The Tension of Not Knowing

This is a blog I’ve thought about writing a zillion times in the last 15 weeks, and yet the timing never “felt right”. My heart and mind were still undecided about running and being honest about the unknown is scary, so I told myself it wasn’t time. I wanted things figured out and presented perfectly before I laid it out there. But the reality is, life is messy and how often do we really have everything figured out? And even if we create the perfect plan, it rarely turns out that way.

This surgery and period of recovery has challenged me to take a step back from running. In the beginning I knew it was the healthiest thing I could do and hoped that after a few weeks it would be clear what I wanted to do. For the first time in 20 years, I did nothing for 10 weeks. Not one PT exercise, cross training session, ab routine, etc. In good faith I got exercises from my PT at 6 weeks, believing I would start preparing to weight bear. But the motivation wasn’t present and I chose not to force it. It was freeing to realize that while I do enjoy being active, it is not necessary for me to live life with intention and joy.

This has been an incredible realization, but also left me questioning what it meant for running. If I can live fully without being active, does that mean I am embarking on a new season of life where running is a leisure activity and I get a “normal” job? Or is this just a natural part of the process of taking a step back and the drive and motivation to push my body at a high level will come back?

I wish I knew the answers to these questions, but the truth is, despite all the hours of analyzing, I don’t. Both options excite me and scare me at the same time. I would rather have it figured out, but I am choosing to continue to live in the tension of not knowing. It’s an uncomfortable place to be, but I am trusting that I will know when the time comes. Until then, I am working on being confident and vulnerable in the midst of the unknown. I trust that I am exactly where I am meant to be.

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4 thoughts on “The Tension of Not Knowing

  1. Thanks for this post. I found your blog by chance and am so glad I did. I had surgery to repair a torn peroneal tendon on 1/18/16. I had 2 tears, one being 7 cm and a small bone was removed that contributed to the tear. I’ll be on crutches for 6 weeks and then months of rehab. I ran a 3:05 marathon in 2007 and then dealt with motor control issues. I had 2 kids and over the past 2.5 years have spent countless hours in rehab (working with the best – Gray Cook, PT; Shawn Allen of the Gait Guys) only to tear my tendon after getting in 4 local races. Those races were great…won every one of them, so the injury felt even more devastating. I struggle to figure out where running will fit into my life after this all. I know I will be much more appreciative of what I can do. I’ve told myself all I really want to is be able to be act with my kids again. Limiting myself is somewhat out of self-protection, as losing my running ability has been hard and I couldn’t imagine going through this again. I give you props for your mindset and am glad I can benefit from your posts.

    • Hi Katie! Thanks for reaching out! I am so blessed to hear that you have found my posts helpful. I am sure that once you are off crutches and running around with your kids pain free again this will all seem like a small bump in the road. I hope that you are able to find other fun ways to invest the extra time that you have while running is on the back burner. You never know what you may discover that you hadn’t had time to try before! I personally have really enjoyed having extra time to invest in relationships, try new recipes, and start learning calligraphy. Sending fast healing thoughts your way!!

      • Thanks so much for the healing thoughts! I spent Thursday in the Emergency Room with a blood clot. Luckily, I knew enough about the possibility that I got it checked out soon after my calf got tender. So, I am on a blood thinner now which carries it’s own set of worries. I’ll meet with a new doctor on Tuesday who will be managing that condition. This experience has already changed me so much. I value life itself so much more given how scared I felt about dying on Thursday! I have enjoyed the extra time reading with my kids. I’ve also invested some time in arts and crafts projects, although I am now banned by my husband to use scissors for fear that I will cut myself! So, my new plan is to pursue origami. I hope your recovery is going well. For myself, the plan is 2.5 more weeks non-weight bearing and then partial weight bearing for a week, then things will be reassessed. Again, thanks for your posts….I have continued to go back and reread them when struggling. I plan to read several of the books that were mentioned. You have positively impacted my recovery…Thanks. Katie

      • O wow! That is so scary! Just be careful you don’t get any paper cuts with origami. 😉 I have enjoyed writing letters and blessing people with real mail too…that could be a safe activity for you. I hope that the next 2.5 weeks non-weight bearing go well and that the transition is smooth moving forward! It is so great to connect with others who are on a similar journey!! Wishing you all the best Katie!

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