Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I went deep water running

Never Done: I went deep water running

I don't think I did it right though, but it sure made my abs sore, so I must have done something right! From this video I found after the fact, I see that I should have been wearing a flotation belt. I wasn't, so maybe that's why my abs were working so hard. But also, I wasn't leaning forward the way he is, and I wasn't going as fast as he goes. But I did get a good workout, and the point of doing it is to save my knees while strengthening my legs with water resistance, and that seemed to work pretty well.

I don't know if this is the healthiest attitude in the world, but I think of my bum knee as someone else -- not me. What I mean by that is, I think about being kind to it -- not to myself, but to it. The other day I went to a podiatrist (Never Done, oy, middle age) and he said that he thought I might have a very high pain threshold -- that the way I described living in my body sounded to him like other people would be complaining all the time, or extremely limited. I think it's probably true -- but I also don't really see that I have much of a choice. If parts of you hurt all the time, then what are you going to do? Sit around and hurt all the time? Why not go out and do stuff and hurt all the time? Which, by the way, takes your mind off it, and which, by the way, is probably the definition of having a high pain threshold. Not that I don't feel it -- but that I can take it. And I guess the other way to get a high pain threshold is to dissociate from my body, pretend my knee and my back and my neck are really their own little sentient beings, and go on with my own life. Ah, coping strategies. You've done me so well.

So anyhow, after I swam for 45 minutes the other day, I ran in the water for 20 minutes. I think I looked a little doofy, but not so doofy that this woman in the lane next to me, when she overheard me answer the lifeguard's question about if I am training for something, asked me why I am doing a triathlon. When I told her it has something to do with being 48, and needing some external validation that I am strong and expanding my life, and not weak and diminishing it, she exclaimed, "You look amazing for 48!" I know I've written about this before, but it seems worth writing about again. On the one hand, I am delighted that this 30-something woman thinks I look amazing, and that she can see that being 48 is going to be just fine. And on the other hand, do I really look amazing for 48, or is this just what 48 looks like? Sometimes amazing, and sometimes not. This is related to the way that people start saying that you are xx years young, instead of xx years old at some age. I would actually like to do an analysis of this phenomenon to find out what age that is -- certainly by 80, people say it. I think also in some cases by 70. I'm gonna make a guess that it actually starts at 50, but if you have experience with this, will you let me know? And in the meantime, I am going to try to shift my attachment to my own youth, and work hard to claim my actual age, amazing or not.


  1. Now that my chronic pain issues are chronic and not intermittent (once again), I have been thinking about living with pain (once again). It is not an option for me to stop using my hands, arms, shoulders, ... not at work and not in my personal life. So I just do what I need to do and am in pain much of the time. I go to PT. I make or attempt adjustments, but mostly I just hurt. Apparently I also dissociate and I don't think I have a high pain threshold. I think I am just committed to living my life despite the pain and not having it rule over my life.

  2. I think since (it seems like) most people in our society have stopped using their bodies on a regular basis (see: obesity epidemic), you probably do look amazing for 48 compared to the average person.

    I think the sad thing is that 48 should, in general, look better than it does on a lot of people here but we as a culture have gotten in the habit of sitting on our asses and eating a lot of junk food and smoking and blah blah.

    So I'm just gonna ride the wave and let people ooh and ah over how amazing I'm about to make 40 look (in 17 days). :-)

  3. Rimma -- I guess the goal is to do both, right? To keep living, while also looking for ways to heal and stop hurting? Also, for me I just have to be thoughtful about not doing what other people do just because they're doing them. Last night after running hills (up, down, up down, up down for 40 minutes!) my coach had us do a core workout. I modified almost everything he had us do, knowing I was saving my neck and still getting a core workout, but also knowing that he was probably judging me negatively. Whatever. I'm 10-25 years older than everyone else I'm training with!

  4. Kronda -- you and your muscles might just be an extra special case!