Reinventing Somer. Healing Series I

goodbye runningGoodbye for now, running. I miss you like crazy.

I’m here to clear up some myths, as well as find a way to ease some of my angst. If you don’t feel like getting personal, come back and visit in a couple days, I have some great food coming on the blog again on Friday.

“Every night you cry yourself to sleep. Thinking: “Why does this happen to me? Why does every moment have to be so hard?” Hard to believe.” -Maroon 5

I am not the perfect picture of health right now. In January of this year, I had an accident. I fell on black ice. I hit my head, my elbow and my lower hip/(hamstring) area. At the time, I just thought I had very (very) painful watermelon sized bruising. It hurt like hell, but I’m stubborn and didn’t go to the doctor. I just thought it would heal and that I would be fine. It wasn’t until 3 months later, while I was still in pain all the time and couldn’t make it up my stairs without cringing that I decided it was time to go in. My sports medicine doctor gave me a cortisone shot, a frown and a referral for emotional therapy (I didn’t go).

“You gotta cry without weeping, talk without speaking, Scream without raising your voice” -U2

The other solution? Physical Therapy, and lots of it. I’ve been going now for over a month and a half. My sessions consist of some sweet torture with these archaic looking Graston Therapy Technique Tools followed by soft tissue massage.

graston technique

The physical therapists work me with the various tools from my hip to my knee, trying to break down the muscle tissue fibers that have healed wrong. The treatment is supposed to realign the scar tissue and get it to heal properly. The therapy causes ripe bruises to bloom nearly each time I visit. The result is that my dent in my leg where my hamstring muscle perforated is somewhat smoother, but the truth is, I probably waited too long before seeking treatment. My scar tissue is like a crazy big lump and it isn’t really going anywhere. I can’t sit or stand comfortably for more than 20 minutes at a time. I’m always feeling some level of pain, even on my good days it’s nice and dull and present. Stairs are getting easier, but if I have to bolt up them, I’m quickly reminded to slow the heck down so I don’t hurt myself. Any repetitive motion exercises are out. Walking two blocks is a chore. Don’t even ask me about pushing a grocery cart or rolling over in bed to sleep on my left side.

Pain is Weakness

Even harder though is that I’ve felt like the injury crushed my soul just as much as it crushed my leg. I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with how something that happened in a flash could alter me so completely. Running not only provided a fitness outlet for me, it was also my stress relief, my internal therapy and something that I felt like was a huge part of my identity. Sure, I’ve taken a running break now and again, but now that I’m unable to run, I feel like I’ve lost a huge piece of myself. I’ve been in mourning. Tears come too easily most days. But I’m learning that running doesn’t define me, just like the number on the scale (a bit higher) doesn’t make me any less awesome. I’ve found strength in turning to my spiritual side. I’m also trying to re-direct my focus onto what I can do. 

“What else should I be? All apologies.” -Kurt Cobain

I’m doing pilates like exercises with stretchy bands to strengthen my legs, which have pretty much atrophied from disuse. Sometimes I get crazy and do the recumbent bike or elliptical for a few minutes. (Ow and ow). Last week I tried running on the treadmill at physical therapy with an anti-gravity harness on for 10 minutes. It was way too soon, and I’m paying for it big time.

“Aim high, but do not aim so high that you totally miss the target” -Gordon B. Hinckley

The waffle makerGoodbye Ragnar Relay and the Beautiful well earned Waffle Breakfast. This would have been our sixth year together. I think I miss you the most of all the races.

No more breakfastGoodbye fit legs. I hope we can be friends again someday.

So, I’m not exactly sure what comes next. I’ve bought a fancy prancy gym membership with a Restorative Yoga Class and a pool for me to get my pool running on with this awesome pool belt.

the hand offI’m passing the baton and teaching some running skills vicariously to someone new who asked for my help. I’m sure they’ll love it as much as I did in time.

“Well, I’ve been afraid of changing, ‘Cause I built my life around you” -Stevie Nicks

somer luckyFor now, I’m happy to spend a good portion of my day cuddling with my dog and snoozing on the couch (he’s been glued to my side ever since I got hurt). I’ll let you know how things are going. Hopefully, someday soon, I’ll be up and running again.

