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Dealing With The Mafia, Um... I Mean... Injuries

Few months ago I found myself on a yoga mat, practicing, rather than teaching. A fellow teacher demonstrates a pose to the class. “If you are currently fighting an injury…”, she continues, and then proceeds to offer a modification.

The words suddenly strike me. “If you are currently fighting an injury…”.

Why would you ever fight an injury?

What a silly thing that would be.

It’s not like you could fight an injury and win! You will always lose that battle. Always.

Fighting an injury is kind of like fighting the Italian Mafia.

[You are more than welcome to replace Italian with Russian here. Or Korean. Being inclusive as always.]

You don’t fight the Mafia. You respect the Mafia. Then, if you are lucky, they leave you alone.

Mafia’s major business is providing “protection” for their client – your body. At any cost.

Mafia communicates by dishing out pain, and dishing it out generously to those who do not listen. You don’t listen to the Mafia, you may end up hospitalized.

They can take anything they want. They can take everything you have.

So, don’t be a babbo, compare! Respect the mafia. Capisce?


I finally met with an orthopedic surgeon regarding my wrist injury earlier in the week. I am thirty years younger than the youngest person in the lobby. I also seem to have full function in all of my four limbs. The receptionist must think I’m lost.

The doctor looks at my MRI, ultrasound and x-rays. It has now been eight months since the injury, and the wrist feels significantly better. In fact, most of the time I do not feel it at all. In fact, if I was sitting on the couch, I’d never feel it.

However, the cartilage tear is alive and well. So is the tendonitis in the wrist. I still cannot do narrow grip push-ups, and any lifts that require a sharp angle in the wrist (front squats, cleans, etc). Chaturanga and arm balances in yoga are out of question.

Like human body does not have plenty of limitations as is. [Eye roll].

The surgeon says he does not want to proceed with any surgical treatment given the fact that the wrist is mostly functional and has been getting better.

Conclusion? Meet again in three months. At that point, he may consider laparoscopic surgery to “clean up” the debris.

It’d be really awesome if I didn’t have to hear the words “debris” and “wrist” in the same sentence. But hey, it could always be worse. That’s the spirit, right? Downward comparison all the way!

My hamstring injury is still very much there. My chiropractor diagnosed a chronic irritation of the hamstring at the insertion. This thing does wonders for my speed. Not.

The 5k timed trial few weeks ago did enough of a number on my hamstring for me to consider pulling out of the marathon (and the whole racing season) altogether.

“Tell me what to do”, I say to Scott, my chiropractor. These words do not escape my lips too often.

“If you think that it would be more prudent to pull out of the season now, take few months off and then start training for a marathon in May, then I’ll do that”.

In fact, I’m almost hoping he would tell me to stop training and pull out. Because that would be an easy prescriptive course of action.

“Well, things are not quite black and white”, he says.

I HATE when things are not black and white. It would be so much easier if they were. Of course, they never are. Stupid things.

Given that this is my first road marathon, I do not actually have a goal time in mind. Under four hours would be great, but whatever. At this point I’m simply concerned about doing more damage by training than by not training.

Scott continues:

“Will your hamstring get better, if you continue training for the marathon? Probably not.

Will it get worse? Probably not.

Can you run a marathon in October? Probably.

Are you going to break any speed records? Probably not.”

“The only way you can do more damage at this point”, he says, “is to rip the hamstring off the bone entirely. You are not going to do that in long runs. You can do that walking down the hill, and slipping. Or aggressively accelerating in a race to jump over an obstacle. Avoid speed work and running downhill. You’ll be fine.”

Gah. So it looks like I’m running that marathon.

So much for finding an excuse to pull out.

Signing off, Solo


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