Goodbye 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 the ugly prognosis: a perforated hamstring (muscle separation) and a crushed IT Band. For you runners, you probably understand that a crushed IT Band is like a runner’s death and that’s without the hamstring injury. The sports med doctor said I may never run again without pain. Yeah, I sat in the parking lot after that appointment and bawled my eyes out for a good long while.
“You gotta cry without weeping, talk without speaking, Scream without raising your voice” -U2
The prescribed 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.
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.
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
Goodbye 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.
Goodbye 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.
I’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
For 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