CPM Spring 2019 - 27

daup h i n c m s .o rg


hat do a restaurateur, an
IT specialist, an exercise instructor, a school
teacher, and three physicians have in common? When in
town, we meet on Saturday morning
for a run. A run lasts for about an hour,
then we have coffee. No one runs alone.
Usually, two or three subgroups form, each running at their own pace.
We talk constantly. No secrets are withheld. I have always wondered why this
is. Maybe endorphin release or simple hypoxia can explain it. Who knows?
The post run coffee time takes on a life of its own. One runner, we'll call him
Joe, has his 82-year-old father join us. We catch up on each other's families.
We freely cover politics, sports, health issues, and even drinking habits. The
weather in Churchill, Manitoba is frequently discussed given that one of our
group is from Winnipeg. Three of our members are women, who lend their
own unique perspective. According to my wife, coffee time may be the best
part of the run. 
As the sole orthopaedic surgeon, I am amazed that some of our merry band
are out here at all. There are three in particular who have sustained significant
bony injuries. One had a tibial plateau fracture, with subsequent arthritis.
Another had a severe fracture-dislocation of the ankle. A third developed knee
arthritis after a basketball injury. He has a total knee replacement. All have very
impressive X-rays. If anyone saw us coming you couldn't tell who has what.
No one is limping. On any given day, each of these three could be the leader. 
In fairness, all of us have been runners for many years. Running is a lifestyle
that we pursue to preserve our health and sanity. For the three mentioned
above, all returned to running despite severe injuries. A refusal to give up was
the common denominator. 

When I'm seeing patients in the office, I try to figure out who exercises
regularly. Yes, we all have different body types, and most of us will never win
a race. I get that. But, if you run regularly and eat reasonably, you won't get
fat. Even as arthritis creeps through our joints, once moving, things usually
loosen up. This fact is reinforced every time our gang gets together. 
Without exception, running group members are my closest friends. They
get me out of bed on a dark, cold winter morning. Despite many reasons not
to, we get up and go. They taught me the difference between "I can't," and
"I won't." In the future, if father time robs us of our ability to run, we will
just do something else. Whether we walk, bike, or run, "relentless forward
motion" is our motto.
Health experts tell us to embrace a lifestyle of healthy eating, exercise, and
the all too often overlooked interaction with our fellow man. We spend too
much of our day alone - texting or answering e-mail.  We take elevators when
the stairwell next to it goes unused.  Maybe we should all join a running
group. Admission is free.
Central PA Medicine Spring 2019 27


CPM Spring 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CPM Spring 2019

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