Today I ran. For the first time in about a year. I had been running regularly until that point for a few years. I averaged 20-25 miles a week, and for someone who was never a runner, I was fast. I ran Broad Street a couple years ago and ran 8 minute miles. Aside from being soaked and chilled to the bone that cold and rainy day, it was a piece of cake.
Until I could not run. Something happened. It wasn’t anything acute as far as I could tell. I couldn’t recall an injury per se. I would start running, and at 2 miles I literally could not go one more step. I had a level of pain in my knee that stopped me in my tracks. This was not a “run through it” situation. I had to stop.
In very un Julie-like fashion, I ignored this. For a long time. I kept trying to run and failing. Many people in my life questioned me. Why wasn’t I going to see a doctor? It took me a long time to understand that I was scared. What if it was something really bad? I tried resting for months and would begin a run with cautious optimism only to be flattened by pain. I reached a point where I had to choose.
I chose knowledge. I chose to trust my resourcefulness and my ability to deal with whatever it was.
I advocated for an MRI. I sat in the doctor’s office afterwards. My heart was pounding. Would I need surgery? Would I ever be able to run again? I said something like: “Give it to me straight, Doc.” He had me take off my shoes and socks (ew- yucky floor) and made some noise indicating “duh” or said something like “yeah ok”. Diagnosis: Flat feet. No arch. At all. He asked me if running was important to me. I would be fine flat-footed for most everything else, but I would not be able to run without a correction. The strain on my knees given how I was running to compensate for my flat feet would not allow it.
I answered: I’m not done running.
We made a plan. And I got myself some hot orthotics.
Today I ran like 2.5 miles. I was slow. It was ugly. I got to that 2 mile point and noticed how nervous I felt. I paid attention to my body. I listened closely. Other than the psychic pain of waiting so long to handle this, there was NO PAIN.
My fear was so loud that I gave it the space and power to take away something from me that I loved. Today I decided to put one foot in front of the other and get it back.
This is one of the innumerable ways in which I have transformed my life through training as a career and life coach and empowering my own relationship with my coach.
What have you lost in your life that you want back? Let’s work together to get it.