When the bough breaks… a lesson on injury prevention.

We woke up yesterday around 4:30a to a storm brewing……loud, booming thunder and sharp bursts of lightning. It scared the dogs and we finally just got up. The radar implied it would be over around 8a so I took my time with coffee and breakfast before the morning run.

We were in the kitchen when we heard a big POP, a long swoooooosh and a final Boom. I knew this sound. I flew from window to window looking for the source of the calamity. A massive, old Beech tree had fallen behind the house and into the waterfall.image

Where we live, the question is not if a tree will fall but where will it fall. By all outward appearances, this tree looked healthy. It grew on the side of the hill, by the two Adirondack chairs where we sit with a glass of wine on warm summer nights.

As soon as the rain stopped I went out to inspect the damage.To my surprise, the middle of the tree was rotten…completely hollow. I instinctively touched my abs and gave them a little press – look what being a little hollow in the middle will do to you!

If you’ve never done a strengthening routine, you would feel the difference on your first long run. There’s an added strength it gives you….stamina. More important perhaps, it helps prevent injuries.

Running injuries are associated either with imbalances in the strength of different muscles or with weaknesses in a specific muscle.

If you think of running as a pull on your body’s muscles, tendons and bones in one direction, over time making things lopsided from the singular effort – kind of like a tire that is never rotated. Strengthening the opposing and supporting muscles prevents your body from wearing out on one side so to speak.

imageAnd look what this tree did to the trees in its path. It took several others out on its way down – just like your body does. If your hips aren’t strong, they’ll take out your IT bands. If you have weak abs, your back may hurt. It’s a chain reaction.

Even if you’re not a runner, it’s a good reminder of how important it is to stay strong as you age. I heard Tom Brokaw talk about doing yoga with his wife after he retired. He said he was in the best shape because the yoga gave him more all-around strengthening. My friend from Ecuador said the same thing after he started yoga. I have recently read and seen the obvious results a fellow runner and blogger had with P90X.   (racesrepsramblings.wordpress.com)

It’s not the path you take that’s important, it’s the outcome. Funny how lessons can be learned from the most unexpected sources. I did my Core H routine this morning with just a little more vigor and determination.

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