Saturday, 14 January 2012

Pause for thought

Thought for the Day, Friday 13th January 2012 was  "Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever."

This got me thinking. Neither statement rings true for me, especially the latter. Here's why.

I recently cancelled my health and fitness club membership. Not because I'm giving up on either health or fitmess, but because I didn't use the facilities much in 2011. I had a series of illnesses, culminating with pleurisy which kept me out of the pool for months. Then I damaged my knee and found that swimming was making things worse. I had physiotherapy and injections and waited for it to recover.

When I deemed it recovered enough, I had a full health MOT and my personal trainer gave me some exercises to do in the gym to strengthen the knee muscles and build strength in the upper body. I managed two weeks in the gym before the virus from Hell returned. I fully intended to return to gym and swim in the New Year but managed to fall down the stairs and damage both knee and ankle again.

Lady Violet (Downton Abbey)

So does this count as quitting? Not at all. When I'm sure that my injuries have healed properly and my health is on a more even keel, I can always become a member again and start building fitness from scratch. Pain may be temporary (for some it's not, it's chronic and ever-present) but it is a signal that something is amiss. To exercise while in pain risks doing even more damage to muscles and ligaments.

So, while I'm in need of a walking stick when out and about (I wish I could carry it off with the same style as Lady Violet.) , and while my sleep is disturbed by the pain in my knee and ankle, I'm temporarily quitting.