I’m not going to mince words on this– being injured sucks. Although I thought my IT band is improving the fact of the matter is that I was in denial and it’s not. It hurts all the time. Walking, sitting, biking, laying down… it’s painful. I’m not saying this to whine (ok maybe I am a little and if you want to give me sympathy, I’ll take it) but rather to let you know where my body’s at. I’ve been doing my part and stretching, rolling and strengthening like it’s a second job and regularly going to ART to break up the scar tissue. I’m not convinced any of it is working and I hate hate hate hate hate feeling broken. I feel like a broken racehorse that needs to be put out to pasture. It’s horrible.
Enough whining. I’m trying really hard to have a positive attitude about this as in, what am I supposed to learn through this injury? What is my body saying? I think it’s telling me a few things. First, as it turns out, I’m human. I think I had an invincibility complex when it comes to running and as it turns out, I’m human like everyone else. Secondly, I haven’t always had compassion for injured runners. I’ve been a little judgy about people who need to take time off and I’d like to apologize for that– pain is real and you can’t run through everything. Taking a break doesn’t make you weak or wimpy. Third, slacking on my core work was a stupid, stupid mistake and one I won’t be repeating. Fourth, absence makes the heart grow fonder and this time off is only going to fuel the fire in my belly.
I think one of the biggest lessons I’m learning though is that I need to put running in its proper place in my life. I don’t think I realized how much of my identity was wrapped up in the fact that I run in circles around my neighborhood. I don’t know how to express it but the thought that I may not be able to be as hardcore in the future stresses me out. And that’s not right. There are a ton of other positive things in my life I can be associated with and if I’m not a runner or not as insane, that’s probably ok too. I’m not Amy the runner. I’m Amy the friend, Amy the professional, Amy the daughter, etc. If I’m not Amy the athlete for awhile, I’m not going to die.
So I’m probably being a little dramatic about an injury that’s fairly common and rarely career ending but for now it’s a huge bummer particularly because I think I’m really afraid I’ll slip back into being slower and softer and weaker. I don’t think that’s true and it’s always easier to get back to where you once were rather than build to new levels but that fear is there. And it’s a bit terrifying. Not being slow, that’ll be ok, but that I may not get to do something I love.
So for now I’ll continue to spend a million dollars on ART (which I’m grateful to have and even be able to do), count my blessings that it’s not cancer or amputation or fracture or disease or paralyzation (I mean this is the very definition of “first world” problems) and do everything in my power to get better. This is only going to make me mentally and physically stronger and it’s time to keep my eye on the forest and not the trees.