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Friday, May 13, 2011

Shin Splints?

Dear Nurse Dave,
I love running but lately my shins have really been hurting after I go running. I think I've got shin splints. I'm training for a marathon but I can hardly handle it. What can I do?
Samantha, Cold Creek, MO

Well Samantha the traditional answer would be rest, new shoes, ice and blah blah blah. But none of that stuff is what a tough guy would do. He would just run through the pain. And personally I recommend the tough guy approach.

Take Willis Reed for example. He went out and played game 7 of the NBA finals with his calf muscle torn off his bone. What happened? Oh nothing much, his team just won the championship. Kevin McHale played the '87 playoffs with a broken foot. Brandon Roy returned last year to face the Phoenix Suns in the playoffs without even having a knee. Roy Hobbs got shot by a lady on a train and then hit a homerun that made all of the lights in the stadium explode. The examples of athletes playing through injury to achieve glory are almost countless. So the question you need to ask yourself is "Do I want glory?" I certainly hope the answer is yes.

(Disclaimer - Every athlete mentioned above had careers that were almost certainly shortened or prematurely ended because they played through injury. Who knows what they could have done if they hadn't taken the tough guy approach and given their bodies opportunities to heal?)

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