Yesterday at the boxing gym, I met this young professional fighter. Vicente's a great guy, and we had a nice chat -- and to my considerable pleasure, I was able to give him some knowledgeable advice about overcoming shin splints. From the knees up, I have no doubt this fellow could destroy me in any athletic competition he could name. But for an old man, I have some pretty damn strong lower legs from years of hill running, and I haven't had shin problems in years and years. My trainer, Pepe, asked me to give VIcente some tips, and I was immensely flattered by the rapt attention I received from this 2004 Olympian. (I know, I'm shamelessly name-dropping and bragging.)
Key to overcoming shin splints: hills, hills, hills. Shins hurt when the calves aren't as well-developed as they should be. Just as building strong abs is the best way to deal with lower back pain, building strong calves helps cure shin splints. And running uphill builds calves like nothing else.
In any event, my boxing training is really coming along. Only problem: with the new nearly vegan diet, I'm losing muscle as well as fat despite all the protein supplements. More legumes, more tofu, more push-ups.
Vicente fights next November 10. I may have to finally start watching boxing. But what of my pacifism? Can it coexist with a love of pugilism?