December 10, 2006


I had just completed a solid hour of vigorous stretching when I stood up and my old friend ITBS made an unwanted visit.

For the month prior to and the few days after my marathon a week ago, my iliotibial band on my right knee had been hurting. Oh, I've done everything you're supposed to do - ice, elevation, ace-wrap, scheduled ibuprofen. I even considered injecting myself with celestone to decrease the inflammation, but decided that may be a little over the top.

But as I walked away from the gym today, it occurred to me that my body has rejected what I have been doing to it. Muscoloskeletal pain that isn't from a particular injury - like getting hit by a car, or tripping on the pavement - is usually from overuse or misuse, or a little of both.

Think about it, our bodies are essentially the same. We all have the same iliotibial band, the same patella tendon, the same bony pelvis, the same femoral condyle. Unless your anatomy is surgically altered or congenitally misaligned, you have the same anatomy as me as Norman Stadler as Lance Armstrong.

So why would some people have ITBS from preparing for a marathon and others don't? The answer lies in how you are preparing - your running form, your rate of mileage increase, your recovery times. To perform well over any length of time, you have to have proper form, proper pace/timing, and proper rest. If you don't do these things the proper way, you will develop an injury or pain. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. Overuse or misuse leads to injury.

I have overused and misused my body, and it is rejecting me. And then it occurred to me that overuse or misuse also is the cause of rejection with relationships.

Think about the reasons you have rejected, or were rejected by, previous significant others or potential significant others. Now I'm not really talking about the platinum double D type you lusted over at work for a couple of months until you saw her picking her teeth with the corner of a manila envelope...

I'm talking about the girl who shared your passions; who always knew what and when and how to say the right words; who had a smile that could disarm nuclear tension, and a confidence that could not be broken; who made you laugh and who laughed at you... That's the girl... That's the girl I'm talking about.

Why is there rejection from the apparent perfect person for you? I realized today that it's a combination of overuse and misuse. So for a relationship to work properly, just like for an athlete to work properly for any duration, there must be proper form, proper pace, and proper rest.

I think the proper form portion is fairly easy to understand, but hard to do. You have to have the zone 1 base relationship training mastered, and you have to consistently build on your zone 1. You have to be respectful, and considerate, offer criticism constructively and reluctantly. You have to be able to open yourself, to let yourself be loved and respected, which I think sometimes is harder than its counterpart. You have to give your time, and make her feel like it is truly hers. Proper form... Perfect form...

Proper pace and proper timing are requisites for a relationship to work and not end in rejection. You can't jump straight to zone 3 or 4 early on, or you will never develop the zone 1 base necessary to sustain it.

And both persons have to be at a point in their life when they can and want to pursue a new relationship. I think this one hits me harder than the others. She has to be at the bottom of the mountain to start the climb. If she is still falling from the last unsuccessful climb, then it will be impossible to start a new one until she hits rock bottom and recovers. And recovers...

Finally, for a relationship to work it needs rest. It's inconceivable and harmful to expect two independent people to want to /need to /have to spend all of their time together. You can't grow as a couple unless you grow as individuals. And it's hard to grow as an individual if you don't occasionally exercise your individuality.

That's what it takes, at least in part, to make a relationship work, and it's the same thing that it takes to make a trained body work. You have to nurture each, paying attention to form, timing, and rest, or you will be rejected.

So I learned today that I've been rejected by my body; and, I think I may have gained a bit of insight into what it takes for a relationship to work...

Not bad for a day of stretching. Now it's time to go ice my damned knee!

Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.


Triteacher said...

Hear! Hear! One with regard to the training and the second toward relationships.

ironjenny said...

First, thanks for pointing out something I have in common with Lance Armstrong. mmmwaaaahh!

Second, as you spun the topic to relationships, that "you both have to be at the bottom of the mountain at the same time; one can't still be falling from the last trip up..." - that is right on the money.

Third, I've been married for 11 1/2 years. I think what's worked for us is that we ARE individuals. I don't expect Bob to be my everything, and I don't want to be HIS everything. I get my "strokes" from my friends, my kids, even my blogmates! His job is to be my partner, lover, co-parent... but not everything in between, too.... That'd be too much pressure for anyone to feel like they had to be everything.

Just for fun - here's what we are jostling over now -- he wants to be a triathlete... bought a bike and even competed in a sprint last summer -- and I hate it! It's MY time away from the den. Just like I wouldn't show up on his Canadian fishing trips, Vegas Poker weekends, Alabama marathon-golfing trips... that's HIS time away from the den... so let me have my triathlon hobby thing, and you keep your fishing/poker/golf thing.
(I'd be just as annoyed if he started showing up at my summer tennis league -- ick!! go away!!).
Hey, I love you and everything, but that's MINE!!! ;-)Now that he likes triathlon, I will be a total *itch if I squelch his enthusiam for it. But it sure is bugging me!!!!