Saturday, August 15, 2015

Different kinds of pain

A few years ago I borrow a book from a good friend by Marshall Ulrich named 'Running on Empty'. Now if you don't know who Marshall Ulrich is I urge you to google him. He is a study in dedication and his deeds are out of this world.

The main theme in the book is his epic run across the USA but also covers the story of why he started running and a number of other deeds he had done. The one thing that hit me the hardest was when he described how his wife laying in bed dying of cancer one day asked him not to run that day, something she had never done before, and him going on a run anyway. Knowing nothing else about the man, that situation might give you the impression that he was a cold, egoistic and possibly evil man. But he was not. Running was his only way to cope with the world at the time and not running would have deflated him instantly. It is a feeling hard to explain but I knew why he had to run and I knew how it would it haunt him forever after and I wonder how gutted and alone the wife must have felt.

Love and understanding. Marshall and new wife.

The same situation can be seen in my favorite movie of all time, the big blue. Again if you haven't seen it go see it now .. cause I am about to tell you how it ends. Visually and musically it is an amazing film especially when you take in account that it was filmed in 1988. The character is loosely based on real persons from the freediving scene, though very very loosely and they are always depicted in the extremes of their character. The 'hero' of the movie is a free diver called Jacques Mayol. He is a very loving and friendly person that is clearly stuck in his past, where he lost his father to the sea. When at land he is a fish out of water and even though he has a pretty pregnant girlfriend he still decides to go on one last final dive with the plan to stay down in his hope to meet 'mermaids'. Ultimately it is his girlfriend who pulls the string that starts his dive and sends him on the last journey. I know this sounds really really bizarre but believe me this is also something he simply has to do and she knows it at that point.

Hard to understand who would leave that behind
These are just two examples, but I see the same all around me in different form granted .. but still. I see this in a number of my running friends and I see this in myself. For some it is about using a little energy to gain enough energy to cope with the challenges of their lives, for some it about having something that is their own .. a little 'me time' and the list goes on and on. For some, this is their very last battalion before surrender.

It is easy when one is alone to give in to these 'needs' but when in a relationship it can be extremely hard on the other half and come at great costs for both. Blessed be those who are understood and those who understand. The rest have my deepest most heartfelt sympathy. Neither side of the fence is easy.


I was at the 'pain lady' a few days ago. It had been 2 weeks since I had been there last. The cupping marks had nearly gone but now it was time to get a new set.

that is blood you can see in the cups

As mentioned pain is part of what she does but I think it is only her way to find the relevant spots and she hasn't yet made me black out of pain. There is good pain and there is bad pain. Her pain is good .. except the blood cupping .. I could do without that, to be honest, but if it works I will convert it mentally to a good pain.


Friday I was out running with Kaare I meet at AAUT. It was our first reunion since AAUT and I was to show him one of my favorite trails. He himself is a fast runner and we made good speed while talking about running and family. Sadly I lost focus on the trail for a few secs and then I heard a large snap and felt a sharp pain in my right ankle. I have strained my left ankle many times but never my right. It didn't feel good. But the secret to stains is to keep moving them and keep them from stiffening. After a few painful steps, I was able to first slowly walk and the run and lastly run nearly normal speed again.

NOT my normal ankle size ;)
As we were once again making good progress and was running up a nice technical hill I was hit in the eye of an insect. Normally they just bounce off right away but this one stuck and then 2 secs later I felt an intense pain in the eye. I grabbed the bugger and threw it away but could feel something still was stuck. This I removed with my nails and found it to be the poison sack of a bee. It had stung me in the thin skin a few mm beneath the right eye. I couldn't believe my 'luck'. I had to laugh afterward.

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