Grateful Gobber 5k, 2018


For the past three years now I’ve gone on Chattanooga’s Grateful Gobber Walk for my Thanksgiving morning. This became a tradition, and one I’ve enjoyed since shortly after doing the first 5k of my life when I was rebuilding my life and getting fit.
Going on this particular 5k run feels like an excellent way to celebrate Thanksgiving, and with 100% of the proceeds going to the Maclellan Shelter for Families, I was pretty stoked to spend my early morning in an ocean of other happy people planning to walk or run through downtown Chattanooga.

coolidge park, 6am Coolidge park, early in the morning before a lot of people show up.

Back Injury

Almost two weeks ago I hurt my back doing deadlifts. This is deeply embarrassing to me and humorous at the same time, since I just posted an Athlean-X video in a fitness community and, for over two years I’ve never had any back pain or injury from deadlifts. Like they say, it only takes one bad rep. I was in my own head and probably arched my lower back, I’m not entirely sure. The end result was a pretty frightening injury that left me barely able to walk, or get out of bed, for almost three days.

I gradually found out it was most likely my sacroiliac joint and slowly began stretching and working out my spine in bed at first, then on the ground when I wasn’t in excruciating pain. I’ve done the following stretches before, so this video wasn’t too scary to try in bed, and helped! I wouldn’t recommend doing them prior to either talking to a doctor or physical therapist. In my case, I wanted to rule out a fracture, herniated disc or other problem so I saw my doctor before doing this too much.

Should I go?

The day before the 5k, I knew I wouldn’t be able to run and shouldn’t. My doctor and therapist told me not to lift or run. I hadn’t walked that much through the last week and was having doubts about being able to even walk 3.1 miles. It was also a let down not to run this year, but I felt like the risk would be worth it, if I got up early and went.

If you have a sacroiliac joint problem, you’ll notice that the pain is particularly bad the longer you sleep, if you sleep on your side or use a soft mattress. In my case, I slept for around four or five hours the night before, woke up and decided I’d try to go. If nothing else, I’d pick up a t-shirt and enjoy the early morning drive.


Grateful Gobbler, 2018

As the sun came up and the people arrived for the 8am run (or walk in my case), I felt better about going. Although I was still worried I might get hurt somehow, walking up to three miles per day, is a good thing when you’re working on your SI joint. Plenty of people enjoy the Grateful Gobbler, the majority of them walk, and so I’d be in an ocean of people meandering down Market street this year.

Grateful Gobbler, 2018, Market Street

Plenty of people bring their children and dogs, some of them jog briskly around walkers, others enjoy the crowd and take it easy.


Grateful Gobbler, 2018, Finished

In the end I’m glad I went, and my back felt better from all the walking. I probably would not have been able to go if it had been a day or two earlier, but I’m thankful that rehabbing my back and all seems to have worked.