“Every step I take, every move I make. Every single day, every time I pray. Ill be missing you” -Sean Combs, riffing on The Police

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144 comments

  1. You’ll come back, better than ever, and smarter for the injury. I have no doubt that God did this to you so that he could remind you to relax and smell the roses.
    Even if you can’t run without pain, you will always be a superstar, no, an uber-star. And, not for nothing, but I know that without your encouragement about a year ago, I wouldn’t still be blogging, so theres that, and I doubt I’m the only one you’ve touched like that.

    1. Jodi, I can’t tell you how much I needed to hear this. I will tell you that although I feel like this door is closed for me at the moment, another one has miraculously opened, and I think it really is a blessing to help me not focus on this so much. Crazy the way things work out. Thanks and I’m still one of your biggest fans, even if I don’t stop by as often as I should.

      Best,
      Somer

  2. Somer, I’m so sad to hear that things are where they are with the black ice incident, physical therapy, and your recovery. A few years ago I was hit by a car while crossing the street, and I was in physical therapy for about 8 months trying to get back to where I was. I know what you mean about how exercise was the way that you relieved stress, renewed yourself, and even defined yourself to some degree. It’s very hard to be an energetic, active person one minute and then the next trying to figure out who you are while you recover. It was hard for me that I couldn’t just dash about or get places quickly. I have no doubt that things will get better for you with time, but it’s also okay to be sad that they aren’t where you want them to be right now. As always, thank you for your honesty and sharing your struggle with us. I’m glad you have a puppy to give you healing hugs. Companion animals have a unique way of soothing us and making us feel like nothing could be better than a cuddle on the couch.

    1. Oh my goodness, your experience sounds horrendous. You know all about where I’m at right now and more. Do you feel like you’ve got all your function restored? Or are there lingering issues?Rediscovering myself has been an interesting process, I’ve had to look right into my core, which isn’t always a pleasant experience. Getting authentic has caused me to re-prioritize my life a bit, which is why I haven’t been in the scene as much. Looking forward to creating a new kind of normal around here. xx

  3. Oh Somer. I am so sorry. Maybe this will force you to find a new fitness love. Perhaps 10 years from now you will wonder how you ever got by without yoga or swimming or something along those lines. I am sending well wishes and prayers your way.

    1. I’m thinking exactly what you’re thinking. Thanks for the wishes and prayers. I need them all and am feeling strengthened by all the love and support here :) Thanks Rosalie.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear of this awful injury! As a runner I know exactly how frustrating it is to be told you cannot run. You will heal from this and be stronger than ever before!

  5. So sorry to hear about this loss (hopefully temporary) and HUGE hurdle in your life. It is so un-nerving for something seemingly so mundane to have such a huge impact on your life. Thanks for sharing your struggle, I hope the sharing provides some relief and strengthens… there is no doubt that you are a strong individual!

    1. It all feels a bit surreal… But sharing here definitely feels like some of the weight has been taken off my shoulders. Funny how that works. Lots of positive energy coming my way. xx

  6. I’m so sorry to hear about your fall. I’ve had injuries and illnesses set me back too, and it’s a mental struggle as well as physical one, dealing with the disappointment and fear that I wouldn’t get back to where I was before. I hope you’ll be back to the sport you love soon. Sending you a virtual hug and virtual get-well cookies.

  7. I am so so so sorry to hear this! I know from experience how injuries can set you back healthwise. I had started running in 2002/2003 and was the healthiest and fittest I had ever been, then I tore my MCL and meniscus. More recently I shattered my sesamoid bone (twice! sheesh!), so believe me when I say I feel your pain. My thoughts are with you!

  8. Don’t let this injury crush your spirit Somer. I am a great believer in fate. This time away from running is giving you the opportunity to find other passions in your life. Who knows where this path will take you? Feel excited, not fed-up and angry. Feel better soon x

  9. Well Girl, I am definitely sending love and good wishes your way! Having an injury that prevents you from doing what you LOVE to do is so HARD! But I do know that you can do hard things! You’re going to get through this trial and be even stronger because of it! You’re awesome and there are a lot of us praying for you and keeping you in our hearts as you heal!!

