Boilermaker Blog

On The Blocks

There are perhaps no worst words for a runner to hear than they can’t run. Especially true for one who has been ‘taking it to the streets’ for over 35 years. But perhaps I should back up and start at the beginning; usually a good place to begin.
For the past couple of months I’ve suffered through some pretty bad back/ hip/ leg pain. My hours of sleep really went down. I thought about the old saying: ‘I slept like a baby; I woke up every hour and cried!’ When I would get up from the bed in the morning I would feel like I had the legs of an 80 year old; that’s OK if you’re 85, not good when you’re 55. I sort of feel like the Tin Man prior to meeting Dorothy with the oilcan.
There is something about that first really nice day of the year, when that little voice in your head says ‘it’s time to run’. Put on that favorite running shirt, the one you’ve washed hundreds of times making the cotton incredibly, soft lace up the sneakers, stretch, and we’re off! Opps…. the body says ‘ Sorry Tim, not today’ as a shots of pain like an electric current fire up through my legs.
X-Rays had showed some minor spine deterioration so I went the chiropractor route. While the sessions offered some minor relief, the hip/leg pain remained. A follow up MRI revealed that I have a muscle tear at the hip. To add to the fun it looks like I’ve got some bone loss. You know we inherit all kids of stuff from our parents; looks like I got something from my Mom who had osteoporosis. Hey, maybe I’ll be the male version of Sally Fields!
Fortunately, I can at least work out on machines at the gym that don’t pound my body, but my God are they boring! I’m sure I can bike and I was a swimmer in high school but they aren’t the same as a good run.
So perhaps I am looking at the possibility of no more running. The finality of that fills me with a sense of profound sadness combined with the awareness getting old.
The irony of ‘running’ a race while I can’t run is not lost on me. I see the orthopedic surgeon in a couple of weeks; let’s see what happens.

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