One week ago today, I came home pushing my new walker. I was in pain. I hurt. And all of the pain meds made me feel a little nauseous. The couch would be my new resting place for a period of time and taking a shower would become my least favorite task. I wasn’t sad about being immobile. I was sad about hurting. Fast forward one week later and I’m down to using one crutch. I can take a few steps on my own (although with a very awkward limp), and I’m down to using zero pain meds. I’ve been to physical therapy twice already this week and will continue to go two times a week for the next month. Today, I decided, was my last day of being stuck to the couch. Tomorrow, I get back to life.
Throughout my many walks up and down the hallway, I’ve had a lot to think about. Add to that a few good life podcasts, and I’ve come to have an actual appreciation for this injury/surgery. I’m not mad about this and I’m not sad about it either. If anything, I’m glad because now I can move on and do the things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
For so long, I’ve ran. I’ve run the streets of Raleigh more times than I could ever count. I’ve spent my Saturday mornings pounding out the miles and my Sunday afternoons pounding out a few more. I loved every minute of it and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Running has been my favorite activity for over 12 years. However, at the same time, there are so many other things that I’ve wanted to do. I’ve just never been willing to make time for these other things because running dictated so much of my life. Now that I can’t run, what better opportunity?
When I was a junior in college, one of my favorite professors had this very strange tattoo on his arm. For so long, I never knew what it was. Then one day I realized it was the Ironman symbol. I told myself within the next two years, I would train for and complete an Ironman. Obviously, that never happened. Heck, I’ve never even done a triathlon. All I knew was how to run, so that’s what I stuck to. Even though, in the back on my mind, I always wanted to test my endurance limits, I just ran. Swimming required extra effort (driving to the pool, learning technique, etc.) and I didn’t own a bike. Now these are the only two sports I can do. Perhaps this injury is putting me on that path. Thanks to my friend Nikki, I already have a swim cap. That’s one step closer that I was last week.
Along with triathlons, I’ve always wanted to practice more yoga. There was a period of time when I did Bikram Hot Yoga every week and it was my favorite time of the day. There was something about pushing my body to the limit in 115 degree room that I absolutely loved. I loved the physical part of it and I loved the mental part of it. Every week was different with different challenges and that’s why I was so drawn to it. But again, running eventually became front and center of my life and yoga took a backseat. Now I can make a change.
Calisthenics is another area that I have always wanted to focus more on. Al Kavadlo is my calisthenics hero and I really want to use his workouts to build some serious foundational strength. Other than leg strength and some decent core strength, I’m lacking in a few areas. Fortunately, the doctor said as soon as I’m back to walking, I can start a strength program. Obviously it’ll focus more on the upper body for now but it’s a start.
And finally, Mario and I always said we wanted to start a family after Boston. Mentally, I struggled with the idea of having to cut back on my running and running slower times. Well now that’s a non-issue so no need for my mental struggles! See, everything does happen for a reason.
Monday I go to get my stitches taken out and for another physical therapy appointment. I’m curious to know how the healing process is going. If I had to give my input, I’d say it’s going well. But then again, I’m no doctor. 😉 Sadly, I have to miss out on a friend’s wedding next weekend. It’s a three hour drive and the doc has advised me against it. Other than that, I’d say all is well on the healing front.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,