Shin Splints

How to Be Good at Everything

Nathan Blair


Running Withdrawal

Something like 50-80% of regular runners get injured every year. I didn’t think this would apply to me at first, but I’ve been running for 10 months now and I’ve already been injured three times. Jack and I agree that it is much harder to stay injury free than it is to run faster or farther in the short term.

sunrise during my most recent long run around Austin, Texas

Most recently, I’ve been dealing with shin splints that just won’t go away. When it’s really bad, the shin pain forces me to stop running after just a mile or two. I’ve tried taking a week off twice now, and while my legs temporarily feel better, they seem to revert a couple of days after my next hard run.

So, I’m taking an extended break. I’ll probably end up taking about three weeks off before I see how I feel again.

Coming to terms with the fact that I have to stop running is honestly pretty depressing. Regular running has a lot of benefits: exposure to nature, increased fitness, and all of the good hormones associated with runner’s high. Unsurprisingly, cutting these all out at once has a sort of drug withdrawal effect. Not great!

This time, I’m trying a new strategy to avoid the negative effects. Even though I’m not running, I’m making an effort to get some physical exercise in every day. Ideally, that includes some form of cardio like biking or swimming. But, at least I’ll go to the gym. This is also a really good opportunity for me to try new activities. This week I’ve already done indoor bouldering and I’m planning on going surfing over the weekend. Not to mention, Mel and I are gonna do an uncharacteristically long (for me) bike ride around Griffith park. That one will be my hard workout for the week, cause I know Mel is gonna push me out of my comfort zone.

So far, trying all these new activities is even more fun than just running all the time! Who would’ve thought.

How to Be Good at Everything

Being able to remain flexible seems like an essential skill these days. Can’t run anymore? Time to pick up climbing. It’s always good to learn something new. In a way, this is why I don’t feel so attached to doing audio programming forever. Music software is my current obsession; if there’s a more interesting problem to work on, I’ll pivot.

As a side note, flexibility is why programming is a really cool skill to learn (along with writing, and math probably). I get to apply pretty much the same technique to music, science, web dev, or whatever else. Besides more general skills like coding, I try not to put all my eggs in one basket. In this case, knowing a little about a lot of things is better than the alternative. Learning how to learn is the goal. And curiosity is a good north star.

Injury Reserve just released a double video and announced a new project. Man, the Eno sample always gets me.