Sometimes when I am running I feel invincible, I run places I wouldn’t dream of walking. I run alone. I run with headphones on loud almost all of the time. Run with my iPhone 5s on display. Ignore those little niggles and push through to finish a run. Get out there when my body does not want to run. Invincibility can be a dangerous feeling.
I’ve been lucky in that I’ve only dealt with a few minor niggles here and there over the last few years but these thoughts on invincibility got me thinking about getting older and taking care of my body for the future. Right now I am 25, my body is functioning as it should be, I’m fit and healthy but I’m not getting any younger and in some ways I’m scared of what will happen to my body in the future.
On the flip side of that running can cause problems in terms of injuries that can cause mobility issues. Particularly if that feeling of invincibility makes you ignore small niggles which then become larger problems. Stretching and strength training are key as well as just listening to your body and taking time off if you are having any issues.
I can’t ever imagine not being able to run, I feel like it’s such a huge part of my life and almost bound up within my identity at this point. I think it’s something right now that I completely take for granted, not just being able to run, but being able to move pain free. I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to have mobility issues, but there are company’s like UKSMobility who offer things like everyday walking aids to get people moving again.
I think being able to move is so important and taking care of your body in earlier life sets you up for later life and is the best defence you can get against mobility issues. Studies show that people who are inactive have more mobility problems later in life than those who are active.
As much as we might like to think it, we are not invincible and sometimes we need to listen to our bodies more closely. Rest when needed, focus on recovery, stretch it out and strength train and eat a healthy diet. These factors ensure we take care of ourselves not just for the short term, but the long term as well.