This Doesn’t Feel Like Progress.

Time has been short lately, in part because my wonderful au pair is on a well-deserved holiday… making it a lot harder to get out and about, and always with a kid or more in tow.

Instead, I bought a running-friendly pushchair, inspired by my friend (and blogger) Sarah to try both walking more with the kid(s) and also seeing if running (a bit – in fits and bursts, as that’s all I can do at the moment) would completely kill me.

Seems that maybe it did, though.

To be honest, I did okay for a bit – I went for a walk/jog two days in the past week, once with baby in pushchair and once on my own after hubby was home, and didn’t have any lasting damage.  Did have the same foot issues as mentioned earlier here, but I’m kind of used to those.

Then on Friday I went for another walk / jog, with the boy in the pushchair, after dropping off the three year old at kindy, along Opanuku Stream walkway and cycleway.  After walking several hundred meters as a ‘warm up’, I tried a jog.  I’d forgotton at first that I was wearing my everyday shoes, and not my trainers (which aren’t running specific, but are ‘general purpose’ sports shoes).  My everyday shoes (for lack of a better term) are actually quite good for walking, so although I prefer wearing my trainers, it’s not enough to stop me.  Although apparently, it is enough to stop me from jogging.  Right away when I attempted jogging I noticed it hurt my knees – both, but one more specifically.  So I stopped.  Although I’m apparently a slow learner, and I started again later on, and had much the same experience.  I still managed to walk 3.5 km, and enjoyed it – though I haven’t really got photos to show off.

Today, though, I am completely feeling it.  Not in muscle soreness, which I figure is part of the process.  (“Good pain!” as my friend Alcina would exclaim.)  My knees, however, have completely gone on strike.  It hurts to walk, it especially hurts to go down (or up, but moreso down) stairs.  They hurt when not weight bearing, but they hurt much more when weight bearing.  I googled it (as you do) and came up with Runner’s Knee.  I’m honestly not much of a runner, but apparently I’ve already adopted one of their complaints.

So, I still can’t run more than a minute or so without feeling like I am completely dying… but I’m already benched with injury.  In typical fat-girl influenced by highly dumb and damaging “fitspiration” posts, I’m also now feeling guilty for both being injured, and for not just “pushing through it”.  (There’s a lot of crap feelings etc behind that though, and I’m not going to fully go into it here).

Needless to say… I’m not walking today.

Discouragement

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For the past wee while I’ve been working on dealing with discouragement.  A lot of it surrounds education and career prospects, but that’s not really what I’m getting into here.

I’ve noticed that when I get bad news, or am feeling particularly bad, I start to feel like I’m just bursting to get out of my own skin.  Perhaps it’s flight or fight response, in a sort of modern day and delayed way.  I’m not brimming with adrenaline so much, but I just feel like I need to do something.  At my worst, I feel like I just need to run away.  Or like I could start driving, and just go – drive until the end of the road, or until I can’t drive anymore.  (A notion which held a lot more appeal in the USA I must say, where one can spend hours ‘running’ on the interstate network without feeling like they are anywhere).  Although the appeal of all the above still holds strong, these days, I find I need to walk.

If you’d told me a a year ago that I’d best deal with upsetting news by going out and walking for an hour or more, I’d have thought you were crazy.  I’ve always thought of myself as someone who doesn’t like exercise.  To a large extent, it’s still true.  I don’t like running, or sweating copious amounts, and I don’t think I’ll ever naturally be a gym bunny.  But there’s something about the constant, slow, steady repetition of walking that is soothing to the soul.  Maybe it’s a semi literal walking away from my problems.  Maybe it’s the plodding nature of my walks.  Maybe it’s just the fact of doing some action even if it doesn’t directly address whatever crisis or problem is presenting.

I haven’t done any bushwalks for awhile.  To a large extent, I’ve been busy doing lots of other things.  But there’s also the fact that I just haven’t felt up to the preparation and planning and allotted time that a bushwalk takes.  Time that, for the most part, is enjoyable, and heightens the sense of anticipation of the walk in a lot of cases.  But it’s still time, and mental effort, and neither is something I’ve felt in abundant supply of lately.

Instead, I’ve grabbed walks wherever I could find them, focusing much less on what and where and much more so on just walking. 

Sometimes this is on specific walking trails.

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Sometimes it’s along footpaths in the suburbs.

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Sometimes it’s just where I happen to be.

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Wherever it is, it’s always healing.  It doesn’t fix any actual problems.  It provides a clearer headspace though, a chance to breathe and think things over – or – escape things entirely.

Plus, I usually find interesting things I wouldn’t notice otherwise, that make me smile.

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