Chris Uggen's Blog: kept a-rolling

Sunday, March 30, 2008

kept a-rolling

our sunday strib offers a regular feature entitled "how i got this body." this week we hear from richard train of bloomington, the 65-year-old lifter at left.

i was most taken by mr. train's views on working one's way out of pain and injury:

You'd think there's no way a 65-year-old person's body could tolerate [bodybuilding], but one of the things I've really learned is the capability of the human body. About eight years ago, I had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee. The doctor said, 'You've got two years before you need to replace it,' so I babied it and it hurt. Then I started lifting with the leg and the leg got stronger and stronger and that knee never bothered me anymore. The body adapts so well developing muscle -- it's an added feature we don't realize until we go there.

medical experts would surely qualify and might even refute such advice, but mr. train's experiences directly mirror my own. when my knees started barking after i'd done a few marathons in the nineties, resting did little for my knees or my disposition. frustrated, i jumped aboard those curious-looking leg-lift machines at the community center and started working the quads and hammies.

runners tempt injury by claiming good health, so i'd never say that my knees are now fine. like mr. train, however, the leg work has helped me keep a-rolling for the past ten years.


At 8:04 PM, Blogger Jay Livingston said...

After I had arthroscopic on my meniscus, the doctor strongly recommended that I work with the quad machine. And when I damaged my other meniscus, and the orthopedist wanted to do arthro, my primary care doctor recommended that I do the exercises instead of the surgery. Of course, he also recommended that I stop running and do no-impact stuff instead. OTOH, the orthopedist who wanted to do the surgery ran marathons and did triathlons.

At 9:59 PM, Blogger Charlieblue said...

I'm wondering about the relevance of work related damage, tension, friction, etc,. I can run ten miles one day and am a bit stiff the next. I work 6hrs. behind a bar (3x5' space) and I can hardly walk the next.
This article says nothing about what Mr.Train does with his time when not pumping iron. How much damage does running marathons do compared to just having to stand still, or the shuffle of being at work for 8hrs a day? Is this an issue of muscle strength or joint use? Any doctor will tell you warm joint movement is less harmful than cold tension, and muscle strength can support a weakened joint...
Fine and dandy if your vocation allows you the luxury of choosing when you put pressure on that meniscus cold and tight. Just another luxury of the wealthier if exercise is the worst damage your body has to endure.

At 11:38 PM, Blogger christopher uggen said...

you're right, jay -- this is an area in which YMMV.

good point, charlie, and thanks for calling me out on my class biases. i know that everyone who cuts hair tends to have back problems, and i remember how my feet ached after working a 5-to-3 shift at Perkins. for good or for ill, there's far less standing in my job these days...


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