Monday, March 26, 2012

Forty Days Later

I knew it was coming, but I had been avoiding it all day. Finally at 6 pm I put down my book and forced myself up. I put on shorts and pull over. It was a cool spring day, slightly chillier than it had been recently. I pulled a bright blue compression sleeve up my left calf and slipped on my shoes. As I tied the laces my stomach was fluttering with nervous energy. I felt like I was going to be sick.

I kissed Mike goodbye and headed out the door. I had waited forty days for this moment, nearly six weeks. I had tried after four weeks, but that ended disastrously. No wonder I was nervous.

What if it hurts again? What if I don't make it five strides without pain? Maybe I should wait a few more days. I've waited six weeks, what's 72 more hours?

No, you don't need to wait. This is the third day you've awoken to no pain. Not walking around. Not going up and down stairs. Not jumping on one foot. None. It's time to face your fears.

As I took the first stride I held my breath, bracing myself for the pain. But it didn't come. I kept going, slow and steady. The walkers were almost passing me. No matter. It's not about speed right now. Every so often I felt like it might start hurting. Maybe it was in my head, maybe not. 

As I approached the turnaround my head was battling with itself. I felt like I wanted to run forever. Until my entire self gave out. Until I was reabsorbed into the earth. No, I'm smarter than that. I have to be smarter. Otherwise the last six weeks were for nothing.

My more intelligent self won out and I circled around at the half mile mark. Home stretch. My guard started to let down. I began to enjoy the run and stop worrying about the pain. As I rounded the last corner I didn't even get annoyed at the pedestrians that felt the need to take up the entire sidewalk walking shoulder to shoulder. Having to go around them would just mean I could run a little bit longer, even if only a few seconds. 

I finally arrived back at my front door. I let my heels sink down over the edge of the step, feeling the stretch in my calves. I walked into my apartment and hung my head down, bracing my hands against my knees. After so many tears of sorrow, tears of joy were something to be grateful for. 

One absolutely, undeniably magnificent, blissful, painfree mile. I'm back.


  1. OH YAY! This made me all teary eyed... We've all been there and there's no better/scarier feeling than the first run :-)

  2. WHOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! SO happy for you!!!

  3. Yay, continue to take it easy and hopefully you will be back into full swing soon!

  4. Welcome back! I know it's so tough to ease into running after an injury, but it's great you are being so smart! Hopefully it'll be you back for good!


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