Holy Freaking YES!
For many reasons.
1. The Grand Canyon hike did not cause my foot pain. A crappy pair of boots I wore to a wedding in April caused my foot pain. I remember it clearly.
2. I continued to train even though my heel would tighten up, because when you are 51 and doing 14, 16 and 18 milers at Highbanks, something is going to hurt a little. It was more annoyance than debilitating. Besides, Marie made me do it.
3. It didn't hurt in the Canyon. Because the Canyon is magical.
4. It is probably an overuse injury. I would way rather have overuse injuries than under-use injuries.
I Googled OVERUSE Injury:
"Overuse injuries are subtle and usually occur over time, making them challenging to diagnose and treat. They are the result of repetitive micro-trauma to the tendons, bones, and joints. Common examples include tennis elbow, swimmer's shoulder, pitching elbow, runner's knee, jumper's knee, Achilles tendinitis, and shin splints."
Then I Googled Symptoms of Inactivity (UNDER-USE injuries):
- Cardiovascular disease
- Colon cancer
- High blood pressure
- Lipid disorders
- Spinal disc herniation
Door number one, please. Give me some annoying heel pain any day over that list. I'll just wear my Clark's, take some Tylenol and keep on keepin' on.
5. I think of that hike every single day. The planning, the training, the excitement of traveling there, that morning trying to pack all the right stuff, standing at the trail head in the dark with Marie, taking the first selfie and those first few steps. It's hard to explain what a part of me it has become. It's like there is a movie screen in my mind, and although what's happening here is right in front of me, the Canyon is always the backdrop.
6. There was a moment on the second day. It was after my elevation illness was gone. Marie's nose bleed was done. We'd seen the tarantula. Marie had encountered the sheep eyes. It was dark, we were climbing out and we stopped to take two deep breaths. As we did, I looked up and saw stars so indescribable, sky so vast, my soul expanded in that moment. Everything else went away as God said hello.
Holy Freaking YES!
Look, I'm in my fifties. Something is going to hurt. I'm making peace with that. I have a long list of pain management specialists and activities to keep me moving. I am grateful for stretching, Clark's shoes (and new boots), my heel-me-Jesus machine (ask me later), acupuncture, massage, ice, Tylenol, frozen tennis balls, chiropractors, good ortho doctors, Captain Morgan (for those of us who can't take Ibuprofen!), foam rollers, the stick, the nubby ball, etc. The tool box is FULL.
But even more so, I am radically grateful for movement, the outdoors, hiking on rocks, Highbanks, fitness experiences, fitness friends, walking, running, lifting, biking, sweating out my stress, holding a plank, Yoga, and all the other amazing ways there are to overuse my body.
I don't get to know which under-use injuries I am preventing by being active. I just have total faith that I am. Door number two is not for me.
I hope my heel pain goes away soon. But if it takes awhile, I'm cool with that. It's one of my battle wounds. I fought for this fitness. I fought for my mental, physical and spiritual health. Nothing is going to stop me now. I'm in it for life. I may be hobbling now and then, but I'm not giving up. EVER.
Now...where's my Captain?