Ever since I took a tumble over my handlebars a few weeks ago, I have been wondering not only when I would run again but also if the time off would heal some nagging other injuries as well. And while most of my energy has been spent on fixing the immediate injury, the AC separation in my shoulder, it was the bruised ribs and hip sustained on my dirt dive on Pikes Peak which seem to have the more lingering painful side effects.
Regardless of all of this, I have felt like I could run with very little pain in my shoulder for close to a week now. And as Friday evening ended, and I was feeling more and more lethargic, I decided it was time to try out the running legs. Part of it was the energy I received from the book signings the last two days at Shu's Idaho Running Company, part was my general antsiness and part was watching Spirit of the Marathon.
Whatever the reason, while I was a little disappointed that my achilles had not healed in the few weeks of rest I had given it, I was quite pleased that my shoulder felt relatively good and my ribs only hurt so-so. What was amazing to me was how quickly I had lost some of my physical fitness. sure it should come back quickly as I build my running back up, but just a few weeks off had set me back a great deal. This is the perfect example of why we, as humans, need to continue staying fit every day. This does not mean we must be working out at the gym or ding wind sprints or playing 4 hours of basketball each and every day. Rather it means we must do something physically active, anything physically active, every day. As we grow to be a much more sedentary society with each passing year, where the vast majority of us only get exercise when we set time aside to do so (because of cars and luxuries and convenience of the modern age in America) we must do exactly that: set time aside to be fit.
There are no such excuses as "I do not have the time." Yes, you do. You must MAKE the time. If that means 20 less minutes of sleep so you can go briskly walk a mile and a half, then so be it. The sleep you are still getting will be much better for you because of the exercise you are adding to your life. Exercise is absolutely critical to our existence.
I know, what do I know right? I get questions all the time from people who doubt the validity of my claims. I guess my own personal life experiences and vast amount of exercise experiments mean nothing. That's OK. You needn't trust me. Trust the Mayo Clinic and their study on the Seven Benefits of Regular Exercise.
So me or Mayo, it doesn't mater. If you are physically able to do so, get out there and do something active today. Little by little we can solve so many of the world's problems by tackling our own health (mental and physical) issues first.
And by the way, tell someone today, who you may not have told in a long time, that you love them. And mean it.