Friday, September 14, 2012

Clichés and Coping

Like most people, I'm not a fan of clichés. But now I find myself living the old "You don't know what you've got til it's gone" one.

Until this broken foot business happened, I had not realized how much running had been (pardon the pun) running my life. Hours upon hours of my time and energy were being spent not only in the activity itself, but in planning for it to happen. Now that it is NOT happening, I'm finding myself with a lot of time on my hands.

Running had HAS also become a big part of my identity... and something that I have come to rely upon more than I thought. It is a big part of my social life, a source of fun, relaxation, and inspiration, and enabled me to engage in some serious calorie consumption. I've come to discover over the past 15 days of life without running that it also has a serious positive impact on the way I feel, both physically and emotionally. When I'm exercising I'm happier, I feel better, and my body just seems to work better (except for my bones, apparently). When I'm not doing it I feel tired, out of sorts, and just downright yucky.

A few years ago, if you had told me that I would be a hot mess if I wasn't allowed to run, I would have laughed in your face - loudly. Even a year ago, I would read articles in Runner's World about how to cope with the emotional trauma of an injury and scoff. "That's crazy," I'd say to myself.

Turns out it is not so crazy.

Compounding my problem is that not only can I not run, there is pretty much no physical activity that I am allowed to do right now other than crutch around. I would kill to be able to sit on a stationary bike and pedal for an hour (yeah, never thought I'd say that in a million years either). I went from 5 days a week of some kind of exercise to nothing.

Oh, and there's that little problem of me being fiercely independent and stubborn. I hate asking for help, but now that I'm on crutches I have to do it all the time. Self-sufficiency is something I have prided myself on for a long time and now I am anything but, though I am getting better as I get more used to the crutches.

So how in the heck am I coping with all this?

Intially, not very well. For the first few days I moped on the couch and watched bad TV, lamenting my broken state and crushed dreams. All I could think about was how unfair it was that I broke my foot when millions of people train for marathons every year with no problem and how much I would rather be running (and wondering why I pay so much for TV because it all sucks).

This week I would say I'm doing better. In an effort to get some form of exercise in, I am doing crutches and girl push ups every night, along with some stretching. I have been looking at purchasing a bathing suit and starting to swim or do some kind of water running once I get the ok from Dr. Cutter.

I wrote a pleading, pathetic sounding email to the Wilson Bridge Half Marathon organizers when I realized that I missed the deferral deadline by 1 day. Thank goodness they took pity on me and allowed me to defer to next year.

I started looking into the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach in March. I even went ahead and booked a hotel room near the start/finish line. If things go poorly, I can always cancel it. But that is my new marathon goal.

And I signed up as a volunteer for the Richmond Marathon. I'm going to be at the finish line, handing out medals and/or blankets to the finishers. Either every medal I hand out will be a dagger in my heart or it will be a reminder that my time is yet to come.

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