I’m not so sure I’m gonna make it….

Two Debbie Downer posts in a row – promise not to make this a habit!

I’m starting to doubt myself with this 10-Miler. Always knew that I was just a little crazy to want to try it, but now I’m pretty sure I’ve lost my ever-loving mind.

My foot pins and needles has gotten steadily worse, and even happened on the Treadclimber (i.e., the thing I almost fell off more than once during my workout). Link is for visuals and not for endorsement. I’m becoming more and more convinced it is sciatica. The pattern my doctor described is pretty much what I am experiencing.

Now, here is the irony. Running (cardio in general) reduces most of my back pain. This is not uncommon when the cause is disk degeneration and arthritis. But it also irritates my back. I’m trying to find peer-reviewed articles on running and sciatica and coming up sadly short. It looks like that is because sciatica is treated the same way other lower back pain is – through movement. Therefore, there is very little research about how it might be different from other types of back pain.

This makes it quite hard to stay positive.

I have been looking for articles that talk about evidence-based ways to stay positive when having chronic health issues. I found one article about mindfulness, but nothing else when I use the term resilience. Turns out spelling matters in a Google Scholar Search. Mom was right. I found one qualitative study by Kralik, van Loon, and Visentin (2006) that suggested it is more about bouncing back from depression and setbacks. Not letting your issues or reactions to it define you. This sounds like Acceptance and Commitment Training, doesn’t it?

Griffith (2018) suggests that cultivating hope might be the antidote. He describes hope as a set of behaviors, rather than an emotion or thought, that will help counteract feelings of loneliness and a reduced sense of agency. So far, so behavioral. Some suggestions are:

  • Stress reduction activities
  • Goals and action plans
  • Defining yourself as something other than just “sick”
  • Finding friends to advise you and that you can confide in
  • Finding a good mentor

Huh…does this sound like things academics do all the time? So, if I apply the model I used to get my last grant, publish my book, and finish my dissertation, I should be ready to take on this 10-miler. Worth a try!

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