So, I can't get into the ortho until tomorrow (Wednesday at 2pm EDT). I've kind of been in denial about the situation, but this morning when I had to stop in the middle of the hall because the pain shooting up my ankle was so severe (as I've had to do several times since then today), I figured I'd best face facts and admit that something is very wrong. If I'm being realistic, I will not be surprised if I walk out of the office tomorrow in a boot.
Look...I know this is a very temporary thing. And, my goodness, I have been in MUCH worse circumstances and much longer recovery periods in my lifetime. But, this Saturday is the Color Run. It is the first race I was ever interested in and the first race I ever committed to running. I have been looking forward to it for MONTHS, I recruited several team members and I paid $45! I can't tell you how upset I am that I won't be able to run it (and, just trust me, I won't be in any shape to run it by Saturday...if today is any indication). I thought I could walk it, but now I am questioning that as well.
My mind tells me all the things that you awesome SparkFriends have been telling me, but my heart is in a different place. That is what makes this so difficult for me.
Why is this so hard?
1. I was finally getting to a point of consistency with my running. My training plan for the half marathon just kicked in two weeks ago. I was doing so well! I'm not afraid of losing my physical conditioning as much as I am losing my momentum and my consistency. I was at 5 days a week of running and it was finally a habit.
INTELLIGENT RESPONSE: I have proved that I have the willpower. And, if I could do it once, I can do it again when I'm healed. More than that, I can CONTINUE to do it WHILE I'm injured. I realized I need to change my exercise perspective a bit...but I cannot quit.
2. I was just beginning to crawl out from under the crushing self-doubt that I've carried around with me for so many years...this idea that I can't ever possibly do anything active that matters...that I could never be an athlete...that it was, frankly, just TOO LATE for me. I was starting to think that maybe it COULD be possible...and I was getting to a point where I could see myself in that role. Athlete. It's amazing. I'm 34 years old and I've got 3 kids. How could a re-birth like this be possible at this point in my life?
INTELLIGENT RESPONSE: Can I still be an athlete? Of course! This is temporary. I know that in my head. But the feelings and the lies that slip in when you can't do what you love are really difficult to ignore. I know they are lies and I know this is temporary. It's just hard.
3. Running was a way to push back against my past defining me. I had this terrible accident that broke half my body...and I somehow came back from that to do things that I never imagined I could do. As I recline on my couch with a bag of ice on my ankle, I have awful flashbacks of injuries past. It is really tough to fight those old demons and hold them at bay. There was a lot of depression surrounding that accident, specifically the lack of mobility. It's like a horrible re-run (no pun intended...but funny pun nonetheless).
INTELLIGENT RESPONSE: THIS IS NOT THE SAME! Not even close! I still have 90% of my body functioning, which leaves room for a LOT of activity. I just need to DO it!
4. On top of that, there is a whole other world of pain that has nothing at all to do with my ankle. It's this horrible situation where I have to choose between one course of action and another. And, they simply can't co-exist. Even though I love them both and don't want to let go of either. In addition, it's always a shock when someone makes a choice FOR you...without much input from you. That is what happened here. And so I'm left reeling from the effects of it...and I didn't have a plan for how to handle my emotions. I certainly didn't expect to lose this part of my life at the same time that I would temporarily lose running. That, in itself has been quite a blow.
INTELLIGENT RESPONSE: Move on. Right? Easier said than done. I have ONE friend that's been tracking with me through this ENTIRE situation. One day, she said to me, "Leah, it seems like you can't decide between two options here. If you could take everything you are, all your passions, your entire person and soul and wrap it up in a box and give it to one or the other, which would you choose?" I was actually pretty shocked how easily the answer came to me. "Neither." Neither deserves THAT. I'd choose ME.
And so, even as I cry myself to sleep every single night this week, I know that I'm strong. Because, when given a choice...my instant response was to choose myself...because I'm worth it. And that....THAT never would have happened 3 months ago, 6 months ago, a year ago.
So, friends...I'm sad. I'm very very sad right now. I won't lie to you. I haven't figured out how to stop my tears at times. My usual outlet (running) has temporarily been taken from me. But...I won't give up. I haven't bowed out. Please don't worry about that.
Listen, when I get use of this ankle again, you can bet I'll come back swingin' and you KNOW I'll have a few rage runs stored up too. We've all got stuff we deal with from time to time. If you promise to hang in there, I'll promise too.
Above all, I can't tell you what it means to have you all supporting me. You are lights in the darkness and I'm so SO thankful for you.