Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Injury and Recovery

Hi world,

My routines for the past year and a half have adhered to my graduate school's academic calendar. In rare times, I get released from this schedule and get to align with the changes of the day. The sunrise, high noon, and sunset. In these times, I get to experience what nature feels like, hot and cold, wet and dry, windy and calm, and always fresh. These escapes, you might have guessed, are my camping experiences. But they are also my extended running experiences and my hikes. I like to be in the spaces that we don't control as humans, spaces allowed to grow and be wild.
Last week, my parents and I flew to Arizona to tour around. We rented an RV in Phoenix and visited Sedona and the Superstition Mountains. I didn't know the cacti were as huge as trees!

Injury: I've been dealing with knee pain since last Spring. I've gone to a doctor, 2 physical therapists, and a chiropractor. I've gotten and done X-rays, pain meds, adjustments, strengthening exercises, yoga, expensive orthotics, and more. I've gone through a transformation from looking for the panacea to realizing I need to change my lifestyle. Gone are the 12 years where I usually went for a run without stretching. Now, my daily routines are yoga for my hips and hamstrings, strengthening exercises, and wearing orthotics all day. It's about maintaining good posture, and listening to your body.
Another big change I've made is going vegetarian. I've met other runners that are vegetarian, vegan, or keto (and eating humanely raised meat jerky) and it's changed my ideas about what I want to put in my body and what effect that has on the environment. I totally recommend everyone to see the documentary, Food Inc., and read the popular book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. They will open up your world to the inhuman ways our country treats animals and the environment on factory farms, feedlots, and in industrial agriculture. I rarely eat meat now, and sometimes eat fish. And I stay away from gluten. It clogs my system. Like I said, listen to your body. I eat a lot of rice and beans, veggies, and other grains and pulses. I'm hungrier when I can't figure out what to eat, but I know I have a lesser carbon footprint, and more compassion for animals' lives. I'll eat an animal if I know it was raised humanely. Hell, I love the taste of meat and eggs and cheese, yet I avoid the cheap stuff and can't afford the humanely raised products. I'm more like a compassionate omnivore now.