I’ve always been an advocate of listening to my body, especially when I am exercising. One of my brothers passed away a couple of years ago from a hemorrhagic stroke. He had headaches quite often, sometimes very intense, and would not go to the doctor/hospital. He would take over the counter meds and treat himself.
I know from many years of running that I might have some discomfort for the first half-mile or longer, but that it usually dissipated and became mute. However, there are times when I have had to stop running and treat that particular problem.
I remember one half-marathon in New Orleans in which I had terrible shin splints during the first mile. I would be stopping every couple hundred yards to address the pain. I changed my gait/pace and that got me through the race. As a result of all my stops I was all by myself on the course.
I approached an intersection and saw people running off to my left. I made a left turn. A short while later a guy passed me and asked if I was taking a short cut. I asked what he meant. He told me that I had skipped a big portion of that race. I turned around and headed back in the other direction. That half-marathon became a 14+ mile half-marathon.
My wife and I will be walking the Camino de Santiago in the very near future. This is a 500-mile walk across northern Spain. We have been training for several months. This morning I added weight to my backpack. It was only five pounds. I barely felt it when carrying the backpack, but did feel the extra weight while I was wearing it.
Our pace increased an extra minute/mile and I noticed my major leg muscle groups reacting to the increased weight. After three miles I told my wife I needed a short breather and we chose a park bench and took a short rest.
How many people ignore a persistent pain (or some other anomaly) and continue on with their lives? More than we think, I’m sure. We need to listen to our bodies, especially when our bodies are telling us something. Listen, what do you feel?