If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I’ve struggled with injuries since last summer. First it was two herniated discs, which led to hip issues, and now heel pain. The last 12 months have been this weird circuitous bout of injuries — as soon as one thing gets fixed, something else rears its ugly head.
Yesterday I was supposed to run the Brooklyn Half. It was the second half I’d signed up for… and had to cancel last minute. San Francisco got cancelled last year because of my back, Brooklyn because of everything else. Recently my podiatrist told me that my body just isn’t built for running. I have bad feet. My physical therapist tells me running is definitely possible at some point (I love her for her optimism), but I have bad hips and I walk funny. (But hey, at least my back is totally fine!) If I want to run again, I’ll need to get orthodics (not cheap), heel injections (not fun), and still need to lose more weight to compensate for the rest of my body being a mess.
Let’s not forget the fact that PCOS has never made the weightless issue easy, either. Kickin’ that low GI diet back into high gear.
The thought of giving up running, of giving up on that dream of running the NYC Marathon, was devastating. But I’d already been through one really rough injury so I was better equipped to deal with the information this time around. And for a while I just kept telling myself I was fine with it, that it was okay, that running wasn’t all that great. I figured if I said it enough times, I’d believe it.
But lately I realized that wasn’t working. I’m bitter. And I’m allowed to be upset. I love running, and I’ve spent so much time and effort and money working toward these goals. Now that it’s getting nice out, all I want to do is wake up and go for a run along the water, and while my body’s itching to take off, I have to constantly hold myself back. And it’s frustrating. It makes me angry. Every time I see someone out running, I feel a pain in my chest. There’s a track down the street and I want to go run endless laps around it. I want to feel that summer wind in my hair. I want an excuse to go buy more running shoes.
When people tell you to give up on your dream because it’s physically a bad idea, it’s hard to listen. Some part of you knows they’re probably right — they are doctors, after all. Numerous doctors. But I’ve been working too hard for this to just let it go. I think I’m resigned to letting it go for right now, but there will come a day when I’m not broken, and I can run again. And I’m holding out for that.
So we’re back to taking baby steps toward this one giant goal, even if it takes me another 28 years to do it. I’ve purged my pantry yet again, recommitted to extremely clean eating, am back to doing my PT exercises every day, and following every instruction given to me by my doctors to a T. I’m still spinning, but I’m trying to integrate more yoga and strength training into my routine. Now that my back feels great, I’m excited to start taking all those HIIT classes again (oh, Fhitting Room, how I’ve missed you). And I need to remind myself that that, in and of itself, is a huge step. It means that all the work I already did has paid off, so I know I can do it again.
Do I know how long it’s going to take this time around? Not a clue. My back took a year. Now I’ve got hips and heels to worry about. But I just know that there’ll come a day where I feel like a normal person, and I won’t be afraid to strike the pavement hard and heavy. When you want something bad enough, you need to work for it. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to keep working on myself so that someday I can run that marathon. Even if it’s just once.
You’ve got to dream big, people. So dream even bigger, and never give up.