Happy WellfieWednesday! Welcome back! This week comes with a personal blog story from Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio) and It Starts with “Connect.” So without getting into a long explanation and back story, “connect” is one of the five human elements adopted by APHPT from Pro-Activity. And it is essentially the relationships/bonds/connections you have with family, friends, colleagues, and communities.
A week and a half ago I ended up partaking in something crazy… maybe more than crazy. It was initially a call to action and actually DOING rather than preaching good health behaviors. I also thought it was a good reason to see some friends and colleagues, have a few beers, and hang out. But it was more than that.
The initial spark came from this past Summer of Move and a flame was lit when learning that in 1908 President Roosevelt issued a directive (Executive Order 989) requiring that officers of all military branches be able to complete “a march of 50 miles, to be made in three consecutive days and in a total of 20 hours, including rests, the march on any one day to be during consecutive hours.” Years later, President Kennedy in a Sport’s Illustrated piece titled “The Soft American,” stated that “physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity” and that “physical fitness is the basis of all the activities of our society.” JFK than thought that those 50 miles should be covered in ONE day. Lucky we went with TR’s version and the craziness became known as “The Teddy.”
The plan for the weekend was to run a half marathon on Saturday, a half marathon on Sunday (as part of Hunterdon, NJ’s Main Street Event), and than a full marathon on Monday, utilizing the Main Street course throughout Clinton and Flemington, New Jersey, and putting us at approximately 52 miles, if completed.
Now… I’m in no way a distance runner, my primary choice of planned exercise is strength training and living in hotter temperatures makes it a tad difficult to train for distance runs during the summer months. And before this attempt my farthest run EVER was a 10K, and I like using the kilometer version because it sounds better than 6.2 miles… So needless to say, with work and other obligations, I showed up in New Jersey without having really trained, which was about the dumbest thing I could have done.
But still, 4 of us set out that Saturday morning to start “The Teddy.” First few miles went great, certainly easier with motivation by your side. I slowed down significantly at about the half-way point, but we finished day one, I ran the farthest I had ever run. I was stoked! But hurting… significantly. And we had only completed a fourth of what we set out to do. The afternoon and evening were rough, and as any crazy healthcare provider, I started self diagnosing myself with a multitude of things. I of course had several places suffering from some sort of tendonopathy, probably a few stress fractures in my left foot, and was highly convinced of bilateral tibial plateau fractures. Not to mention I did have actually blisters on my second toe and heels. Walking was difficult…
The next morning was of course the next half marathon, and a real one at that with bibs, timing devices, and hundreds of others. So I pushed through and ran again. Everything… and I mean everything was painful after that. But hey, I finished another half marathon. Though that evening was rough; so rough that even heel slides were about my limit.
But Monday came around as it always does and it was time to complete the other HALF of “The Teddy.” Even with an additional friend (full of new energy), it wasn’t enough to have me run again. Though I was determined to hit 50 miles. So I ENDURED it… for 8 and half hours, until my milage hit the mark. I had done it! But most likely significantly “broke” or “injured” something. Getting off the plane that evening was about the most difficulty thing, ankles swollen like you couldn’t believe, again self diagnosing… surely a blood clot this time.
The week following was rough… Tuesday I had to cut down my patient caseload because walking and standing were so painful. But I knew of the human body’s resilience and if I continued to move and actively recovery I would come out the other end, as I have! Maybe at about 95% now.
Throughout the weekend I heavily experienced all five of Pro-Activity’s human elements, MOVE, FUEL, RECOVER, ENDURE, CONNECT. But everything started with CONNECT. It was the CONNECT that put me in New Jersey. It was the CONNECT of my APHPT tribe and my Physical Therapy community that supported my body can MOVE this way. It was the CONNECT of those in Jersey that ensured proper FUEL and RECOVER was had, whether it be eating enough or getting enough sleep. And it was the CONNECT, support, and motivation that helped me ENDURE the weekend.
Remember that the human body is RESILIENT! And with CONNECT anything is possible! Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio, @Eric_in_AmERICa, @FreestylePhysio, @DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!