Whenever we undertake something that is exciting and challenging, rarely do we prepare ourselves for the possibility of a setback. Maybe it’s because our attitudes are just brimming with so much positivity, we cannot even comprehend anything that would cause us to suddenly derail. While it is certainly important to always maintain a positive outlook, sometimes it makes sense to be ready to get knocked down face first into the dirt. Literally.
I am writing this post as I sit on the couch with a bag of frozen peas on my foot, which is swollen like that of a cartoon character who has just been struck by a hammer. Crutches at my side, still in my pajamas at 2pm with unwashed hair and unbrushed teeth. The only thing missing is a king-sized bag of Oreos and a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke. I am quite disgusting.
For those who may not have seen my facebook posts, here is the whole story:
I decided to take a “day off”, which usually can be loosely defined as “do nothing”. Since I was raised by my mother, AKA, Our Lady of Perpetual Motion, doing nothing is a completely foreign concept. On any given day, there is always something needing to be washed, cooked, folded or picked up at the store. Who has time to sit and do nothing at all? Not me. Nevertheless, I decided that I had been busy enough lately, and despite the millions of things I could have been doing, on Sunday I chose to drink coffee, read the paper and then go for a trail run through a wooded area near my house. It seemed like a good idea, and it was a lot of fun. Until I stepped on a rock and fractured a bone. I limped about a mile back to my house and immediately applied ice to the huge purple egg on my foot.
A few x-rays and two doctor visits later, I find myself in my current state, now actually doing nothing.
I was told that I will probably be able to bear weight on the foot in a week or 2 and I cannot run for 2 months. That’s a really, really long time. And it is only day 3.
I cannot overstate how much I suck at doing nothing. I am a busy person with a lot of energy. I am a person who gets things done, I’m on the go and in the mix. Up at the crack of dawn, I never get sick, and I keep my days fully booked with work, social events, and other active things. Yes, I am my mother.
Now with my very limited mobility, I am 100% dependent on my husband for the most basic things – getting a glass of water, grabbing the mail from the mailbox, cooking dinner and buying the groceries. The pain I feel from being suddenly so needy far exceeds the pain in my foot.
Before I dig into my stack of magazines and launch the first DVD of Seasons 1-3 of “Downton Abbey” (thoughtfully sent by my good friend Alisa, who is determined to get me hooked on her favorite show), I would like to indulge in a small pity party. Please, join me.
First, I have several people I’d like to blame for my mishap. Starting with my friend and client Jay, who challenged himself (and me) with a trail run to celebrate his birthday 2 weeks ago. Jay was a cross country runner in high school, and he wanted to return to the place where he’d enjoyed so much success back in the day. He did a great job, finishing in a very respectable time, despite the years in between. After tripping on a root and falling on my face, suffice to say I finished a bit behind Jay. Naturally I wanted to take up trail running so that I could go back and beat the trail as well as Jay. So far, they are both still winning.
Second, I’d like to blame my mother (see above) for re-defining the notion of “doing nothing” to “doing something else, but for God’s sake, keep moving”. I simply do not know how to sit still, and I believe that there is a genetic marker for this trait, commonly found in Italian women.
Third, I must call out my friend and training partner, Kendra, who recently completed the Boston Marathon in an astonishing 4:35 (do the math – it’s wicked fast). Her accomplishment made me want to be a better runner, and had it not been for her inspiration, I would remain a gym rat with zero interest in running on a trail or anywhere other than a treadmill. I mentioned to my trainer that I thought I’d like to do some trail running as I don’t really enjoy running on the pavement. You know, because you can get hurt. He cautioned me that trail running is very different and requires a certain amount of agility and keen awareness to foot placement. Which only goes to show why it is important to listen to your trainer, people! (My clients, please take note.)
OK, enough whining. Here comes the positive wrap up:
I have already experienced something of a setback earlier this year when I discovered that my business name was already registered to someone else. I had to quickly shift gears, come up with a new name and identity. It wasn’t fun, but I did it, and I like my new business name and identity even better than the original one. So the big lesson for me and anyone who is experiencing any kind of setback is to “do something else, but for God’s sake, keep moving!” (Thank you, Mom.)
I’d like to believe that when I am fully healed I will become a better runner than I ever dreamed I could be. With my 2 month hiatus, I will have only 3 weeks to train for my first 5K obstacle race of the summer. That is going to require a serious push as soon as I am cleared to run as well as some alternative training to begin as soon as I can stand on both feet. I am up for it, and I know my trainer and training partners will be there to give me added motivation.
For now, I am going to practice doing something I am not very good at – sitting on the couch with my feet up.