  10. Oh Somer, I’m so sorry. Lots of love and healing thoughts coming at you. I’m happy to see you’re exploring yoga as part of your recovery process. I’ve been practicing yoga for many, many years and I’ve found it has helped me through so many difficult times in my life. Stay strong. You’re a tough cookie and I have no doubt you’ll get through this.

  11. Oh man, that is a total bummer Somer- but you are one strong willed Lady and I am sure you will make the best of the situation, Sending lots of healing energy your way, stay positive! :) *big virtual hugs* xoxo

  12. Hoping you recover fully and are back on the road as a full on runner soon! I understand injuries. Have dealt with torn MCL ligament in my knee, grade 3 sprained ankle and impingement that have lasted over three years now. But I still know I’ll run again… and so will you!

  13. That sounds horrible!! You have the will power of a runner, I am sure that you will be able to run again–just try your best to stay positive and remind yourself of that. The hardest part (at least for me, I’ve had a chronic injury for sometime now but I am able to run I just have to be careful) is listening to your body and finding patience. Pilates has been the best cure for my injuries. I am sure you will find some progress just with that. Good luck and keep us updated!

  14. Oh Somer, honey, I’m so very, very sorry to hear this! You’ve been through so much already! :(
    You are an amazing woman and an incredible inspiration to so many and I just know you’ll be even more amazing for having this experience. Sending you HUGE (almost as big as your huge, curly puppydog!) hugs and virtual love and healthy, healing vibes. xx

  15. Somer, So sorry to hear about your injury! Yoga has always healed my injuries, but I’ve also been really lucky to have great instructors when I’ve practiced. Can you bike?

    I also want to say thanks for sharing your awesome blog. I am not vegan but I love to eat healthy food and your blog is full of it. My little girls and I especially love all your green smoothies. It makes me feel great when I start my day with those and I am super happy that my sweet girls are hooked on them too. We’ll be wishing you lots of good karma and a speedy recovery. <3

  16. You’re an amazingly strong person to post your trials and tribulations online. I would love to hear about your healing through your blog. As a healer by profession, I see it too often people giving up on their goals, dreams and activities due to injury. We know not why the injury occurred, but I believe there is always a wonderful opportunity to be had during the healing and rehabilitation phase. Heck – Bruce Lee wrote his book while he was laid up with a back injury.

    You will continue to do amazing things during this time, no matter how long it takes. Big Up!

  17. I’m so sorry to hear about your injury Somer. But you are a strong, motivated and creative woman, and I have absolutely no doubt that even if you can’t make it back to running, you will find a way forward and a sport that gives you what you need, and that you will excel at.

  18. I just found your blog and happened to read this entry. I used to run and it was also my kind of therapy until I was diagnosed with a neurological movement disorder called dystonia. It affects my lower left leg and makes walking difficult. I have since discovered yoga and its been my salvation. I wish I had started it many years ago. It changes you. Good luck to you.

  19. I’m so sorry to hear that something you were so passionate about has to take a break for the time being. I know that’s rough but if anyone can stay positive through it all it’s you. xx

  20. Omy … I loved reading this journey sent by a very long time friend. I too fell (one month ago) running. I unfortunately and unusually was not listening to my body. Hot, tired and stressed after speaking with a neighbor who is having serious marital issues. Fractured fibula and had serious road rash on opposite leg and hand. Needless to say, I am progressing very slow. 57 years old is trying to catch up with me but I am striving to stay positive. Worried a bit: Will I be able to return to running and continuing my 20-30 miles a week? I try to remember God has put me at this rest phase for a reason…. after reading your journey, I will forge through today and persevere at my exercise. Thank you for sharing and sending you well wishes to move forward and find your future passions but mostly I do hope for you & I to return to running. Omy… tears and apprehension put aside…run on from one happy running girl to another!!

  21. Hey Somer!
    Long no comment (for some reason your posts are not showing in my reader — yours and a few other bloggers I follow). anyway, I’ve been thinking of you, a lot lately and wondered how you doing, healing, holding up, mentally, all that? If you have time, please let me know how you are doing.
    xx
    Susan

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