Change Comes From Changing

I have a favorite quote that I use on a very frequent basis: “C’est en forgeant, qu’on devient forgeron” (It is through forging that you become a blacksmith). A somewhat good translation of which would be “practice makes perfect”, but to me it is also a little bit more.

I am a runner and enjoy long distance running over shorter runs. A few years back when preparing for my first marathon I asked in an online community “How can I get faster.” I heard a lot of good advice: adding to the weekly mileage, running longer, lose weight, new shoes, eat less, compression pants…. but a friend of mine put things in perspective: She said: “You simply have to run faster.”

And this is what I have taken to heart. I started running faster and soon was able to log a sub 4h marathon. Simply by increasing the pace in my training runs and throwing in some intervals.

And this logic applies to everything in this world. You can only expect a certain outcome if you work towards that outcome directly. There is no free lunch. And there is typically not a way out. No short cut. No magic pill.

Last fall I had my first DNF in a marathon. I was devastated. A hamstring injury was the cause, after 13miles it was just glaringly obvious that I either would damage something worse or I needed to stop. So I stopped. Until that moment I had never quit anything in my life before. It felt bad.

So I asked myself: Where did this injury come from and how can I avoid anything like this to happen again. Will I ever muster the willpower to run in another marathon again. Will I become one of those old folks crippled by injury and pain and only able talk about the successes of my past like they happened to someone else? I sure would do anything in my power to avoid that kind of destiny.

So, I got my injury evaluated. Back problems, too tight hamstrings, general alignment issues… Well, that sounded like I was down a path to become a miserable middle aged person. So, I asked for root causes. But did not get the real answer immediately, but intensive research over the last few months led to the following: lack of movement.

Me? Lack of movement. I am active, I run, I am running marathons…

… And I only run, I sit a lot, wear high heels to work daily and on weekends.

High heels a source of power, necessary for a professional outfit, how can they really impact my ability to be a happy old person without back pain? Are heels and sitting really this bad?

Yes, they are. Heels shorten your calves muscles and also are often responsible for tight hamstrings. Frequent sitting is bad, the hip tucked will drive shorter hamstring muscles. In order to prevent future injuries and my misalignment to get worse, I needed to change.

Bye, bye high heels

Welcome stretching, physical therapy, and a new sport.

I picked up a yoga routine and am addicted. I have put it in my head to be able to do arm balances, handstands and splits before my next birthday. I am just competitive like that. And it is fun.

And to the high heels. I am not sure, yet, if I truly like my new flatfooted outfits. I am short. Now I look short.

However, thinking about the future. I am rather painfree than trapped in a body that does not cooperate.

And maybe I will set a new fashion trend at work. We will see.


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