Breeeeeeathe in 1, 2, 3
Exhaaaaale 1, 2
Heart pumping at a steady rate, the attention draws to my heartbeat and breath. Finding a 3 second inhale and 2 second exhale sets my rhythm. With a constant focus on my technique, my mind only drifts when I no longer am aware of my breathing. Five kilometers into the run I look back to see where my running partner for the day, Karri, has set back to. The Finnish soldier is about forty meters trailing at his own steady pace. At the end of the 8.5km loop, I stretch and wait for Karri to get there. My energy seems rather high on this Friday afternoon. After greeting Karri acting like I'm not even breathing hard, I confidently state my intention to run another loop. He wishes me luck and rides on his blue cruiser out of the Eco Reserve on his merry way. After a quick stretch, I venture back onto the trail at a slow pace.
The pain sets in not even 500 meters into the run. The left knee feels stiff and extremely sore all of the sudden. Now it feels like rusty metal bending in a heavy wind everytime I flex the knee.
This cannot be happening, not now. Flash back four years ago, the same pain setting into the left knee. Flash back 18 months ago. Yup, I recognize this feeling.
The It band not only hurts on the outside of the knee but inside as well. I quickly walk back and hop on the bike back on my merry way. Perhaps I was getting a little ahead of myself with this whole process. My mind wants to do one thing and my body stands it's ground with a purpose.
Flash back nine years and four months ago at the State Champion wrestling tournament in Denver, CO. My mind is poised for a state title run. My body, ribs in this case, gives me a dose of reality with incessant pain every time I rotate laterally or horizontally. What is one to do? Perhaps I haven't learned a very simple, yet often overlooked, art form. Listening. Not just listening, listening to my very own body. It has powerful messages that can not be disregarded.
Where to go from here...