I, for one, was thrilled to say goodbye to 2014 and beyond ready to welcome in 2015 with open arms. As 2014 came to a close, I couldn’t help but feel relieved, excited, and a little bit anxious. Relieved that the year of broken wing was finally behind me. Excited for a new chapter. A fresh start. Excited that a whole new year, full of possibilities, was beginning. And maybe a little anxious, if I’m being honest. Anxious that some of the lingering effects of broken wing were following me into the new year. Anxious that my big plans to get strong were still a little ways ahead of me. I wasn’t naive enough to think that I would wake up on January 1st and miraculously be whole, strong and ready to run a marathon again. But I could dream. Dream of being strong again. Dream of being fit again. Dream of being healthy again. Dream of running healthy again. And dream of running a marathon again.
I’m ready to treat myself better. Speak to myself with a little more love and kindness (thanks for the reminder, Kim). And I’m ready to treat my body with a bit more love and respect than I had been at the end of last year (read: less wine and chocolate, more water and veggies). I’m ready to work hard. I’m ready to do what needs to be done for a healthier and better version of myself in 2015. I’m ready to do what needs to be done to be injury free in 2015. I’m ready to believe in myself, my body’s ability to rebuild, and to dream big again.
Last month marked one year since I fell while running and fractured my arm in three places. It’s been a long year filled with many ups and downs. There were many setbacks along the way, but there were also many victories, big and small. If you had asked me last year where I would be one year later I would have told you that I would’ve run a marathon last fall (remember that little run through the streets of New York City that I signed up for with a broken bone and never actually ran?). That I would be doing yoga, spinning, and strength training like nothing ever happened; like I was as good as new. As I sit here, one year later, I’m nowhere near that dream. I’ve had many setbacks while trying to regain my strength and endurance over the past year. There have been many times I’ve thought about taking the easy way out, giving into my body, and giving up. But at the end of the day, that’s not who I am. No matter how many times I’ve felt as though I’m starting over again, I get back up and do it again. At the end of the day, that’s who I am. Someone who never gives up. No matter how frustrating or tiresome fighting for what I love may be, I will always get back up and try again.
Lingering muscle weaknesses and imbalances have left me far from where I thought I would be one year later. I’m still weak but I’m slowly trying to get strong again. I constantly remind myself that I’ve done this before and I can do this again. I finally feel like I’m not holding on a by a thread about to break at any moment. I finally feel like I’ve made some steady progress over the past few weeks and, although I still have a long road ahead of me, I am starting to believe my dreams are possible again. I’m finally starting to let go of some of the fear. I’ve signed up for races again (thanks for encouraging me, Coach). I’ve signed up for Refine Method again. And not just one class. Nope! I signed up for a three month commitment, 15 classes over three months, thanks to the wise words of my favorite buddy. I may have even sold myself short as twice weekly classes are feeling good again.
One year later, I’m no longer in physical therapy. One year later, I’ve run a half marathon again. One year later, I can once again do planks and push-ups. One year later, I was able to do wheel pose again. It was only once but I did it; Ashley was my witness that it actually happened. One year later, I can sleep with my arm under my pillow again. Sort of. One year later, I’m regularly back in the saddle at Flywheel. One year later, and after another upsetting five month break, I’m finally back at Refine Method (hopefully for good this time). One year later, there aren’t many lingering effects left from broken wing save for a few muscle weaknesses which continue to improve every week; thanks to A LOT of hard work and physical therapy.
This year taught me how to be more patient. This year taught me determination. This year taught me how to persevere. This year reminded me, once again, to never take anything for granted.
So what’s next? I ask myself this question often. Most recently, I questioned whether or not I want to train for a spring half marathon or take the season off and spend more time getting strong first. A few weeks ago, I was convinced I was going to take the season off. But I think that was my fear talking. Last week, I decided I’m not going to be afraid of getting hurt again and started training for the Ottawa Half Marathon.
I’m taking things super easy and will stop if something doesn’t feel right. This week marked my highest mileage week since Thanksgiving; 13 miles. I know it doesn’t seem like much but, like I said, I’m taking things really easy right now. I feel better than I have felt in 13 months and a little more like my pre-broken wing self. I’m taking it easy because for the first time in a very long time I don’t feel like I could fall apart at any minute. I no longer worry about waking up in pain every day. I am wholeheartedly enjoying being 100% injury free for the first time in 13 months.
For the foreseeable future, I’m continuing to focus on strength and cross training and keeping my weekly mileage on the lower side. I’m enjoying running without too much concern for pace or distance. Mostly, I’m enjoying not being injured. My physical therapist told me I would run a marathon again. I’m starting to believe that she was right; that running a marathon again is possible. I hope that’s possible this fall but, if not, there’s always next year. I’m not putting pressure on myself or my body. I doing everything I can to get strong again. I’m looking forward to a lot of Refine Method. I’m doing everything I can to stay injury free; foam rolling, stretching, eating better, and getting enough sleep.
2015 got off to a rocky start but I’m hopeful I have turned the corner. I’ve always pride myself on being good at listening to my body. I push when it feels right and pull back when it doesn’t. That will never change. For the first time in 13 months, I feel like I am finally on the other side of this injury. I am starting to feel like myself again. I am starting to believe in myself again. As for what this season will bring, only time will tell. I’m excited to see what’s possible.
Have you ever had a traumatic injury and had to start over again? How long did it take you to feel “normal” again?
Which races are you running this spring?
Does seeing the sunrise make you feel like anything is possible?
Running in less layers today felt amazing! Do you think winter is finally over?