I ran into a friend today. I’m guessing Jessica is in her early 20s. She seemed excited to see me. I soon figured out she had a problem and she thought I’d have the answer. It was shin splints. I gave her the one and only cure. If you’ve ever had it or if you are having it now, ice it. Ice gets rid of it better than anything else can. Out of curiosity I asked Jessica if she had started any different type of exercise program recently. She said she has been running. I then asked if she had been running on multiple surfaces. She said, “Yeah, how did you know?” I replied, “That’s usually how you get shin splints.” I recommended sticking to hard surfaces or surfaces like grass. She said that would be impossible for a while. I asked what she was training for, expecting to hear 10k or half marathon. I would have been wrong. She has been training for Tough Mudder. You can check it out at ToughMudder.com. I asked if it was like Muddy Buddies, which is done around here. She said it was a step up from that, with a gleam in her eyes. I told you that to tell you this. There are a lot of events like this nowadays. The aforementioned Muddy Buddies has been going on for as long as I can remember. The 500-plus mile solo races have all sorts of events. A regular reader of this blog would know that I did one of those events as part of a four-man team, getting three people involved that would have never done such a race. Johnny and Steve are talking about doing a two-man race next year. The fourth person on our team, Christina, is off in Austin, Texas doing another half Ironman event. It would be hard to exaggerate how many events she does a year. Her tri-bike hasn’t been home for five weeks. When she finishes a race, she simply has it sent to the next race. My cousin’s wife, Skylar, started dabbling in triathlons a couple of years back. I remember the first time she sheepishly mentioned it at Christmas time. Now she has no problem calling me and talking about Zipp wheels and Aerobikes. I have a host of friends, clients and acquaintances who are all too eager to tell me about their backpacking trips through Europe, the lower 48 and Alaska. I applaud this type of activity, and I’d love to see more of it. In an age when all hear about is kids spending their entire lives playing video games, it’s great to see young people like Jessica getting muddy. Now if only we could come up with a Jello version of the race. I’m just sayin’.
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