It is with thankfulness and praise that I can say it was not such an injury, like a torn ligament or worse. Instead it was a severe flare up of my osteoarthritis. Yes, you read that correctly, I have arthritis in my right knee. It was diagnosed when I was much heavier, and it is a result of my long term obesity. By losing the weight, I certainly improved what was a near constant pain, but there are still times when it flares up like this.
Easy as it would be to blame things on genetics, or bad luck, the truth is that my life choices were what resulted in the pain I experienced these past few days. And....I will admit....my bad decision to run in very cheap $9 running shoes. Yeah, I'm actually ashamed about that part, and not so much the part about my weight in the past. Running in cheap shoes is NOT a good idea. Ever. Well a lesson learned is a lesson earned! I will be investing in a new pair of shoes as soon as I am able. It is a good thing that I have to take a break from running, so I can save up the money until then. Dear readers, let this be a lesson to each of you as well. You get what you pay for in athletic equipment, and the one thing you do NOT want to scrimp on is your athletic shoe.
That said, I also must insist that you do what you can about your own unhealthy habits as soon as possible. Because I allowed my obesity to go unchecked for years, I allowed the damage to be done to my knee. Damage that, I fear, is always going to be a part of my life. I'll even admit that running is probably not the BEST exercise to do, but there are ways that I can do it safely without causing further damage to my knee. Continued use of the patella straps is a must, and I also need to include more workouts to strengthen my muscles in my knee. I'm also now going to be on a daily anti-inflammatory medication and Glucosamine supplement to help reduce inflammation and prevent further damage to the joint.
The one thing that really bothers me about this is the one thing I was once guilty myself of doing. For a long time, I did not really take into account just what I was doing to myself. I dismissed the poor diet and lack of exercise as an issue with the mentality of "I'm fine now. Why should I worry?" I didn't consider the long term implications of it all. It is a mentality I regularly come across these days.
"I drink soft drinks all the time, and I'm fine."
"I'm overweight and I'm fine."
"I smoke, but I'm fine."
Sure, you're fine now, or at least you believe that you are fine. The most dangerous symptoms of poor health are the ones that aren't immediately obvious, or the ones that are most easily ignored and explained away. Then one day you wake up, and you're not fine. You have Diabetes, or heart disease, or like me, Arthritis. The time to take action is not when you have reached that point. The time to take action is now, even when you believe you are fine. My diagnosis at the age of twenty-three with Arthritis was the first in a long line of wake up calls, ones that I could have avoided had I not procrastinated.
Despite my young age, though, I'm not embarrassed to admit that I have Arthritis because I can also add that I did eventually do something about it. I could have just given up, and let it be another excuse not to get up and take action. Now, when I say that I have it, I can also add the story of my success. It just would have been easier to do it without the pain. Then again, I've never really been one to take the easiest path. It's an occupational hazard of being stubborn!