Ignoring Good Advice · 7 October 2012

I ought to take good advice when it is given. Unfortunately, I do not. Part of the problem is that we often do not know whether advice is good or not until after the fact. The other part is that for some reason, we want to make the same mistakes somebody else made before us.

When I first got my minimalist shoes, the saleswoman told me to take it easy and not go very far for a while. She said the muscles in my feet and around my ankles would need time to build up. I realized this morning that it was good advice.

This morning, my ankles were a bit sore when I woke up, but I was not sure why. It did not seem that I stood up as much as normal yesterday or overexerted myself. However, I did get back to running through the halls of our school to get where I was going. After all they were empty, my calf is mostly healed, and I am feeling a need to run. Slowly for now. As I recalled this short bit of running I did yesterday, I realized the good advice I did not take.

When I first bought my Merrells, the saleswoman told me to take it slow. She was serious when she said to start by running to the end of the block. I thought I could run a bit farther than that so naturally, I ignored her advice. I did not go far, but I went farther than a block those first few times out. I did gradually build up to a bit more than a mile, but then I hurt myself as you have already read. Now, I realize the folly of not following good advice.

When I ran for the first time in my new shoes, I found out quickly that my cardiovascular system was not ready for much more than half a mile. But even if my heart and lungs had been ready for more mileage, my feet and ankles were not. Years of pampering had made them weak. My feet, not my heart were the main reason I needed to start running very short distances. I did not understand that at first.

It is amazing that it took me over a month to realize my folly. Those quick runs through the halls are about as short as a run to the end of the block that I was supposed to start with. After a couple months with shoes that make me feel barefoot, my feet are ready for a pounding, but apparently, the rest of my lower legs are still building up. My calves and ankles are telling me that I need to work up to those longer distances. Just like I was told.

Life is so much easier when we can learn from other people’s mistakes instead of needing to make our own. Unfortunately, I do not always do that. But it would be nice if I could realize and take good advice when it is given.

© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi

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