Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grandparenting.

The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Book excerpt: When Pain Means STOP!

This excerpt from The Hard Run: Painful Lessons from a Running Granny, is the introduction to the first section of the book. Enjoy!

When Pain Means STOP! 

When I began running in my late forties I developed a new relationship with pain. I had opportunities to reflect on many new and unusual types of discomfort. It is not that I had never suffered unease before.  One doesn’t reach her late forties without a few of life’s bumps and bruises. The running pains simply offered new insights into the other kinds of pains that life presents. Running allowed me time to reflect upon the various things that cause discomfort, the relationship that I had with discomfort, and the need to endure or change the circumstances surrounding each kind of discomfort.

 Pain is a funny thing. It is difficult to measure, especially when it is being experienced by someone else.  Some medical caregivers have adopted a Smilie face chart to help identify the level of discomfort a patient is experiencing. They compare the expression on the patient’s face to a caricature on a poster in an attempt to assess the patient’s pain level. Unfortunately, caregivers are not always familiar enough with the patient to discern the nature of his or her expression. Perhaps, the patient is simply unhappy with the misfortune of being in need of care. Another tool used for assessing pain is a number scale. The patient is asked to rate their pain with ten being the worst pain they have ever experienced and one indicating no discomfort. These assessments can help, but pain and discomfort are difficult to compare from one individual to another. Some people are as disturbed by the anticipation of pain as by the actual physical irritation. Others have a high tolerance for aches and irritations, while some are uncomfortable with any divergence from their normal level of well-being. I don’t understand what makes you hurt, nor do you understand what bothers me most and that is what makes pain so difficult to measure.

I have learned that discomfort is mostly a signal that something has changed.  Something physical or emotional is different than usual and we don’t like the way it feels. Naturally, the sufferer wants the discomfort to stop.  In many situations, eliminating the thing that is causing the hurt is the best practice. Allowing a wound to heal, removing the offender whether it is inanimate or human, or taking the sufferer out of the uncomfortable situation are all ways that the pain can be stopped.

This section of the book is dedicated to sharing experiences that illustrate when and how pain should and can be eliminated by stopping the very activity that is causing the discomfort. The challenge is learning to discern when stopping is truly the answer.
You can find The Hard Run and other books by Carol M Green on Amazon, Kindle, and in her Etsy shop.

Happy Running!

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