Often my blogs and Facebook posts celebrate victories and achievements large and small. Not this time. I've come to realize that my new running "career" may be finished. Last month I experienced sciatica pain while running and ended up limping home. I took the month off running and focused on walking, cycling, and yoga. This morning I took a very brief test run. After walking a mile as a warm-up, I alternated running and walking 50 yards at a time. It didn't take long before I began to feel the beginning of the sciatica flaring up again.
I suspect my leg problem is a combination of factors. I most certainly overtrained, running too much too soon. There's also the fact that I spent much of my adult life weighing 300+ pounds, which really messed with my knees. Even after losing the weight, I've had to be very careful with my knees. While I am certainly healthier overall than I was a year ago, years of unhealthy living have taken a toll on my body, and there's a limit to how much I can reverse the aging process.
If I could afford it, I would see a sports therapist to help sort out the problem, but I don't have the money. The good news is that my leg feels fine when I'm walking. I really love running, but I also enjoy walking. There's just something that feels good about moving forward on my own two feet. Maybe in another year, I'll give running another try, but not today.
It's not like I'm giving up a career as a professional runner. That was certainly never going to happen! Whatever my choice of exercise, the ultimate goal is health. I like walking, but I also like workouts that really get my heart pumping. My plan is to practice yoga and walk in the mornings, and then mix in some faster cycling 3-4 times a week to satisfy my urge to push the pace.
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.