Community, perspective, and talking it out.

I’ve long been a proponent of being an active part of a supportive community. A supportive community can provide accountability, perspective, honest feedback, ideas for new things to try, and a sounding board for some wack-a-doodle ideas that cross our minds.
If faced with the question “who are the people in your neighbourhood?” , i would certainly include my wife, Tracey, and for the sake of this posting, both Steve and Bonnie Pfiester. I’ve never met either Steve or Bonnie; I’ve only read through their blogs, web sites, and other social media outlets. My parents live near them for some of the year, and a few years ago I sent my parents on a mission to go to their gym MaxFitnessClub to buy me a t-shirt before they headed north. But this isn’t about that.
Several weeks ago my left hip began to hurt. Achy at first, in what I would describe as pin-point tenderness at the TOP of my femur (near the trochanter…). Pain would be at that spot, as well as occaisionally radiating down my left leg. Every once in a while my left calf and instep/arch of my left foot would go numb. So of course I ignored it, thinking that it was just a pulled muscle aggrevating a nerve.
Another week into the pain, and even rolling my glutes with a LAX ball didn’t help. The pain would become so severe at times that I would have to stop walking and just sit or squat down. Sitting ‘criss-cross-applesauce’ (Indian style) provided the most relief, or just squatting with my knees pointed waaaay out.
In the third/fourth week I went to see my PCP. I told him the symptoms, what I’d tried to relieve it, and pointed to the exact spot on my hip. He said, “bursitis.” I said, internally, mind you, “WHAT THE WHAT? i’m not THAT OLD!!!!”
I replied with, “ok, how do we fix it? i need to really ramp up my running miles and this is kinda getting in the way.”
“Rest it, heat it, and take ibuprofen. Most of all rest it.”
ummmm…..what part of “ramp up my running miles” didnt’ he understand???
I checked with Dr. Google, and sure enough, the best ‘cure’ for trochanteric bursitis is what my doc had said. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDGE.IMG_20140507_223332_397
That was just about a week ago. This past weekend I nearly lost it, though. I could only see the doom and gloom. No real running or working out. I might as well withdraw from my two big events in September, and just ‘get through’ the smaller one (yes, Ragnar Reach the Beach NH is the smaller of my plans for Sept…). My negative mood and outlook, though, was having a noticable impact on my smaller, closer community, otherwise known as my family and house. Yep. Papa bear wasn’t happy…
In a huff, I spilled most of my guts to Tracey, my #1 support crew and Queen of our Castle. She had some things to say that went against my bad mood, so it was easy (at first) for me to dismiss them. Something about ‘turning that frown up-side down’ (not really) and that ‘it is ok for you to be bummed out, but please don’t bring try to bring the rest of us down with you’ (paraphrased, but pretty danged close).
After a few minutes of back and forth about ‘woe is me’ and ‘i’m going to quit everything and just eat crap and get fat’, my wife said, “remember Steve? he got SHOT for crying out loud. and he didn’t just say ‘to heck with all of our customers’ and ‘forget about my goals’. he FIGURED OUT what he needed to DO, and he DID IT.” (read about his gunshot here, and Bonnie’s perspective here).
Wow. I was impressed that she remembered that incident and how I was moved by Steve’s determination and how he DID what he did after being SHOT IN THE FRIGGIN LEG(s).
SO really, is my trochanteric bursitis ALL THAT? No. but it flippin’ hurts and has put a damper on my training plans. After having talked it out with Tracey and gained some perspective from the ‘community’, I am not going to let it completely derail my plans for September.
Screw that.
They are these:
Ragnar Reach the Beach Relay
Spartan Beast at the World Championships
Vermont 50 Trail Ultra

All in September, one weekend after another. Boom.
Wake me in November…


  1. So sorry about the dang bursitis Gene. Ah yes… that’s devil “rest.” Does it not always come at the worst time, when you’re ramping up for something exciting? I know you’ll follow his orders though, cuz you’re a smart guy 🙂

  2. So sorry about the dang bursitis Gene. Ah yes… that’s devil “rest.” Does it not always come at the worst time, when you’re ramping up for something exciting? I know you’ll follow his orders though, cuz you’re a smart guy 🙂

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