No, I’m not talking about me jogging. Besides, none of my friends would go with me. Not because they don’t like staying fit and healthy, but because they don’t want to hear me pull out my favorite excuse for why I can’t go jogging…shin splints.
This excuse has worked pretty well so far. In fact, I've started using it for other activities that might be challenging or that might cause me to lose a certain amount of body fluids. (Rumor has it that our bodies are made up of up to 75% water and I don’t want to mess with my percentages.) For instance, when friends invite me to dine at a restaurant that I don’t care for, I respectfully decline, due to shin splints.
Then came the annual physical. The results were not encouraging. I was given two options for recovery: Take meds for years to come or get cardio-fit. Because the latter is much cheaper and closer (running around the park down the street), I opted for getting fit.
So, I started running. At first, I started running to the end of our cul-de-sac, taking a quick nap under the large oak tree in the front yard of the corner house, and returning home for a snack and another nap. I did feel much better, but I wasn't really getting healthier.
Then, I remembered the advice to jog with a buddy. They can be a constant reminder of goals to be achieved, motivators to turn stopping points into benchmarks, and performance prodders.
Sounds idealistic, doesn't it? I still didn't enjoy the experience all that much. My shin splints still caused some discomfort after every run and I had to ice them down with bags of frozen peas. But my stats were improving, naturally.
Coincidentally, it’s also a good idea to take a ‘buddy’ along when working on a book manuscript. I found this to be extremely helpful.
Like running, the writing buddy travels along with you, chapter by chapter, writing their own manuscript while you write yours. You check each other's work at the end of each chapter to see if everything went okay. They console you when you've had a tough go of it. If you hit a wall of writer’s block, your buddy keeps you motivated and helps you push through the discomfort. And, you do the same for your buddy.
And the mental shin splints when runn…er…writing? I've learned to just put a bag of frozen peas on my head and get back to improving my literary health.