Every day that I spend running is a gift. This is something that I believe with all my heart, something that is deep within me.
On January 8th, 2011 I had to put my running shoes away and allow my body to heal. A serious of aches, pains and fatigue led to an injury, a stress fracture on my lower leg. I made the decision to rest instead of pushing on and risk making things worse. I was emotional, devastated, angry, confused and I definitely didn’t want to talk about it with anyone except for those that I had to.
Running was everything to me. It was there for me when I was depressed after we moved from Oregon to California. Running became my companion. And I have to take 5 ½ weeks off? I had no idea how I was going to make it through the next several weeks. I even put 5 ½ weeks of daily vitamins in a Ziploc bag as a countdown to when I could run again.
During my time off, I focused on swimming. I got up to swimming 3.10 miles and I’m maintaining that. I made it through my weeks of healing. I am in therapy now and it’s going well. I have runs scheduled this summer, a 50K, 50 miler and my 100 at the end of October, Javelina Jundred.
So what did I learn? I learned that there is more to life than running, that not running doesn’t really mean my life is over as I know it. I learned that it is bad to put running above the other things in my life…God, family. For me and my life experiences, it was really easy to do that, especially since running has always been easy for me. I love everything about running, it makes me feel great. I have never had a bad race. I have had hard races, especially at the 50 mile distance, but never bad. I am a Christian, so I am thankful to God for my healing and thankful for the experience as I have a learned a great deal about myself, about my running. I once read that for every injury, we learn something about ourselves. For every race, we learn something about ourselves. We learn where are limits lie and we learn to push past them. We learn how to deal with suffering and pain. We learn how to push away the mental demons that scream at you to get you to stop and quit. We learn to conquer because living a life of no regrets means a lot.
“Know your limits…but never stop trying to exceed them.” Bottom of Form
I still don’t like talking about my injury, but I don’t want to forget. The memories of it can be a constant reminder to keep my priorities in focus and a reminder of what I’ve learned during my journey. For this I will be stronger.