Today I did something I haven’t done in about a year. It was very early in the morning so it seems like it was yesterday. At 4:57 this morning I stepped out of my front door and went for a run. Two miles might seem like nothing to some of my friends, but to me it was pretty monumental.
When I was pregnant with Kitten I had lots of complications. One of those was plantar fasciitis. I hoped that it would go away after she was born, and it did, but it came back. I’d stop working out and it would feel better so I would start working out again and then it would come back and a vicious cycle was created. Last August I had enough and decided I would work through it with new sneakers, stretches, and fierce determination. My plan backfired. After just one week of regular treadmill running I was in so much pain in my left foot that it hurt to walk.
I ended up where no 30-something ever expects to end up: the podiatrist. I was put on a strict regimen of daily supportive sneakers only (the horror), stretches, and no physical activity that required repeated pounding. That’s everything. Well, except water aerobics with the 80 year-olds. After two months I was cleared to slowly re-introduce workouts as well as non-sneakery shoes. Sadly, I was told high heels were probably in my past if I wanted to stay pain free (the horror).
You’re probably asking why I waited so long to get back to running if I got the all clear last October?
All this time fear has been standing in my way of returning to physical activity and running. Fear of pain is a pretty strong motivator. Every time I thought about a run the little lingering ache in my foot seemed to be screaming at me DON’T DO IT, IT WILL HURT YOU! I listened for 10 months. Until today.
Why was today different? Was it the incredible support I feel from the Working Moms on the Move group? Or the success and fun I’ve had in boot camp classes this summer? Was it the increasing number on the scale or the recent tightness of my pants? Perhaps all of the above. I also think I just didn’t want to be afraid anymore. If you pardon my early 90s Garth Brooks reference, I was tired of standing outside the fire. Whatever it was that got me out of bed at 4:45 this morning it was a stronger motivator than fear.
Today I ran away from fear. It wasn’t pretty but I did it. My 20 minutes in the dark this morning taught me once again that I’m stronger than my fear and stronger than my pain. I’m ready to take running on again. Fear isn’t standing in my way anymore and now I’m not in my way anymore either.
I’d like to get back to a regular running schedule like before kids, but tomorrow I think I’ll sleep in. 4:45 is really early.