Injuries always happen at the very worst times. It’s always when your life is busy, and there’s truly no time to slow down. Because of this, we tend to ignore all the hints. We get to that third mile and we feel the pain in our legs, and maybe it’s a little abnormal, but all those inspirational quotes tell us that “pain is weakness leaving the body” and blah blah blah. Sometimes they’re wrong. Sometimes pain is actually something entirely different, and our body is telling us to listen.
It was a Monday morning at the gym in early January and I love Mondays. Mondays in the fitness world are a new chance to dive into your goals. Whether you’re just beginning, or you got a little side-tracked like I often do, it’s a new opportunity to make your body and mind better. I got on the treadmill right away, and started to ease my way into the steady pace of mile 1. By mile 2, the seemingly common pain in my leg started to creep down into my right foot. But I wasn’t worried, or even slightly concerned. I was annoyed.
I had a schedule of miles to reach each day, and that day was a 4 mile day. But as I kept on going, the pain persisted into something more. I slowed down to a jog and felt my body shift into a run/limp. But for some reason, I kept going. I figured it was just the normal aches and pains that occur when you run as much as I do. I figured it was something that I could dismiss, and eventually my muscles would warm up and come out of it. And I was wrong.
Stubbornly, I finished my 4 miles that Monday. But when I woke up the next morning it was a very different story. I stepped out of bed after a wonderful morning of sleeping in with Kyle, and as I placed my feet on the ground, I knew something was wrong. I took my first step, not realizing the full extent of the damage, and my right foot couldn’t support itself because of the pain.
From the beginning of my life I didn’t have good odds for ever being able to run well. I was born with 2 ankle bones on the inside of each foot, so in the womb my feet grew facing inward. By the time I was learning to walk, the issue had to be corrected with special shoes that connected with a bar, which would eventually straighten them. Doctors said that although I had extra bones, my body had grown around them and they wouldn’t affect me later in life. So far, this has been true.
I was so young when all of it happened that I don’t think I understood in any way what was going on. I didn’t know that the issue might not be fixable, or that it could cause other problems. I hadn’t experienced running the way I have now, so I didn’t miss it the way I do, and I never had to experience the risks that were on the table at the time.
After going to the hospital on Wednesday when Kyle made me go, I found out that a piece of bone had chipped right off the edge of my foot. As you can imagine, it was causing a ton of pain. Following the hospital visit, I went to a specialist who analyzed my X-rays further and tested my reflexes and movements. That’s when she told me I may not be able to run for a long time, and assigned me to wearing an air cast for 3-4 weeks, followed by the physical therapy that I will start next week.
In the mean time, I’ve done arm exercises and some leg exercises that don’t involve my foot, but it’s been pretty minimal. I can’t help but feel lazy due to all the inactivity, and the immediate change in my lifestyle. I’ve always viewed myself as a healthy person, but it has forced me to look at the word “healthy” in a different way. Healthy can mean a lot of things.
The damage to my foot was done over a long period of time, and caused a tendon that runs down the outside of my leg to pull on the bone in my foot until it broke. Now the tendon is so tight and weak that it will take weeks, maybe months, of physical therapy to get it to a “normal” point. That means months of minimal exercise, no running, and most of all, patience.
I’ve been tested in a lot of ways due to this experience, and it has definitely slowed me down physically, mentally, and emotionally. It reminded me that I have a very capable body, but I have to respect that body. Sometimes we forget how blessed we are to have two legs, two arms, and strong hearts and minds. Sometimes we can’t imagine what it would be like if we didn’t.
Luckily, Kyle has been extremely supportive and comforting during the whole ordeal, and it really reminded me how amazing he is. From driving me to appointments to getting me things while I rested my foot, I don’t know how I would be handling it without his caring gestures.
So that’s my update as of now, and the reason why I haven’t been very active on my blog. I love sharing my life with all of you, but sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and let yourself heal, whatever that may mean. I’m going to try my best to get back into the swing of things as I balance my crazy work schedule, this injury, and life overall. Wish me luck!
Have you ever had an injury that put your life on hold? How did you overcome it?