There really is so much happening, I have little idea of where to start. Whatever, is happening is always about a simple love of running, of trying to do the right thing and if I am honest trying to make sure that those two things remain, always.
These two things apply to the fun side of life and also to a life in business. Trying to maintain that balance of what you believe and strive for inevitable leads to a certain amount of something akin to, well, cynicism, perhaps. Yet, it also leads to something else. To do stuff, the simple things, to help and to enjoy running, for those around you, known or unknown and for yourself…
Even that is more complicated than it sounds.
Running complicated? Well no, not the act, that is only as complicated as you make it. It is how you approach the wider scope of running. The care of running as a pure sport or act and how we give back or offer-up something in return. The passion of running.
For me running transcends more than just one leg in front of another. The daily ritual of homage to you looking after your body and the sheer feeling that running can bring. Of well being, of health, of pure enjoyment. Oh, and another piece of cake!
Yet, it is such a simple pleasure, so very natural. Yet, we must always remember that for such a simple pleasure it can sometimes be so much more difficult and painful.
“Well, Mr Hale, I recommend that you never run again”.
That’s certainly simple enough. Two knee operations, a damaged meniscus and cartilage that is now beyond repair. ‘ Yeh, bloody right!’ If I can’t run, what do I do?
“OK, Dr Consultant, what went wrong?”
OK, so I have someone to blame, except the truth it is no ones fault. It’s genetic, a family pass me down that has caught me. Yet, I am being told not to run again. The truth hits home pretty hard.
“Debs, we’re running tonight!”
Debs has been a rock through all this, always offering the alternative to that combination of my love of the outdoors and running and that she will be with me all the way, come what may. Yet, the look on the face of Debs is mixed; its clear she’s asking a few questions of her own. Nothing is said and we go running. Six miles fast, by my standards at that time, it was very fast.
“So you’re going to keep running then?”
A simple question with no easy answer. Next stop two more opinions from the Holywell team based at the store. No question of their ability or sensibility to my mind. They have been a solid part of my ‘Team You’ for a while. So enter Physio Gary Hill and Podiatrist Colin Papworth. Their advice is simple.
“Sounds like you will need a knee replacement one day. Might as well make it worth the replacement then”.
That too is simple enough. First stop is to head their advice. To get the knee strong. Drills and exercises here I come. A regular prescription, that they suggested will be ongoing for as long as it takes. Yet, I am running. Back to younger days of racer-trainers, of landing mid foot, of short strides. It feels good.
As to the ongoing knee, yes, I believe it is improving. It is slow, the process of getting stronger, of overcoming muscle imbalance and muscle wastage, yet it appears to be going in the right direction. The plan, the help and the support, is working. To Gary, Colin, Ben and Jackie a massive thanks. To Debs, Harry and Chris, always but not without saying. Thanks to all of you.
Now Debs and I are looking at a bit of a multi-day epic. We’ll see but the idea is feasible, if not a little mad for a 48-year old with a knackered knee, but what the hell. You only live once and tomorrow could be my last meaningful run.