileage up and up, and felt great. And today I hurt my ankle, so of course I went running for the tool I know to work so well, only a tad too late. Should have been using it all along to PREVENT injury in the first place.

I do this in so many other places in my life. I know that regular journaling helps me to process my thoughts and emotions, thus preventing any major breakdowns in sanity. But when do I actually reach for the pen? When something's going wrong. Stretching out my muscles makes them feel better, but I only seem to do that when they're already tight. Putting away my clothes every day helps my room to stay neat and orderly, but I prefer to let it become a FEMA disaster zone before panicking and spending a day cleaning. And the list goes on and on.

Moral of this little tale? Think about what you do to solve a problem in your life, and do that on a consistent basis before the problem ever surfaces its ugly head.

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