I am most definitely not a super-buff workout freak, but in the recent months, being in shape has become fairly important to me. Not because I want to live forever, or because something something societal pressures, but because it’s what I want. I like how my body looks and feels when it’s in shape and toned, and I like feeling strong and capable.
I’ve almost always been in shape, but in a different way entirely. There’s a huge difference in being in shape to play a certain sport versus whole body conditioning. Both are totally worthwhile, but this is the first time I’m tackling structured workouts instead of conditioning mixed with the sport in question.
But I’m starting to wonder where the stopping point is. I still want to run a marathon, but runners have notoriously painful joints after years and thousands of miles on the pavement. The circuit training I’m using for Tough Mudder is difficult and challenging and I love it, but it’s killing my joints. This is my leg as I type, ice packs wrapped around a strained muscle that I hurt doing burpees (I’m sitting in the Trex’s room since he’s having a bad night, I only wish those were my toys):
I’m having trouble typing because I smashed my elbow doing a freakish version of Leap Frog called the Dirty Ballerina. My ankles are swollen and sore, and my hips started popping again when I walk. All these injuries and pains are reminding me why I stopped playing soccer despite being very, very good at it: It hurt way too much. Bad ankles, bad hips, and a bad back just chased me away from competitive play entirely. Now that everything is resurfacing, I’m asking myself if it’s worth it.
The flip side is to fall back out of shape and for me, that’s not an option. I’m having trouble determining the breaking point, though-when do I stop? How much pain is enough?
Maybe after the Tough Mudder I’ll focus on parkour a lot more. It sounds funny, but a lot of the philosophy includes learning how to land softly and safely, saving your joints from wear and tear.
But that’s a big maybe. We’ll see. It’s funny, I never thought I could be in so much pain and feel so fantastic.