Out There: Dear Brain…

In spite of everything we do together, you are not invincible, Brain. Neither am I.

Dear Brain,

Yeah, you. This is your Body speaking. Listen up.

We do a lot of good things together, you and me. That half marathon last month? We really rocked it. And those healthy meals you dream up – your belly sends its compliments to the chef. But let’s be honest: there’s so much more we could do for each other.

Every time I give you so much as a sniffle or an ache, you’re on the Internet researching symptoms and asking people on Twitter to give you their expert diagnosis. In past week alone, you’ve been convinced you have a torn ACL, a stress fracture, vertigo, and male pattern baldness. And with every self-diagnosis, you say the same thing: that you’re upset, frustrated, and don’t know why I’m revolting against you.

But you’re not that innocent, Brain. Oh, no…not at all. You gotta start doing your part. I promise you that if you love me, your body, I will love you right back.

Instead of blaming me for your sore muscles, maybe you could take a little bit of extra time after your runs to do some stretching. I know you’re busy. There’s places to go and people to see. But really, just five minutes would make me so happy. If you’re feeling spry, maybe a foam-rolling session or a massage.

Even though you’re getting antsy, Brain, I need you to remember I can only do so much. I am fully aware that we have a marathon coming up in three months. But we don’t need to run the full 26.2 right now. Let’s build up to that gradually. If you give me the opportunity to get used to it, I promise I won’t let you down on race day.

Also, you need to start listening to me. If we’re really tired, let’s take a rest day. I get faster when I sleep, I promise. If I’m really sore or if you sense that there’s some nasty sickness going on, don’t ignore me and try to force me to work out. I will fight you, and I will win.

I want more water, not caffeine. When you think you’re craving something packaged from the vending machine, I’m practically begging you to eat a banana instead. It’d be nice if we could get on the same page about our nutrition.

And I know I’m starting to get a little demanding here, but can I get a little sunscreen before we go outside?

While we’re at it, let’s go to the doctor. I know, I know, nothing’s really wrong (despite what the folks on Twitter have cautioned you), but just humor me. Once a year, just for  giggles, we’ll visit Doc and make sure all is well.

In spite of everything we do together, you are not invincible, Brain. Neither am I.

I promise, if you treat me with the respect I deserve, I’ll surprise you when you least expect it. It might be setting a PR at our next 5K, a smaller jeans size, or a newly toned muscle. Or some days, when you’re really stressed, I’ll take you on a long run that will clear your head and make you feel so much better. I don’t want to give too much away, but I think you’ll like some of the things I have in store for you.

But most of all, if we can cooperate better, I think we could have a long and prosperous life together. It’s like a marriage, you and me – we’re together for better or for worse. I look forward to growing old with you.

Your Body


About The Author:

Susan Lacke does 5Ks, Ironman Triathlons, and everything in between to justify her love for cupcakes (yes, she eats that many). In addition to writing for Competitor, she serves as Resident Triathlete for No Meat Athlete, a website dedicated to vegetarian endurance athletes. Susan lives and trains in Phoenix, Arizona with three animals: A labrador, a cattle dog, and a freakishly tall triathlete boyfriend. She claims to be of sound mind, though this has yet to be substantiated by a medical expert. Follow her on Twitter: @SusanLacke

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