It’s been 46 days since I’ve run.
Forty-six days ago I hurt myself while training for a half marathon. I was devastated. I read up on running injuries and followed all the advice – I iced, I took ibuprofen, I stretched, I rested, you name it. After a torturous week of “rest” I laced up my sneakers, set up my running playlist, walked out of the front door, begging my body to cooperate. To my utter disappointment, I barely got to the end of my street before I was forced to limp back in tears. I tried week after week after week but my body was just not healing. The half marathon came and went. My Facebook feed was flooded with posts and pictures of my friends’ beaming faces and their medals. I was supposed to be gloriously crossing the finish line with them. Instead, my increasingly-not-so-firm butt was forming an in increasingly large dent in the couch. Just a few months ago I was in one the best places in my life, both mentally and physically. Then boom! In one day, one morning, one run, everything changed, literally ONE DAY after hitting my goal weight. I felt myself sinking into a depression. I knew I was. But acknowledging it didn’t do anything to escape it.
Finally I went to an orthopedic practice and two dudes examined an x-ray of my crotch (*cough* not awkward at all). Then came The Good News and The Bad News. The good news was they were able to tell me exactly what was wrong; the bad news was that I had a fractured pelvis, a slow-healing injury that would put me on the DL for quite some time. The doctor told me to look into cross training because I would not be able to run for about 10 weeks, possibly longer. Cross training? I don’t even know what that means! Some of my friends suggested swimming, biking, or weights. But I don’t want to swim! I don’t even own a bike! I hate weights! I hate everything! I was sounding more like my 4-year-old than the strong, competent woman I was just a couple of months ago.
Feeling slightly desperate, I went to see my therapist whom I hadn’t seen since I stepped up my running and lost the baby weight. The first thing she said to me was “You lost so much weight! Oh my god, I didn’t even recognize you! You look fabulous!” Ugh. Thanks lady. I’m here to tell you I’m injured and can’t run anymore. Needless to say it wasn’t an extremely helpful session. I left there realizing it was up to me to “fix me.” I needed to improve my state of mind as well as find something physical to do and get back those endorphins I was so desperately missing.
So…here it goes…my attempt at coming to terms with my situation, and ultimately finding peace.
Perspective. Nothing puts life into perspective like having kids. Nothing. I thought I felt fear, love, helplessness, happiness, before I had children. Ha! Nothing compares to the raw emotions I feel toward those two little people I made. When I feel down (like now) I remind myself that the most important thing in my life is my two boys – and they are healthy, happy boys. And for that, I am so very grateful. Everything else (everything) comes way (way) below that.
Sweat. When I stopped pouting, I sucked it up and looked into cross training. I wasn’t about to spend any significant amount of money on a gym membership or a bicycle, so I bought a workout DVD. Well, no offense to the muscular woman yelling at me for 22 minutes, but it just wasn’t for me. However that $7.00 was not spent in vain. I discovered some cardio exercises I was able to do with no pain. So I shut off the DVD, put on my running playlist and did those exercises over and over. I have no doubt I looked like a fool jumping around rocking out to old school Madonna and 90’s hip hop, but my heart was pumping and I was sweating. And it felt good.
Patience. I am NOT a patient person. Coupled with the fact that I don’t have an exact date when I will be able to run again, this is the hardest part for me. I don’t care how virtuous patience is, it sucks. I remind myself daily that the only thing that will help my body heal is time. There’s no use in wasting energy feeling anxious about the length of time it may take. I have no control over it. (Disclosure: I have yet to fully come to terms with this).
The Big Picture. Although my injury is a notoriously slow healing injury, it will heal. This is a setback, but a temporary one. My goal is to get strong again and run a half marathon. I am determined. I will keep jumping around in my living room until then. But I will get back out there and I will run that race, and you can guarantee my sweaty face and my medal will be all up in Facebook Land. Hold me to it ok?