Is there a difference between being “fit” and being “healthy”? In an ideal world, there shouldn’t be, but lately some things have me thinking there’s definitely a difference. Certainly there are some professional athletes who are incredibly fit, but are pumped up on steroids, pain killers, etc., and I don’t think that’s very healthy. There are also many others who workout and look good, but may not eat that well and may have high cholesterol, and that’s not very healthy. Then there are those that build so much muscle that their neither fit (at least not functionally fit) nor healthy.
I’ve been doing a bit of self reflecting, brought on by the fact that I’ve had some really nagging injuries over the past two months, and that’s after living for two years with an injured right knee that I had repaired in 2012. As some of you know I followed all my doctors orders when rehabbing my right knee, and then when I was cleared to run again I was thrilled. I ran about 80 miles in the first two weeks after being cleared to run, and injured my left knee. I had an MRI, and nothing was torn (thank goodness), but it still hurts. While it was well below 100%, and hurting, I even competed in the February 2013 Southern California Tough Mudder… just because I wanted to. However, about a week ago I made a decision. No running for a month. I need to let my knee rest and recover, because even through I’m very fit, I just don’t feel healthy. A healthy person listens to their body, doesn’t live with constant pain brought on by their compulsion to exercise and gives their knees, elbows, shoulders and ankles time to heal and their muscles time to regenerate.
As I said, this is not easy, because I’d like to go run 5 miles right now and although my weight training makes me feel good, I really miss my cardio. However, it’s that compulsion that likely led to the injury in the first place and I choose to be healthy. Fit is great, pumps up your self-esteem, makes you look alright in a swimsuit and gets you compliments from time-to-time. But healthy is the real goal, and I want to be healthy.
Small steps add up!!!