Along with deciding to rest my foot and (temporarily) lay off running, I knew I needed to have some outside eyes take a look at what was going on. Yes, I have my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Yes, I can poke and prod and analyze my own body. Yes, I know the signs and symptoms of plantar fasciitis, a posterior tibialis strain, periostitis, and avulsion/stress fractures (and yes, I know the difference in how they all present). But no, I am not the best physical therapist in the San Diego (never mind the world).
Along the same lines, yes I am a yoga instructor. Yes, I have strong beliefs about the practice of yoga. Yes, I have strong knowledge in the foundation of vinyasa. Yes, I have a thorough understanding of what yoga does for the body. But no, I am not the be-all end-all guru of yoga.
And of course I understand running. Yes, I've been a competitive runner for 18 years. Yes, I've trained many people to run many distances, PRs, BQs, etc. Yes, I've helped people become better runners through smart training programs and guidelines. But no, I'm not the final say on how to train for x, y, or z.
I may be one of the most educated or knowledgable, I might bring something unique to the table that no one else does, but I am NOT the expert. There is nothing that I do in this world in which I am the best. And I am 110% okay with (and even thankful for) that fact.
Especially when it comes to treating, training, or improving myself. I better not be the expert in any of the areas I'm focusing on. Because if I'm the expert, how am I going to learn? And if I don't learn, how am I going to improve?
You need to find the experts.
Today I saw Mark Shulman and Allison McKay at The Physical Therapy Effect in Little Italy. They took a very objective, and close, look at my feet: my joint mobility, my soft tissue pliability, my strength and stability, my range of motion, my gait pattern, etc. etc. And while their findings weren't earth shattering, while my PT brain understood everything they said, they illuminated deficits that I simply could not (and would not be able to) find on my own. I'm thankful to know the experts.
Later this week I'll take a yoga class with Goldie Graham. While I learned much of what I know about instructing yoga from her, I am guaranteed to learn something new about my own practice, my own self, and how to become a better teacher each and every time I take her class (along with a few others here in San Diego).
And later this month when I return to running and following a training program, I'll go back to the program written for me by Eric Marenburg. Not because I can't write my own BQ/marathon training program, but because his has insights into who I am as a runner, what works best for me, what doesn't work, that I just can't see for myself.
In each aspect of my life I seek the expert. I want to exude happiness? I hang out with the happiest people I can find. I want pretty flowers in my apartment? I visit the magic flower man. I want more abs? I talk to Angelo.
Take the time, search them out, know the experts.