Those two (or three) words are hard to say. I’ve avoided them for a year. My hips are acting up. My ankle isn’t happy. My knee is angry right now. I’ve sugar-coated it every way possible.
Sixteen days ago I finally said those two words:
I took a break from running.
Something positive happens when you label something appropriately. When I finally admitted that I am injured, my mentality shifted too. I quit tiptoeing and waiting. I quit expecting my body to feel better the next day. I quit waiting for a miracle. Living in the space between injury and health is exhausting. It is living in limbo. One foot is in. One foot is out. I was really just waiting for it to get worse. By accepting my injured status, I took the power back both physically and mentally. I put myself all in. It gave me permission to attack recovery instead of waiting to see if I’d heal.
I don’t know why it’s so hard to admit when injury happens. It is part of running. I demand a lot from my body. When healthy, 40 miles a week can be my normal. Double digit runs are something that happens almost every weekend. Accepting that I’m injured is the easy part. Going from running 25 miles one week to zero miles the next week is the hard part. Somehow writing I’m injured in the blank space makes the zero feel okay. It gives me permission to not run.
Maybe, just maybe, that is the best gift we can give ourselves. We can give ourselves permission to sit out. It’s okay to miss a run. It’s okay to take time to heal. It’s okay to miss a goal race or a goal time. It’s all okay. At the end of the day, we are our own worst critics. We are human. We have faults and injuries. Putting myself on the injured list has given me permission to enjoy the entire experience. It’s not the success that I am chasing, it is the satisfaction of knowing I gave it my all. Right now giving my all means I need to heal. By sitting out right now, I’m giving all of myself to the entire experience of being a runner.
Injury Update: I had two appointments this week with my Chiropractor. My ankle muscles are getting stronger, it is just far from stable right now. I’m being treated with active release and graston technique. I’m doing lots of exercises to get things balanced out. Racing Shamrock is no longer my plan, but I’m still hopeful I can take part in the race. Next weeks appointments will help me decide what is best for me. A healthy ankle is my only priority right now.