A Less-Than-Flattering Epiphany

Some epiphanies are nobler than others.

Movies are full of them. Who can forget that moment when the beautiful ingenue realizes that it’s actually her loyal best friend, not the hunky self-centered guy, that has her heart! Who can forget that moment when the spiritual seeker comes face to face with his own mortality and realizes there is a higher power at work!

My moment of epiphany will most likely never make it to the big screen.

I have been struggling with my knee for the past month. I noticed the pain after my first 12 mile run. My coach quickly attributed the discomfort to a tight IT band. This assumption was confirmed by my family doctor and I was treated by a physical therapist for the tight muscle and knee pain. I stretched. I rolled. I medicated.

I thought it was strange, however, that even when I had followed the advice of the medical professionals, the pain kept coming back. The half marathon was successful, but did not come without pain. Even when my muscles and IT band did not feel tight, the knee would cause me trouble.


Well, until my epiphany.

It was last Thursday when I began to put the pieces together. “There could be something about the way you are running that is causing the problem”, the physical therapist had told me. What could it be? What could it be? As I went out for my first post-marathon jog on Thursday, I went through a mental inventory.

Was I running on uneven pavement? Nope.

Were my feet hitting the ground in an unusual candence? Nope.

Was there anything about my stride that was off-balance? Nope.

Was I running too fast? Nope.

As a car approached, I did what I have done a gazillion times. It was such a habit, I had never even considered it – never even thought about it. I probably would never have even noticed it if I hadn’t been in the hyper-vigilant, mental inventory mode.

I don’t think this move has an official name. I would call it the Moving Squat. This is the move that resets your shorts from “riding up”, if you have a little meat on your inner thighs. The move is achieved by bending one leg while dipping down slightly, allowing the legs to part a little while still remaining upright.  Do you know what I mean? Can you picture it? The ladies will relate, I believe. Michael tells me this is a “female thing”.

But there I was, on the road, actively running through a Moving Squat so that I would be presentable for the oncoming traffic.

It’s a subtle move and it happens very quickly. But the main area it affects = the knee.

My subconscious vanity was sabotaging me! 

I confirmed this hunch last Saturday by running in my brand new, longer running pants. Without the risk of “ride up”, I was able to run without the Moving Squat. And guess, what? No knee pain.

So, why would I admit to this, less-than-flattering realization about myself? Why not just pretend that my legs have never met each other while running? Because the truth of the matter is my inner thighs have been BFFs since 5th grade. And while I am an athlete now, I don’t try to pretend I am a swimsuit model. Consider this a PSA, people! So, for all of my running sisters with a little more meat on your bones, heed my advice:

Just let the shorts have their way.

And maybe consider drawing the attention to your face with a nice necklace or an up-do.



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