Health journey: progress, regression and renewal

Surprisingly my last post on “my progress toward health” was last June. It was titled: “Initial goals accomplished, heading to second base.”  Baseball is not likely the best illustration for a journey to health as health is not something accomplished in 4 steps but as something gained ever a lifetime of good habits.

From June though Betsy’s wedding in October and beyond, I continued to make good progress. But as life sometimes does, November and December brought some regression and struggles. It started with significant time on the road and lots of holiday eating (too much chocolate around; a real problem to me). Then I got the shingles; and as I recovered from that, I got a flu. Through all of this, my exercise routine become very hit or miss (mostly miss). So over the weeks I gained about 7 or 8 pounds and dropped some toning.

But since the first of the year, my health and habits have been renewed, as I re-started regular exercise and better eating, I have dropped much of the weight gained and the tone is returning.

Running again (for now at least).  Last spring I started running again (I did some running in my early 30’s but quit after an injury). When I finally got to my initial goal of 3 miles (5 kilometer), I started experiencing some pain in my knee again. Rather then give up as I did 20+ years ago, I decided to have it examined by a specialist. The doctor did a series of x-rays but did not see anything wrong. He gave me some strengthening exercises to do, which I did over late summer and early fall; only to have the knee pain return when I got up to 3 miles again.  I was convinced it was bad running form or perhaps a weakness in a set of muscles around the knee. In a final attempt to make running work, I called the doctor’s office to see if I could see a physical therapist who could work with me.  I have been doing that. He found my leg a bit longer than the other and has given me a small pad to put in one shoe. And he found that my hamstrings are very tight and has given me some specific stretches and strengthening exercises to do.  We will see. I am re-building my mileage now. It seems I have trouble when I get to 3 miles.

It is good to be on the road to health. It is well worth the effort. I see so many of my peers on another road.

The above is from my on-going series on my health journey. For an index and summary, see