Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Milestones

I ran for twenty minutes today.  That's twenty minutes more than I have run without pain in two years and eight months.   I last ran a marathon almost three years ago and sustained an injury shortly afterwards.  It has been a long road to get back.  In summary: two physical therapists, three sports medicine specialists, one nurse practitioner, one acupuncturist, home remedies, running store advice, wacky shoes, and endless Google searches.  Treatments have included two years of physical therapy, four kinds of insoles and orthotics, sleeping with a night splint for ten months, oral steroids, a handful of steroid injections, two x-rays, ultrasound imaging, and six "dry needling" procedures (think lawn aeration or meat tenderizer), and pain killers.  I gave up running, hiking, dancing, walking, and standing.  I counted each step.

I recognize that I am not fully recovered and that more treatments may still be in store.  There were times I doubted, but I am now confident that recovery is possible.  There were times I looked at past medals and wondered if I would ever even walk without limping.  Now though, I can be grateful for the injury.  I learned a few things.  Two weeks off an injury is much better than two years--listen to your body.  A one mile walk is not to be poo-pooed.  I have a glimpse of what it is like to live with a disability or constant pain.  Faster and farther are not always better.  Patience, patience, and then keep hoping someday I'll learn patience.  Sometimes it's good just to be still.

When I left in the morning, knowing this was the day I would try to run, I worried that I wouldn't like to run anymore.  Not so.  Winded as I was, I loved feeling my heart, arms, legs, and lungs all pumping together.  I'm taking it slow (don't worry, I've learned my lesson) and have no plans for races any time soon.  But I love waking up before my alarm goes off because I can't wait to get outside and greet the sun as it slips over the mountain.  I am blessed.  Anyone up for a run?

In the spirit of this, with tongue in cheek, I provide the following perspective.  Because now, it is something I can laugh about.


3 comments:

Emily Sue said...

Congratulations, Rach! I am SO excited over this news!

Miss Wesel said...

Yea! You got to run! Do you get to use your bike?

Rachel Eddington said...

Lately I've been enjoying my feet so much I haven't been on my bike. But I need to. The biking is a bit of a drive to get to.