A 38 year old, thinning (hair rather than body-type), brunette runner has recently given an exclusive interview to this blog describing essentially how, following the onset of mysterious foot pains that threatened to leave him unable to ever walk again, he was able to miraculously turn his fortunes around in just three weeks!
I caught up with him over a coffee in his kitchen recently to establish the facts of this extraordinary case.
He takes a sip of coffee, lets out a long sigh and sits back in his seat as he places a cigar in his mouth and nonchalantly places his feet on the chair next to him. His hamstrings are so tight that the resultant release of energy catapults him backwards into the floor. He eventually recovers, shifts uneasily in his chair, takes another sip of his drink and a bite of his cigar before beginning his tale as if the events of the last thirty seconds never actually occurred.
“It was amazing really” he begins, recalling the events of the past month. “I went from being fully active – running, swimming, performing stunts aboard the top of a train, and Morris-Dancing at weekends – to being unable to place my foot to the floor without shooting pain. And I had no idea why!”
“I even wrote a blog post about it,” he continues, “to try and cement in my own mind that it was in fact real. Because everything I write in blog posts is real and actual fact!” He slams his fist on the table and takes a further bite from his cigar as he says this.
“Runners fall into one of three categories when it comes to injuries,” he asserts with an air of authority in his voice…
“Category (1) – I’ll be fine. It’s just a niggle. Nothing that a good hard track session or ‘undulating’ long run with full mandatory ultra running kit won’t cure!
Category (2) – I must immediately make an appointment with a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and demand an MRI / acupuncture / a personal 24 hour round the clock physio / an invasive operation
Category (3) As if there’s a category 3! There is no other option. Category 3 is clearly a joke. There is nothing to see here.”
He snorts, laughing a little too long at his own non-joke as he proceeds to eat around the edge of his cigar before dipping it in his coffee. After a moments silence, I urge him to continue….with the story…not dipping his cigar in his coffee.
“I have always been a category (1) personality but losing the ability to weight-bear when shoeless had me stumbling around for answers. I thought my tennis match would let me accurately assess the extent of the injury but I had the wrong week, then it snowed on the right week and the match was cancelled. I ran to my car after work briefly last week but apart from that and lifting a few weights, exercise has been pretty non-existent. To be honest, I was quite fed up and I had very little mojo to do anything even if I could have. Maybe this saved me.”
He pops the rest of his cigar in his mouth and gets another identical one from the TWIX packet next to him…
“So there you have it.” he says, as the interview reaches its climactic conclusion, “I basically didn’t do anything. Didn’t take painkillers. Didn’t take anti-inflammatories. Just rested. And it got better.”
WOW! I’m left speechless. As I attempt to adjust to the enormity of these events. How one man, by resting, has effectively turned upside down conventional wisdom with respect to running related injuries.
He pulls me over to one side and whispers in my ear…
“Do you know, in hindsight, I reckon it was doing the can-can in bare feet on the tiled kitchen floor with my daughter a few weeks back and following that up with a few sessions of that ‘Shape-Up’ game on the Xbox – again, without shoes. I reckon it was just some sort of…well… bruise.
Maybe I’ve been a bit over-dramatic.”
I am in shock. I have wasted too long writing an article that I could have headlined ‘Man recovers from bruise!‘ and so I collect my belongings and leave, slowly shaking my head, and without saying another word.
As I get to my car, and for the entire drive, I panic that I cannot find my wallet that I was sure was in my trousers earlier…but when I get home later that evening it turns out, I find it down the side of the sofa.
The following day I smile to myself and think. That runner bloke and me… we’re pretty similar really.
I crack open a TWIX, dunk it in my coffee and look forward to my rearranged tennis match on Sunday afternoon.