J.D. is in Tennessee

Last week after having some 25 mile days and even running on the downhill, J.D. began to feel severe pain above one of his knees. After I did some searching on the web and J.D. spoke to his uncle that is a doctor, it appeared that J.D. may be developing some kind of tendinitis. So he slowed down last week (to around 13 miles a day) and took a zero day (a day with zero miles) on Sunday in Hot Springs, NC, which J.D. grew to like very much.

Being away from church on the Sabbath and not being able to partake of the sacrament weekly has been difficult on J.D. There wasn’t an LDS congregation in Hot Springs, but the Presbyterian and Baptist congregations were both very welcoming. J.D. went to both full services one after the other.

Today he called at Mile 370.

He just hitched into Irwin, Tennessee, 3 miles off trail, to re-supply. He was at a McDonalds, but really on cloud 9. He was eating a southwest salad, an icecream cone, and 5 McDoubles and 5 McChickens. We Shaeffers like combining these two sandwiches like this: you open the McDouble between the two patties and insert the entire McChicken, topped with the other half of the McDouble. This makes, what we call, a McAwesome! He could only eat one of the 5 McAwesomes, but is happy as punch to pack out the remaining 4 to eat tomorrow!

He has lost 8 pounds already.

J.D.’s hips hurt when sleeping on his side. He has a light and tiny pad. Shelters have harder floors than the ground.

J.D.’s gotten use to eating
– a whole box of poptarts each day – 6!
– Spam tacos. $1 thick slice of Spam can be found packaged in plastic, which he puts in a tortilla and garnished with cheese-its, Doritos,
– any seasoning he can find including taco bell sauce or even mustard!
– Powdered Sustain for electolytes. (2-3 per day)
and much much more.

He is off to the grocery store after McD’s and then hitch back to the trail. Happy day!!!

Prevention, from the Mayo Clinic website
To reduce your chance of developing tendinitis, follow these suggestions:

1. Ease up. Avoid activities that place excessive stress on your tendons, especially for prolonged periods. If you notice pain during a particular exercise, stop and rest.
2. Mix it up. If one exercise or activity causes you a particular, persistent pain, try something else. Cross-training can help you mix up an impact-loading exercise, such as running, with lower impact exercise, such as biking or swimming.
3. Improve your technique. If your technique in an activity or exercise is flawed, you could be setting yourself up for problems with your tendons. Consider taking lessons or getting professional instructions when starting a new sport or using exercise equipment.
4. Stretch. Take time after exercise to stretch in order to maximize the range of motion of your joints. This can help to minimize repetitive trauma on tight tissues. The best time to stretch is after exercise, when your muscles are warmed up.
5. Use proper workplace ergonomics. If possible, get an ergonomic assessment of your workspace and adjust your chair, keyboard and desktop as recommended for your height, arm length and usual tasks. This will help protect all your joints and tendons from excessive stress.
6. Prepare your muscles to play. Strengthening muscles used in your activity or sport can help them better withstand stress and load.

My commentary – How on earth is he going to “mix it up” when he is doing the exact same motion every second of the day for the next 3 months? Maybe sometime he can point his toes in and sometimes out. Maybe sometimes he can walk backwards sometimes, NOT! Oh! How about he hits the toe first sometimes and others the heal? or knees in and then knees out? Oh my land!
He doesn’t want to ease up any longer. HE SAYS he feels fantastic today. He hiked 25 the last 2 days and is doing 21 today. He hopes to be up to 30 mile days soon!
He’ll be in Virginia in less than a week. VA is 500ish miles long. Fun in the GREEN TUNNEL:

2 thoughts on “J.D. is in Tennessee”

  1. My face is a big grin reading this post. I am a little worried about JD’s tendinitis, but then grinning again reading about his (awful) food that he likes, and then smiling some more with the helpful health information, and then grinning again with ideas for JD about “mixing it up”. Ha ha! Fun post! Go, JD, go!

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