After the rather traumatic birth of our daughter, I felt an overwhelming urge to run. I can remember lying in my hospital bed knowing that this was an unusual thought to have and that no matter what it took, it was something I was going to do. My body had other needs, namely healing from a seizure and the resulting fall on my shoulder and hip. My high blood pressure, watery eyesight and splitting headaches resolved pretty quickly. However, it would take four years to begin walking and hiking without pain.
I began with walking a mile on the treadmill everyday and slowly began to run. I still remember the first time I made it to a mile without pain. My ‘wind’ finally caught up and breathing while running felt good. If it weren’t for my wife, I would probably still be running on the treadmill in the basement. She convinced me to sign up for a 5K in anticipation of a half-marathon she wanted us to train for the following year. If we can finish a 5K, we can at least consider the half-marathon, right!
We ran the 5K in April and moved on to start training for the next race. A month later, I could barely walk never-mind run. Like most new runners, I thought that this was something that would resolve quickly and of course I would be better soon. I haven’t run in over sixteen months. First I was diagnosed with runner’s knee, then IT Band Syndrome, and most recently tibial stress fractures.
The first six months were beyond frustrating and I struggled watching my wife compete in race after race, preparing for that half-marathon. It strangely became this life lesson to find ways to support her accomplishing a goal we had set out to do together. I have become a better supporter as her 5Ks became 10Ks, and we’ve now moved beyond the half-marathon to celebrate her first triathlon.
She is now supporting me as I have been cleared to start a Couch to 5K program at our local gym. She and my son are participating in the program as I run for the first time. What’s pretty cool is that the first mile I ran was the best mile I’ve ever run. Mostly because it took me multiple exams, several diagnoses, lots of support, and sixteen months of acceptance to get there. Wish me luck on mile two!!!!