I've had an interesting couple of weeks. Last you heard from me I had mentioned that I was having strange calf/shin pains. Well those strange pains/tightness escalated pretty quickly and at the beginning of May my lower leg let me know that running on it was no longer an option. I grudgingly decided that a week off was a good idea. I assumed that after a week of completely resting I would be feeling much better and would be able to jump right back into running. Unfortunately, by the end of the week I hadn't done any exercise and my leg was actually feeling worse.
After a lot of research I decided that what I was feeling must be a stress fracture. Stress fractures take about 4-6 weeks of rest to heal. Lets just say that facing the fact that I wouldn't be running for over a month was not something I wanted to accept. I hate doctors and tend to avoid going at all costs, especially when it involves being there for hours on end or travelling from doctor to doctor which is what I would have to do to confirm the stress fracture. I haven't gone yet but hopefully will make it in soon so I can either confirm or deny my self diagnosis. In the meantime I'm "resting."
After my first week of rest I was really down. I assume it was the lack of endorphins and the idea that I wouldn't be able to do what I love for a long time and that it was completely my fault that I was in the situation in the first place but I was just so bummed. I know I have a lot to be thankful for. A stress fracture is really pretty minor compared to some running injuries.
After a lot of thinking I decided that I was going to have a good attitude about the whole situation and take it as an opportunity to examine some things.
I don't want to get into it too much but after years of struggling with an eating disorder running has really saved me. I care much more about fueling my running than about staying thin or losing weight. I know that running has been really good for me mentally, physically and emotionally. However, I've allowed it to become an idol in my life. I spend a lot of my time and energy thinking about running and trying to get better at running. I usually tell myself that it's okay because it's such a positive alternative to where a lot of my energy and thoughts went before. What I really want though is to spend as much time and energy getting to know the God who I claim to love. I should be spending as much time talking to God, reading the bible and getting stronger spiritually as I devote to running.
So that's where I started. This helped my attitude immensely.
So where is the grass the greenest? The grass is not always greener on the other side. It is greenest where you water it.
From there I talked to Rachel who works at a gym in town and she got me a free month membership. Since then I've been spending a lot of time at the gym. Me and the elliptical are getting to know each other pretty well although I certainly wouldn't call us friends.
It feels SOOOO good to sweat again
At the beginning of the week I could only make it through about 3 miles on the elliptical - I tell myself i can run for miles and miles on end so why can't I make it more than 3 on the elliptical. I don't know but I'm working on in.
It IS kind of nice to be able to go whenever I want and not just be restricted to really early morning or evening. I can go before work, after work, that awkward 45 minutes between jobs.
And I'm learning all sorts of new skills...
Like how to take pictures of myself in the mirror
And how to balance the camera on the door for the automatic timer self pics
I miss running and I don't think that's going to change but I'm determined to make the best of this time off, strengthening my spiritual life and some hardcore cross training. Best of all - I'm learning to rest before I'm forced to rest. I love my body and I'm going to take care of it.