Well, it happened again. Yet another injury. Yet another round of doctor-ordered rest in order to recover. And, needless to say, yet ANOTHER removal of running from my life.
I took a break from blogging because I literally had to, the concussion I suffered from a minor car accident a few weeks ago gave me only one option to heal: “brain rest”. That is, no reading, no writing, no chores, no planning, no texting, no emailing, no social media, no video games, and most of all, no serious thinking. At first, I found that prescription hilarious and now, after 4 weeks of this, I find it torturous. Hence this post. In rebellion.
So, if you’re counting, this means that I’ve been constantly injured since last November- fractured rib to knee injury and now this ridiculous concussion. That’s 11 months, nearly a year to date. I’m 100% over it and even though I don’t totally feel like my normal self just yet, 3 weeks from today is the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco and as of tomorrow, training begins. I’m pissed off at all these injuries, done with resting, and determined to start DOING all the things I love again.
The rib was painful, the knee was painful and annoying, and this concussion is painful, annoying, and downright punishing. My doctor said it could take up to 6 months before I feel totally normal again and one month into this, I can say, I am definitely not “normal”, whatever that means. A minor rear end collision and within seconds I’m left to deal with months of constant headaches, irritability, forgetfulness, and general malaise toward life. I don’t want to go anywhere, I don’t want to see anyone, I don’t want to talk, I just want to lay down, close my eyes and not think. All. The. Time.
A couple weeks ago, I started up my exercise routine again, as much as I could. My doctor said I couldn’t walk but I could “glide” and when that started feeling okay, I could start walking faster and faster until I could get up to a slow “jog” (hate that word) and I will attempt to “jog” (ick), for the first time in over a month, 3 measly miles tomorrow. Just 3. That’s it. If it hurts I’ll walk. No problem. I’ve got this.
Having to face yet another setback completely, totally, immeasurably, definitely pisses me off. I haven’t had a successful race in over a year. My last two half marathons were complete disasters but having been always, all the time, totally injured, it’s a miracle I didn’t DNF. Hubby said to me the other day, “You know, I don’t think you were meant to be a long distance runner.” and on the one hand, I wanted to kick him in the shins yet, on the other hand, I felt a overwhelming desire to prove him wrong. I decided to do both.
I’ve been thinking about writing this post for days, reluctant to put fingers to keyboard mainly because my head hurts anytime I’m on the computer for more than a half hour and one blog post takes me 2 hours or longer to complete. I also honestly didn’t want to write this as I don’t want to reveal all my true, negative emotions as of late but when hubby said that very RUDE thing to me, I snapped out of it only to realize that I’ve been here before. I’ve faced setbacks and I’ve overcome.
I’ve done it before, no one can tell me that I can’t do it again. All it takes is hard work and determination. My body may be injured but my spirit and desire, certainly is not. I now have a new mantra: “I am NOT my injury.”
But what I am is about to turn 40. Ironically, my November 1st birthday marks a year-to-date that I got the first injury in this year’s round. I’ve also been pretty contemplative about this whole turning 40 thing too and know that, just like any race, I have to work to make the last half the best half. (I plan to live until 100 though so I’m TOTALLY LESS THAN halfway done and if you try to tell me differently I WILL kick you in the shins. Just ask hubby.) In order to do that, it’s time to rebound, embrace life, and turn all these setbacks into one big comeback. No injury, no number can define me. It’s time to dig deep, rise above, and set new goals.
I decided to call this post “setbacks” because the definition of the word implies that this is all temporary (one year feels long but it’s really just a blip in the greater scheme of things!) and I find that very reassuring- a setback is a one-time, one-of-a-kind occurrence that hasn’t defeated you, but does cause you to pull back and regroup. I think regrouping is a really good thing to do now and then, especially in terms of evaluating your life and determining what is truly important, what you’re willing to fight for, and what you’re willing to let go. You don’t have to go through constant injuries or turn 40 to do that, all that just forces the issue a bit more! (Lucky me. Hmph.)
My family, my friends, and living an active and healthy life are the most important things to me. Running is certainly something I enjoy and look forward to getting back into but it isn’t truly important. It took me a while- 11 months, actually- to realize this fact. If I am unable to ever run again, I sure did enjoy everything about it when I could.
Luckily, that’s not the case for me! I will try again tomorrow and see how it goes. It may take a while, maybe even a whole ‘nother year, until I’m running the way I used to, pre-all these injuries, but that’s just gotta be okay. As one reader, Rosemary, wrote me: “Running can wait. Ambassadorships can wait. Races? There will be plenty. Most important thing is taking care of yourself.” Holla.