Monday, June 20, 2016

If You Can't Be with the One You Love, Honey

I haven't mentioned this--probably because I never write anymore--but in mid-January, I got into a car accident. It was pretty tiny as far as car accidents go, but still--I got hurt. Not badly hurt, really closer to barely hurt, like barely enough that if I weren't a runner, I wouldn't even have known I was hurt, but I am, so I did.

The pain started the first time I ran after the accident, about half a mile into my run. I finished running, took a few days off, and then ran again. The same thing happened. A perfectly timed series of events got me going to physical therapy for about a month, during which I couldn't run, but also during which my calf started feeling way better, so once my month was up, I ran. The first time was great; the second not so much. I had to stop running again.

Over the next few months my runs were sporadic. I went from running almost every day prior to the accident to running twice in February, six times in March, eleven times in April, and thirteen times in May. I'd run, things would go good for a while, I'd get all excited, I'd think everything was completely fine and dandy, and then in the middle of a run, the pain.

Last week during a three-hour conversation from here to Kansas City, the subject rolled around to exercise. At the time of the flight, I hadn't run since May 28. It was June 10. When I told the man sitting next to me about my injury, he asked me what I do now. Be depressed, I said. He laughed. No, he said, I meant for exercise. 

Embarrassed, I didn't say anything for a few seconds.


I thought about it for a minute.


The rest of the plane ride, my response kept popping back into my head. I thought about it on the ride to my hotel; while I unpacked; while I waited for my friend, Danielle.


When Danielle picked me up, I told her the story, and we talked about it. We talked about how I love to exercise, and I love to be healthy, but because I can't do one specific exercise--my specific exercise--I don't do anything at all.

I have this image of myself, and in that image, I'm a runner. I'm not a walker, I'm not a swimmer, I'm not an exercise-bike bicyclist, I'm not a lady who ellipts. I'm a woman who runs, and in the past however many years, it's shaped my sense of self, and when I no longer could do it, instead of finding an alternative, I got depressed and gave up.

If I couldn't run, I wanted to do nothing at all.

How silly of me. Ridiculous, really. Dumb.

A sad fact of life is that sometimes we don't get what we want, but that doesn't mean we're supposed to stop living altogether.


I ellipted this morning.

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