Household chores more hazardous to my health than running, or, Why can't I have an interesting injury story?

Household chores more hazardous to my health than running, or, Why can't I have an interesting injury story?

Let this be a cautionary tale. My entire immediate family and I ran the Ravenswood Run 5K on Sunday and yesterday I hurt my knee doing the filing. That’s right! The lesson here is never do the filing!

I don’t know if the two are related. I felt fine after the race and all morning yesterday, until I started the process of filing, which involved a lot of bending and squatting to get those credit reports and bills from Target into the bottom drawer. That’s when my right knee started hurting so badly I could hardly make it downstairs, but that’s where lunch was, so naturally I had to be brave.

We’d run a good race, too, deciding all five of us should stay together, never faster than the slowest runner. It was a good plan, I think. Otherwise my husband would have left us at about mile 1.2, when the first jogging stroller passed us, or maybe that guy with the oxygen tank. My sons would have sprinted off ahead and gone into violently competitive-twin mode and Lord knows I couldn’t have raced to them in time to break it up. My daughter, who hadn’t trained much, is a naturally fast runner, but had to stop and walk a couple times, which I predicted, and it’s why I advocated that the family that races together, stay together. (Another caution? When you ask your teenagers if they want to run a 5K with you, and they all readily agree, it’s best not to mention the start time is at 8 a.m. on a Sunday.)

At the three-mile point, we all agreed it could be each man (or woman!) for himself (or herself!) to the finish. Since everyone had plenty of gas in the tank, we all sprinted for it, which is when I suspect I might have set-up my knee for it’s ensuing persnicketiness.

Here’s another thing. Why couldn’t my knee have started hurting right after the race? “Must have been that sprint to the finish,” I could have heaved out with my hands on my hips and a concerned look on my face. It would have been a much better story than the fact it started aching while doing the filing I hadn’t gotten around to since 2011. I’m just not destined to have cool injuries, like the time I fell over doing yoga and practically broke my thumb (five weeks in a splint!) or hurt my other knee kneeling down for a family portrait (torn meniscus!) or hurt my shoulder cleaning the shower.

I have a friend, we’ll call him “Jeff”, who is always injuring himself in spectacular and interesting ways. He’s a runner and a mountain climber and has battered himself repeatedly doing cool things like sliding off mountains. (His fascinating and heroic ways of injuring himself are so common that when he comes home from a run all bloodied and muddy with twigs sticking out of his hair his wife just looks up, shakes her head and then goes back to her crossword puzzle.)

For me, the fiction writer, the truth behind my injuries is never so interesting. Although my knee feels better today, I’m debating putting off another run until tomorrow. Better safe than sorry. (I like RICE!) However, I do need to empty the dishwasher, er, climb a fourteener today, which could be the story I tell you if my knee is still hurting tomorrow.

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Filed under: Health, Parent

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