Midweek Blog: RICE for the Soul

I have long enjoyed running as one of the ways I stay physically active, but for the last few years my average miles per run has hovered much lower than it once did.  Only recently have I been able to overcome some of the mental and physical blocks that kept me from longer distances.  In the last couple months I have been slowly and carefully adding distance and enjoying this regained sense of freedom.  But of course, my eager self managed to overdo it last week, and I found that I was barely able to walk the day after Thanksgiving. 

Not wanting to lose the momentum I had been gaining, I instantly started searching the internet for answers about what could be going on inside my hip muscles, which stretches would get me back out on the trail, average recovery times for common running injuries, and any other shred of information I could find. 

Of course, I found lots of information and ideas for quick fixes, but at some point I realized I was ignoring the recommendation that showed up in pretty much every Google search regardless of which terms I put in or which specific malady I had self-diagnosed myself with: RICE.

Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation. 

I wanted a quick fix so that I could get back to adding more of the good thing that running had become in my life, yet the best answers always seemed to be pointing me back to the simplest solutions.  It’s funny how sometimes the simple solutions are the hardest to accept because they often ask us to remember that less can also be more. 

These essentials for helping to heal my hip pain remind me of the essentials we are exploring during Advent.

Hope. Peace. Joy. Love.

There are so many good things about the holiday season that we can easily fall into the trap of thinking that we need to just keep adding more.  More presents.  More get-togethers.  More decorations.  More money.  But unless the “more” we add points us back to these essentials, we may end up farther away from where we intend to be, possibly even hurting ourselves in the process. 

May this Advent season provide us opportunities for contemplating the essentials in life, and may we trust that whatever healing we seek for ourselves and the world is available even if it doesn’t come the way we want or expect it to.