In case you missed it: I’m injured, and I haven’t run in three weeks. I’m currently working with the good people at PACE Prehab and Recovery to resolve the root cause which is overactive quads as well as weakness in my glutes.
Every day I do a set of strengthening and stretching exercises, as well as muscle release through foam rolling. I’ve been told that I’m actually one in a minority of PT clients who actually do the exercises daily and that’s why I’m seeing improvements this quickly.
The improvement in my mobility and level of pain didn’t come about instantly, but it’s there. I’ve gone from moving like an old person feeling such stiffness and pain through my knee that even my hip felt impinged, to now moving about more agilely.
But if you’ve grown up in the digital age where information is at the tip of your fingers and entertainment is on-demand, the rate at which the human body heals can feel quite glacial.
At the start of this rehab period I really wanted to be able to swim but couldn’t because of quarantine restrictions. But now that Metro Manila is moving into General Community Quarantine Level 3 (it’s an alphabet soup with inconsistent implementation of restrictions, so GCQ now means different from GCQ last year), swimming pools are allowed to open.
So I swam for the first time in three months last Saturday. Things went as expected: slow, slightly breathless, with muscle aches afterward. But I was so happy! (And then from the muscle aches I realised freestyle kicking is a quadricep-dominant motion, so it was OK that I wasn’t able to swim in the first weeks of my recovery. Things happen for a reason…)
My main takeaway from this period of time is that consistency works, rather than depending on the ebbs and flows of motivation. It’s already a habit of mine to exercise every day, so I simply tacked on my required exercises. Even without doing them enthusiastically, they still worked.
I may not know when exactly I can start running (but I already have a new pair of Hoka One One waiting for me to review them), and I also don’t know how long it will take to progress from zero to my former competitive paces. But the human body is dynamic and it will adapt to what you present it with, given time and consistent stimulus.
Even though it feels slow, change does happen and we’re never stuck in one situation forever. We’re all works in progress, so hang in there and keep working at it.