One Minor Downside to Exercise

For most of my life, I have not been a very physically active person. Then, in 2009, after some persuasion, I started to play badminton, which I still very much enjoy. Last fall, around late September or early October, I finally started running to increase my stamina. Not long after I started running, I started going to the gym to lift weights a couple of times a week.

All of this physical stuff is relatively new to me, and I do like the way I feel. However, a slight downside to all of this are the injuries that accompany it.

Not long after I started playing badminton, my knees started to hurt badly. The court where I was playing had a cement surface (as opposed to a slightly softer surface which most standard courts offer) and I was only wearing normal sneakers when I played. The pain continued for around a month and finally subsided after I bought some new badminton shoes with flat soles and little lateral support.

Luckily my running has been mostly injury free (still soreness at times though). However, about a month ago, I was out walking around District 3 in Saigon with Tyler and we were taking pictures of historic buildings. At one point, I was trying to frame a shot and not looking where I placed my feet and stepped on a part of the sidewalk that was broken and loose. My foot twisted sharply to the right and I felt a brief, shooting pain. However, we kept walking and my foot seemed to be fine; I even went running that evening. But then the next day my foot hurt like hell. I couldn’t even walk normally and was really freaked out. I took a week off from running and the pain disappeared and I have been running normally since.

One injury that has been plaguing me since December and I have still not been able to overcome is something that I never thought would affect me: Tennis elbow. For someone like me who didn’t really know what it was, I’d always thought that tennis elbow was some kind of minor annoyance for people who played tennis. I never thought it could be this painful and long-lasting.

In my estimation, things started to go bad after I went back to the U.S. to visit my family for Thanksgiving. After two weeks off of weightlifting, I dived right back in where I left off. I did something wrong with dumbbell curls which strained something. Then I went to play badminton as if everything was fine, smashing and twisting my forearm which is part of the normal movement for the sport. My arm really, really hurt.

I finally reached the point where I took a some time off from badminton and completely stopped with dumbbell curls. I bought an elbow brace. I used a variety of creams and sprays to reduce the pain. Finally, after more than two weeks off, my forearm felt fine and I played again. And my arm was killing me afterwards.

Searching online for treatment, I finally found this website and am following this regime. I hope to ease myself back into the game and eventually be pain free.

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4 thoughts on “One Minor Downside to Exercise”

  1. One thing that I had to accept very early on is that with being an athlete (and yes, I consider you an ATHLETE now 🙂 ), there is always some kind of pain. Good for you for knowing the difference in pain associated with the sport and pain that actually requires you to back off for a bit.

    As a runner and a cyclist, I realize that I have to be extremely cautious with lateral movements because my sports don’t require me to move that way a lot. When I play racquetball and other sports that involve lateral movements and jumping, I’m very careful to land with bent knees and to not lock my knees too. Congratulations on your relentlessness!

    1. You consider me an athlete now?! Wow, things have changed since college 😉 I thought you’d have your two cents to contribute on this topic.

      And what would you consider a good time for 5k for a beginning like me?

  2. I have no idea how fast you can run but beginner 5k runners who are pretty fit and can run the whole race without walking usually shoot for 30 minutes or faster. However, if you can run 10 minute miles which puts you just right over 30, I’d say that’s respectable too! 🙂 I mean, you run like you train, so I have no idea how you’ve been training.

    When my husband ran his first 5k he came in around 32. He was mad…and I was like, why? You run 11 minute miles when you train. You can’t expect to all of a sudden whip out a 29! (I don’t sugar coat things HAHAHA)

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