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“No Pain, No Gain” or did I get it wrong this time?

By Ahmet Abdulaziz ….

“No pain no gain”, this is what the saying is, and I believe in it. My whole career of long distance running and walking is based on this. But sometimes I question myself about how far is it real.

Yes, I ask myself, if I am gaining anything at all by going through all these pains. For those who do not know me, I must tell you that when I mention my long distance run/walk, I mean covering a distance from Famagusta to Lefkoşa or from Lefkoşa to Kyrenia, or from Lefkoşa to Güzelyürt. The minimum of these distances is 20 km and moves up to beyond 80km. Many a time I covered a distance equivalent to two marathons in one go.

Doing all this is not easy. A long long period of days, months, and years of hard training lies in the background to reach this point. For years I have been trying to maintain my daily distance coverage between 5–10 km on foot. It is really hard to go through all this hard training.

So compared to all these pains, what do I gain, particularly when I do not participate in any competition. I am a slow runner, so there is no sense for me to participate in a race, which leads me to a state of depression. So I just run/walk for my own satisfaction.

Is personal satisfaction sufficient as gain against all these pains that I have been going through for so many years? Yes, I believe so. Personal satisfaction is the biggest gain that I find reserved for myself. Better fitness, lesser health problems, improved self confidence, improved will power, etc etc are my gains. That makes me really happy.

However today I will discuss another sort of pain that I went through this morning. It is physical pain through injury.

Today early in the morning I was on my usual 2.5km run/walk. As most will know, I run and walk on roads and pavements. I run on the right hand side of the road so that I can see the approaching traffic. This is what I have been following all these years.

My morning route is fixed. I can run/walk on those roads very easily. I remember all signals, road bends, ups and downs of the pavements, where to stop and where to cross the road running, etc, etc. Most of the people iving, or having their shops or pass daily on that particular route usually recognise me.

But today, at a particular point, I thought of changing the route a bit. So I turned right on a side road, which would, in the end, lead me to the main road, where I had to go. As I turned in, I saw a new building constructed. I had seen that building under construction for some months, but now it is complete. A nice looking building. While walking briskly on the pavement in front of the building, I did not notice that the pavement was closed by thick iron wire.

My biggest fault was that at that particular moment I had looked up towards the new building. It was really a big bang crashing inside me, as I hit that wire at full walking speed. That was really terrible. I had hit the thick wire. I felt unbearable pain in my tibia bone (under the knee). I felt as if my leg had gone numb. Trying to stop at that particular moment was impossible.   I could not stop my other foot hitting the same wire, but with less intensity. Luckily I did not fall. The pain was really unbearable.

However, as always in such situations, I did not stop, so I turned limping, and continued walking on the safer part of the pavement. My right leg was in bad shape, and I was feeling terrible pain while walking, but stopping at that moment was not the solution, so I continued to finish the whole track.

Then I stopped and looked at my leg. The terrible marks of hitting the wire were there. Luckily there was no major damage. I hope once again I will remember the lesson of today. “Do not look upward when walking or running”.

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