Thursday, December 1, 2011

Injury = One Cranky Chronic

A Dhia,
deonaigh dom an suaimhneas
chun glacadh le rudaí
nach féidir liom a athrú, misneach chun rudaí a athrú nuair is féidir,
agus gaois
chun an difríocht a aithint.
O Lord, 
grant me the Serenity
to accept the things
I cannot change the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom
to know the difference.

I am feeling pathetic. I am feeling whiny. I am not pleasant to be around right now. Why? Because I have, of all the lame injuries in the world, a bruised heel. Not a big deal really, but right now it feels like a big deal because I can't run right now and I want to run right now! I don't want to wait until tomorrow, and I better be able to run tomorrow or else I'll lose it! Of course yesterday I was thinking - tomorrow, maybe, I can go for a little run. But then today dawned, which was tomorrow yesterday, and I discovered, much to my chagrin, that I had not been miraculously healed (heeled?) while I slept, and when I pressed on my heel the twinge was still there. Nooooooooooooo...

I went for a nice 23 mile bike ride yesterday which provided a pleasant distraction and actually allowed me to get out and move through the world, outside, listening to the robins chirp and the wind blow. But today winter blew in with 9 inches of snow. I can't run. I can't bike. I can't bloody stand it! What to do, what to do...? I want to jump right outta my skin!

Of course what an injured runner does first is go online and read up on treatments for their particular malady and read stories of others who have suffered similar fates. You read of the hopeful stories and the stories of doom where a little thing blossoms into a huge problem that sidelines some poor running soul for weeks or, gasp, months.You are determined to follow the path of the hopeful not the doomed. And yet you want to run...when will it be safe to run again?

Of course I probably shouldn't be writing this WHEN I'm actually injured. I should be writing this after the fact, when I can be encouraging and introspective - After the injury I might say something like: relax, give your body a break. Focus on healing and do something you never have time for when you're spending all your free time running. Accept that this is part of the game of being an athlete. It's these times that make you hungry for and thankful that you can run. Keep the big picture in mind. This too shall pass...Blah, blah, blah.

But right now I am feeling neither encouraging nor introspective. I'm feeling like a five year-old being told that she can't do any of the things she really wants to do. I want to have a meltdown. I want to throw a fit.

I go through all the five stages of grief over the course of 5 minutes, every five minutes, for 24 hours, everyday: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance...Over and over and over... all through the day. My poor family. My poor friends. Have mercy on them all...

And while I appreciate all the well wishes, all the assurances that I will be stronger for this, the fact is that I am not a patient person - and worst of all is that I really really like to run. I feel that something is missing from my very being when I can't run, that there is a hole in my soul. Melodramatic? You better believe it.

And all this self absorbed whining is coming from someone who, not so very long ago, was told she would never run again. The fact is, it's always hard and it never gets any easier, and yet it is a fact of a runner's life which none of us will ever accept patiently.


  1. It sucks. Sometimes the well-intentioned well-wishing of others feels like a Sensei slapping your heel with a bamboo rod "Remember the longing for what you enjoy but can't experience now, chronic grasshopper". I think you get my drift.

    In real life -- and I'll share off blog in a bit -- my wife's being inundated with the w-i w-w's. We're appreciative, perhaps it's their own way of coping, but it doesn't change the reality of something we had no control over but will have to deal with for years to come.

    Now, do something nice for yourself!

  2. I know all too well that my problems are really nothing. And I am thankful for that.

  3. I know exactly what you mean, Caolan. Here, maybe this will help:


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