I have some work to do.
To say that 2014-to-date has been challenging for me so far I think is a bit of an understatement. I had an accident while playing soccer. On March 2nd, I broke my leg. It was a tibial plateau fracture. (Do yourself a favor, and don’t Google that. Just trust me.)
The thing was, at the time, I was probably in the best shape of my whole life. I was training for a half-marathon. The day before I broke my leg, I ran eleven miles. I was running three or five days, taking a dance class or two, weight training, and playing soccer every week. I even had a trainer I was working with. I was probably in better shape then that time I decided it was a good idea to do bootcamp classes three times every week for about six months. (Side note: Watch this video, because it’s ridiculous, and realize that their form isn’t very good:
The thing that I really loved most about running was that it was meditative. I would get into a good rhythm, and then it was just right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot. I was present, and mindful in my body with each step, particularly at the longer distances. I was focused on breathing, and listening to my own rhythm. It was a really great way to be in touch with my body and mind. It had a tremendous effect on my self-esteem, and general well-being.
I had set out to do a half-marathon, because it just seemed like a thing that people did, especially a lot of people in the fitness and outdoors obsessed San Francisco Bay Area. But after I conquered that 11-mile run, I felt like the half-marathon was going to be easy, and perhaps too easy. I was already thinking that I might have to try a full marathon after that. I surprised myself with my ability. I wasn’t very fast, but I could go-go-go.
It only took a split second for that idea to come crashing down. A much bigger dude than me and I decided that one of us was going to get to the ball first. What actually happened was that his knee made contact with my shin about an inch below my knee-cap. I spent the evening in the emergency room, and the next six-and-a-half weeks on crutches.
While I was laid up, I thought I would get so much stuff done, and be so productive. I have nothing but time. I thought I’d write like a fiend. It was around this time that I started thinking seriously about starting the YouTube channel. I thought I would study French, play my guitar, learn to code. Really, though, I was just in a grumpy and lazy place. What I really did was watch a lot of documentaries on NetFlix. My patience was already tested, and I didn’t have any left for working on any of my projects. Truthfully, I was probably missing out on the rhythm of my running.
When I finally got off the crutches, this is what walking looked like:
Of course, then to add insult to my injury, about a month ago, I got shingles.
I’ve been in physical therapy up until Thursday, when I finally graduated, but I still have a long time to go before I’m fully recovered. I may no longer be taking those first wobbly baby steps, but I can’t run more than a tenth of a mile at a time right now. I have a very regimented rehab program that I am on, and it will be months before I’m able to run more than a mile or two at a time. The hardest part is taking it slowly. I just want to run so bad.
Things are looking up. I am feeling a lot better. I know that I will be able to run the way I did before, in time. But it has been a helluva year, and it’s taken a lot out of me. I am impressed with how I’ve bounced back, but it hasn’t been easy.
I will get back to where I was, though. I will run a half-marathon. And after that, maybe a full.
I went to the gym today for the first time in six months. There’s a few reasons I haven’t been, which I won’t go in to, but this morning I woke up, and said enough is enough.
The fact that we decided to skip band practice didn’t hurt.
So, I got my gear on, threw the iPod in the arm band, filled my water bottle, and headed off.
I took it fairly easy, just fifteen minutes on the elliptical and twenty walking at a slight incline. I burned 275 calories. Not bad at all for the first time after six months.
I had completely forgotten how great/awful it feels to go to the gym. I won’t ever be one of those freaks that tells you working out feels good. It hurts. It hurts my knees. I get cramps in my sides. I breathe heavily. I sweat A LOT. At the same time, it’s still good to feel the air moving in and out of my lungs, and I love that zoned out mind wandering feeling that I get in the middle of the workout.
So now I just have to keep up the good work, and keep going.
I used to have a very good gym habit. At one point, I was going as many as five times per week. Of course, I also lived around the corner from my gym.
After an illness, and moving, I’ve just fallen out of the habit. So even though I haven’t made any resolutions about such things, I do realize that I would like to get back into the routine. Even if I only go half as much as I was going when it was practically in my kitchen, that wouldn’t be half bad. Especially since I’m contemplating walking the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in July.
I went this evening, and I did 20 minutes on the elliptical at half the level that I used to do for 40 minutes. That was a little bit of an ego blow, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? I probably could have pushed through and done another 10 minutes, but I figured it would be better to start out slow, even slower than I thought I needed.
So, I burned 200 calories. Yay me! Now I’m sitting here with a ThermaCare heat wrap on my bum knee. Arthritis sucks. This is part of the reason why I’m not sure about doing the 39.2 mile breast cancer walk. However, if I keep going to the gym, and build up my knee, I may be just fine.
So here’s what I’m taking away from this: I just need to keep going, I need to pick up more of these wraps, and damn my new iPod is really that cool.