It is almost six months to the day since I wrote in my training log that my knee hurt when I ran. I can’t believe it. Six months.
I have asked myself many times how this could happen. I have no answers. No one does.
I go from being hopeful to frustrated to downright angry… But usually I settle into obedient patience, diligently doing my physio exercises and following instructions on how to get it better. In general, I’ve stayed off it, no matter how much it tears me up inside.
Tonight I went out with Z. and Samuel for dinner. It was Z’s first outing to a restaurant since having her boy. They both looked great and the chance to visit was delightful. Our dinner took an extraordinarily long time to arrive. The manager came over and apologized, saying that the house would be pleased to buy us dessert. Sounded great to us!
During dinner Z. probed me about running… and other activities… What was it about running? I mean, it didn’t start out that way, right? I just wanted to get in shape… not run… So what’s the big deal about finding another activity? (I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist.)
I couldn’t explain it… She was right… This started off as a quest to live differently and as part of that process, get in shape and be healthy. Falling in love with running (again) was unexpected. But it happened.
Then, I got injured. And, corny as it may sound, I felt like I was ripped away from a new love I had barely gotten a chance to know. Geez, that does sound corny.
I have asked myself if I am just being stubborn. I’ve been known to be that way, you know. I have wondered if I would still be this passionate about it, if it wasn’t “forbidden”. The deep down truth is, I don’t know. How could I know, except to get on the other side of this injury and see how I feel about it?
Yesterday I had another physio appointment… my 17th physio appointment, to be precise. Tim said, “I don’t think you’re gonna run again, Sarah. It’s time to think about other activities… biking, swimming… but not running. I mean… we can try one more time, but… I don’t think so…”
“Hmph!” I snorted, trying to be respectful... Involuntary tears welling up from inside me as I blinked them back.
I hate crying – especially in public. I probably wouldn’t have, if the rest of the week had been normal. But it wasn’t.
Yesterday would have been a great day to hear, “Your diligence shows. You’re stronger. Not having to use the knee brace is progress. We are going in the right direction.” The truth was, I really wanted some good news yesterday. I wanted a reason to hope. Instead, I was basically told to give up hope.
Tim was firm with me: “We’ll try one more time… Do your stability exercises for two more weeks. Then we go back to squats. If you can’t squat, you can’t run. You need to be able to load your knee with weight.”
I nodded in acknowledgement, choking back sobs.
Have I mentioned that I hate crying?
Today I decided that I’ve had enough. Although it would have been nice to have my efforts recognized, ultimately, I don’t need to hear it from anyone else. I know it. I'm dedicated... and disciplined... and patient... I’m lighter and stronger than I’ve ever been. I’m in way better shape than I was in November and I’ve done everything I’ve been told. And I have training logs to prove it.
I’ve had it. I’ve had enough of the injury. I’ve had enough of being obedient and following directions. I’ve had enough of being excruciatingly patient. I’ve had enough of feeling held back!
Walking and running are the most natural things in the world, aren’t they? I had no problems before November, and there’s no good reason for this injury to hang on like this.
After dinner with Z. and Samuel tonight, I felt gross. My salad was loaded with dressing and high fat “extras” that I just don't enjoy any more. To make matters worse, I had no intention of eating dessert, but ordered it anyway, since it was on the house and all…
“What am I doing?” I asked myself. “I don’t eat like this any more!” So I put my fork down and pushed my plate away.
By the time I left, I felt horrible… Thoughts of purging entered my head, but I shooed them away thinking, “No, Sarah, you don’t live like that any more…”
I wanted to move. So I did. Screw it, I thought. Legs were made for walking.
So I came home, ditched my bag and enjoyed the bit of daylight that was left, walking a loop in my community that I discovered when I first moved here two years ago. It was about 35 minutes of walking – just a normal pace. I mean, I’d already worked out today, spending longer on the bike than I have in months.
I was just fed up… and wanted to get outside and be mobile. So I that's exactly what I did.
And it felt good. As I write this, I have ice on my knee. Yes, it puffed up. But it doesn’t feel horrible. I’m tired of being “good”. I’m tired of doing exercises that make me stronger… but not strong enough to run. I’m tired of shedding pounds… but not enough for my joints to take the load. It’s been six months… the days are getting longer and the weather is getting nicer… I’m tired of waiting.
Maybe my physiotherapist has given up on me. But I haven’t.
My leg. My knee. My body. My love of running.
I’m not ready to give up yet.
Words of wisdom, hope and encouragement gratefully accepted.