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Monday, October 16, 2017

I know that this isn’t the end of the road for me.

I stopped running at mile three of my marathon yesterday, because my impending injury became too much.  I’ve pushed through pain and struggles so often through running and racing– to the point where my body would no longer allow me to run.  And then later to walk.  I hobbled the 1.5 miles back to my hotel room in tears as I could not physically pick up my foot and bring it back down to the ground. I later spectated the race, as a client finished her first marathon, but could not physically go down to the finish – because I could no longer physically get there. It’s all kind of a metaphor. I got an early diagnosis yesterday and am meeting with a specialist this afternoon. My damage is mostly nerve related - and a bone spur on the top of my foot.  And I am thankfully not physically in pain.
There are no words for the heartache that I’m feeling right now. I’ve cried and I’ve sobbed and I’ve felt sorry for myself so many times over the past twenty-four hours. The unknown scares me.
The unknown scares me. Because running has always been the constant and my place to turn to when something awful like this happens to me. And I currently don’t have that outlet.
When I was a young mother with Little Diva, I discovered running and it lit me up.  It brought me joy and made me feel good about myself. I never had experienced something like this before. I’d always had low self-esteem and running made me feel like I could accomplish anything and that no one was judging me or comparing me like other team sports or activities.
I struggled with a miscarriage in between Little Diva and Little Dude and running gave me something to focus on and kept my mind occupied as I got through month to month with various running goals for myself until I conceived again with my son.
I was in a miserable relationship for fourteen years.  We both turned to running and exercise to deal with our emotions and it provided an excuse to spend time away from home.  Neighbors noticed me running around the neighborhood over and over and over again – running away from my problems.
Running provided me with a constant as I went through an ugly divorce and started my new life. When I could not be with my children – it occupied my time (and still does). I did not seek professional help because running was my therapy and helped me work through things, during the lowest point of my life.
Mileage got me through rocky situations at home, when it was the only thing I could physically control during my day.  And I was determined to fit it in, because it mattered to me. I could control that.
I am told that my training got me through childbirth three times without pain medication.  The nurses said that my breathing techniques and mental toughness helped me push beyond unbelievable pain and that my head could “go places” where others cannot.
 
I’ve pushed and I’ve pushed and I’ve pushed.  And I have not stopped.  Until now.  I am not weak.  I am strong.  Running has taught me that.  My body is telling me to slow down – in every aspect of my life.  Maybe it wants me to slow down and grieve and accept all of the things that have happened and that I cannot control – and to accept this too.  I know that this isn’t the end of the road for me.  There’s another mile marker up ahead.  I’m just slowing down and enjoying the course …
Thanks for spectating.

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