As some of you know - I am trying to run all 406 miles of the London Underground for Harry Moseley's charity - www.helpharryhelpothers.com - so far I have run around 80 miles and more importantly I have raised £2440 (www.justgiving.com/steven-whyley).
I hurt my foot a couple of weeks ago when running the 24 miles of the Bakerloo line. I was diagnosed with a common foot injury called Plantar Fascitis. Whilst uncomfortable it wasn't the end of the world, I just needed to adapt the way I ran. After the diagnosis I ran 17 miles of the Northern Line and then last Thursday I was attempting 20+ miles of the other half of the Northern Line. After 8 miles I broke down - my knee had completely given way. I battled round a further 10 miles before having to throw in the towel. I booked an appointment with the physio and Sunday was Dday - what had I done?
It is worth pointing out my knee had calmed right down and the pain was now manageable. Weirdly though every time I bent my knee it gave out an almighty click. Anyway I went to see her and got up on to her bed (she asked me to...I'm not weird!) and she began pulling me about. She asked me to do various things, all of which were pretty painful. She asked me if my knee normally clicks - I said it had never done so before Thursday but now it won't stop.
She sat me down and told me what she thought I had done. It turns out I have torn my meniscus
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tear_of_meniscus) basically - torn cartillage. Now she knows how important these runs are to me and so she admitted "It's pointless me telling you not to run isn't it?" to which I nodded. So she said I have to have physiotherapy each week, which would include ultrasound, and that I have to do 4 exercises 3 times a day. She also told me that when I ran I HAD to stop if I feel the pain is getting greater. She said to me that whilst I was stupid she understood why I wanted to do it. She then made one final comment, a real hammer blow. She told me when the running is complete that I probably have to book an appointment to see an orthapedic surgeon as I will need an operation to repair the torn meniscus. When I have that op, I wouldn't be able to play sport for 6-8 weeks. I was absolutely gutted.
But then she did something that made me realise why I'm doing this and reminded me how great people can be. A normal private physio session is normally £30-50+ a session add in ultrasound and we are talking big money (big money for me...I am very low down the RBS food chain!). She told me that as I was doing it for charity, so would she. That I could come and see her midweek back in Southend. I was totally overcome, she was giving me 4-5 months of physio, for free. Even though I argue with her, even though I am an AWFUL patient, she was willing to do this for me. This reminded me of two things - Harry and his cause is so inspirational that people, who don't know me, want to help. They want to help others. That was his campaign and he may have died but his message lives on - every single day. People are capable of brilliant kindness and she epitomised that so amazingly on Sunday.
So the runs continue. Starting this Saturday. I hope to run from Morden to Angel but I’ll run as far as I can before it hurts. I figure I need to start listening to her.
If I have learnt anything from this pretty horrendous set of runs that I can share with you it is to never give up on people. They constantly surprise, they are capable of great acts of kindness and it is only when you embark on a challenge like this that you are reminded of this on a daily basis. The news reports on a daily basis what acts of evil we carry out on each other. The news doesn't report the great things people do - if they did then newspapers would be 1000s of pages long as opposed to 60.
As far as my knee goes, my dad shared a quote with me - "The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." No one faced a tougher battle than Harry Moseley and no one triumphed more gloriously than him - £500,000 for Cancer Research. Roll on Saturday...