Two weeks ago, I turned 25. It's one of those numbers that are supposed to mark some sort of milestones such as 18, 21, 30, 40, etc. I think I was supposed to party wildly and get wasted. That's what 25 years olds are supposed to do. Your 25th birthday party is kind of like a bachelor's party. Only difference you is that you get married to adulthood and she doesn't accept divorce papers. I have also also been told that it's a time for reflection. Where you look at how your life has panned out so far and make some new plans for course correction. I did no such thing. I had other weightier things on my mind.
I was not able to run. In a previous post, I had mentioned that I had dropped out while running an ultramarathon complaining from hip pain. Days and weeks passed but the pain just would not go away. I was unable to run, bike, swim and even climb up stairs. I googled for the symptoms, obsessed over it and came to the conclusion that it was a hip stress fracture. In the worst case, the socket could destabilize and lead to necrosis followed by rapid arthritis. I panicked and made an appointment with UPMC sports medicine right away.
An X-ray did not show anything. These stress fractures can be sneaky. They rarely come up on X-ray film unless it's a clean break. Microscopic fractures accumulated within the the femoral neck need more powerful imaging techniques such as an MRI(Magnetic resonance imaging). I never thought the day would come when I would be stuck inside a giant rotating magnet. Nail biting days followed while I waited on the MRI results.
I was seated in a sanitized medical examination room while I waited for the doctor to come in. It was a near courtroom scene. I was the defendant charged with pushing my body till it broke. The Jury was out while they discussed my fate. Finally the doctor arrived along with a few interns and they poured over my results. Eventually I was told that it was all fine. There was no hip stress fracture or its like. My psoas/hip flexor muscles were visibly injured though. I was sent back with a prescription for complete rest for 4-6 weeks. No funny business.
The hip is not the only thing wrong with me. My left shoulder is really messed up. My knee creaks and I keep getting corns on my feet. Well at 25, my body is either falling apart or complaining vociferously for me to calm the hell down. Running is the only thing I have that keeps me sane in this mad mad world and I can't afford to carelessly throw it away.
So my 25 year old lesson is "Moderation". It's not that I am going to temper my goals in life. Instead, give it the respect it deserves. Not mediocrity but moderation. Moderation in expectation. Moderation in planning and moderation in execution. You have to build up to your goals. One step at a time. One mile at a time. If it doesn't happen, so be it. The process is worth much more than the result.