I wanted to give a recap of my attempt at 300 miles in 30 days, and by the numbers, it was an epic fail. I failed in the second week and was only able to run a total of 154 miles in September. The thing is, I like to set big goals, and therefore I’m bound to miss some of them along the way. I think that missing goals can be more valuable that achieving them. I have found that when I miss my goal I usually discover something new about myself. I’m not saying that achieving goals is bad, it’s actually fantastic, but I tend to learn more when I fail.

After the first week of running I started to feel a little pain in my calf. I kept running, and the pain moved to my knee, and then planted in my back. I’ve been plagued with back pain most of my life. It usually goes away after a few days of inactivity. This time, b/c it was interrupting my goal, I decided to see if I could be a little more proactive about getting rid of the pain. So I did what we all do, I googled it.

Since I’ve cleaned up my diet, I haven’t had the need for any pain medicine. (Wow, I haven’t been sick or injured since I started eating a plant based diet) So I started to research alternative methods to deal with pain. I wanted to see if I could find the root cause rather than treat the symptoms. As I googled, I discovered Peter Egescue’s book “pain free”. The book is a bit repetitive, but the ideas made sense to me and I decided to give them a try.

The gist is that our body is built to be balanced bilaterally. Our current sedentary life is very good at getting us out of balance. Slight imbalances add up over time and result in pain. What I found interesting is that the site of the pain usually isn’t the location that is responsible for the pain. It seems obvious to me now, but like most things, once your eyes are open to the new way of thinking, they seem very obvious.

Peter lays out a series of different exercises and yoga-like positions that help realign the body. I noticed an immediate difference in my back. To be completely transparent, I also backed off of running pretty significantly, but I have bought into Peter’s method. I have incorporated the moves into my daily routine and I’m keeping a close tab on the pain I feel. Right now, all that’s left is a little pain in my wrist, but I am a computer programmer, so I think that’s to be expected.

I recommend checking it out if you looking for an alternative to pain killers, and a simple way to reduce and remove pain from your life.

Failure is almost always part of learning something new. Thinking back to when I learned algebra or spelling or anything, I rarely got it right on my first attempt. When I figured out why I missed something, that’s when I “learned” the concept. Now take that to the present and it’s no different. I like to set ridiculous goals, like running 39 miles on my 39th birthday, or running 300 miles in 30 days. And sometimes I miss them. When you miss your goals it’s important to figure out why. Keep asking why to get to the root cause, and I promise you’ll learn something new. I always do.