I just got back from a 10 vacation in Lake Tahoe. It is great to get far away from home in only 3 hours of travel. It was a very relaxing trip—and I was in serious need of rest!
On one of the days, I was hiking with my dad and he was talking about his knee. He had been complaining of knee pain for months, and finally went to get ART and a good conditioning program. (Long story as to why I don’t work on him!) He was telling me that his knee felt about 50% better after several treatments, so he was going to stop going. I immediately asked why he would top something that’s helping. His response was that his knee was “good enough,” plus he was tired of going to appointments. Basically, he was feeling impatient, and not at all confident in the end result of spending time having his knee treated because it has been a problem for many years. I’ve been re-playing that conversation in my mind since I returned.
A lot of times, we feel “stuff” going on with our bodies during our sport, but it doesn’t become prohibitive enough to seek help. So, we continue on, with a nagging worry or knowledge that something isn’t as it should be. Finally, we hurt enough to make an appointment for treatment (or someone gets sick of us complaining about pain and makes one for us). By the time we show up for an appointment, we want to be better right away. For some people, immediate resolution is attainable. For others, it doesn’t work quite that way.
My dad’s current knee problems are the consequence of years of running, complicated by a bad car accident. A few weeks of treatment should help, but it’s certainly not going to fix his problem. He needs a lot of work to manage his knee because, at the age of 72, he’s got too much going on to completely resolve it. The reality is that sometimes there are true physical impediments to full resolution of an injury–or maybe it’s time or financial constraints. But, many times, the obstacle preventing us from accomplishing our goals is impatience or fear—that we can’t get better. In my dad’s case, those feelings may preclude him from riding his bike the distances and altitudes he enjoys.
My dad is currently considering my advice! (And the reason why I don’t treat him should be clear!)