Learning to Embrace Where I Am

I’ve always said that I have learned more in times of injury than I would have ever learned if I was healthy. But in all honesty, this injury has shaken me to the core. It has challenged me to really examine if I still believe that to be true.

At some point you have to have learned all that you can learn from times of injury, right? I mean seriously…I did the whole 6 months off, pedestrian-paced build-up last year. And here I am again, staring at the reality of beginning that all over again. What’s left to learn?

FullSizeRender-1Apparently a lot. In the last 6 days on crutches, I am already beginning to see the lessons. My eyes have been opened to the strength of the run community, the importance of being vulnerable, and how to reach out when I need support. I can’t isolate myself and try to endure this on my own little island, even though that may feel safer. Honesty is sometimes awkward. But that is why we are made to live in community, so that when we get through those awkward moments, we can look back and laugh. I am also learning to be humble enough to ask for help, grateful for the army around me ready to help, and gracious when attempts to help go awry. 😉

I know the lessons will keep coming. As much as I want to fight this process, it is out of my control. I have to surrender to the healing process, accept my limited mobility and establish a new norm. I have to open my eyes to the opportunities for growth around me and embrace this undesired, but purposeful period of my life. I will learn just as much through this time of injury as previous ones and I will be better for going through it when it is over. And I am writing this to convince myself of these things as much as anything.

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My grateful appreciation to all those who have stood by my side and will continue to do so in the coming months! May we learn together and have laughs to share from the awkward moments that unfold! 🙂

A Bad Deck of Cards

Sometimes I wish I knew how things would turn out before I committed to them. It certainly would make decision making a lot easier. Although in regards to running, I’m thankful I haven’t known. I definitely wouldn’t have signed up for the hand of cards I have been dealt.

In February of 2014 I was diagnosed with a navicular stress fracture in my left foot. It was discouraging, but I had experienced injury in my career before and knew I would bounce back. I took 6 months off and then began what felt like the slowest build back up of all time. I did all the rehab exercises, changed shoes, and even ran with a metronome to increase my cadence (bless my teammates for putting up with it). But if I’m honest with myself, my left ankle was always in the back of my mind.

People told me that navicular bone fractures often bother you for up to 18 months after injuring it, so I relied on the army of people around me to help manage the tightness. I seemed to be able to manage it so long as I only wore flats for workouts, did all the little things, and took days off. Fitness was coming around and I was hopeful my ankle would cooperate as well.

Then 2 weeks ago in one workout it went from feeling like it normally did to me waking the cool down. An MRI revealed that it was fractured again. While deep down I probably could have told you that, hearing the news from a doctor was like a punch in the stomach. It was the death of a dream that I had committed myself to for the last 2 years.

Seeing a dream die is not easy, especially when it is not on your terms. I cried so hard my abs were sore the next day (potential new ab exercise?). I bought myself a stuffed animal. And for the last week I have gone through the motions of life while feeling numb inside. But it will get better. Time will pass and this too will feel like a blip in the road, a deck of cards that I wouldn’t have chosen but were used to build character.