When there is no turning back, then we should concern ourselves
only with the best way of going forward.
That's the direction I'm heading towards now.
August 21st 2011. The day I quit half way through my attempt at an 18 mile marathon training run. Even though two friends kicked my ass to get out there and get it done. My mind was spent. My heart was weak. My body, unbeknownst to me at the time, was broken. The next day I felt pain. Emotional pain. Physical pain.
I never ran again (except for two or three illegal runs) for almost 6 months. Not really ran. For six months.
Not with my heart. My mind. What was left of my body. I may have moved my legs. But, I had pain. Lots of it. As great as some of those runs felt to just be running. In reality, I was faking it. Because I wanted it to be ok. My leg to be ok. Me to be ok.
It wasn't. I wasn't.
Being hurt sucks. Getting hurt sucks. Hurt of any kind just plain sucks
Sucks because you can't control it. Sucks because you cannot fix it. Sucks because.... It. Just. Sucks.
I can still distinctly recall last spring when one of my Daily Mile friends got injured. I read his posts about him not being able to run. His frustration. While I felt bad for him, I couldn't really relate. I had never been injured. In all my years of swimming I was never injured. Not once. No shoulder pains. No knee pains. Nothing. Since I started running everything HAD been ok. I had some minor pain in my sciatic area. But, nothing to be really bothersome. I was running the best I ever had. I was in the best shape I had been in in years. Every race was a PR. I really couldn't relate to his frustration. I felt bad for him. But, in reality I could not really relate. He eventually just stopped posting.
However, I remember when he started to make his comeback a few months later. How wonderful it was to read he was on the road back. Ironically, just as I was falling off the road....
I have so many running friends who are fighting off injury right now. We are at all levels of recovery. We all know. We all get it. Sadly. We all just want to be well. To be us again. To run.
The other night a friend was talking to me about my injury. Telling me that during this time there was surely something I learned about me. Something about ME that I was able to discover during this time. I'm still not sure what it was. Kind of sad that I can't figure out what I learned. But, I did realize I started blogging during this time. Weird. I didn't even realize that this all began because I wasn't running.
I would talk to my friend Mike about running. About our injuries. One night he told me I should write a blog. Looking back perhaps it was his polite way of getting me to talk it out in a blog instead of bugging him. Ha. He had a blog. A very good blog. His wife, Julie, was just about to start her blog. But, what was I going to write about? I had nothing to say. Nothing anybody would want to read.
But, I started writing. I still have no idea what about. Or why. Or to whom. But, I wrote.
So, maybe that's what I learned while injured. To start letting thoughts in my head get out a bit. To let some of what brews in my head while I run to be released. Perhaps not for others to read necessarily. However, if someone else gets it, fantastic. But, maybe more for me. Just me.
To my friends still injured: it gets better. You WILL get through this. I promise you. Promise.
I'm taking the baby steps back. I'm running again. I have a long way to go. A very long way. But, I'm not going back. I cannot change what happened to me. With my injury. With my life. I cannot change that I got hurt. I cannot change how bad it made me feel. How miserable some days really were. It wasn't my fault.
I can only go forward. One step at a time. One word at a time. Ahead.
I won't turn back. I can't. And, I wont.
Run on. Write on. Be.
Oh, and that friend who was injured last spring? He went on to finish his first 100 mile ultra in the fall. How 'bout them apples?