*WARNING: Nasty foot pic ahead!*
In 2012, I learned a tough lesson about “overdoing it” in my second half marathon. Due to rain, the course was shifted, which added almost three extra miles, making it a 16-mile course. I was able to keep up a sub- 8-minute pace for all but the final two miles of it. And then came the reality of just how badly I had injured my right ankle.
Exactly five weeks ago, I learned a new tough lesson about “watch where you put your feet while descending concrete stairs”, when I missed at least one full stair. I landed hard, howled like an infant, and did in precisely the same ankle and in precisely the same location as before. The $1300 ER bill would have bought at least the next three years’ worth of running shoes.
Now, five weeks later, I’m reminded of the healing that took place in 2012, and all the good that came from it. It wasn’t just a physical reset of my ankle, but a philosophical reset of the reasons why I run, and an emotional reset of the joy I had lost, leading up to that initial injury.
For 18 months, I’ve wrangled with ongoing bouts of depression, and a general lack of interest in running. I was confronted headlong with the sudden passing of a dear cousin, and it just hadn’t been the same since. In a way, I knew a reset was coming.
My first run was almost two weeks ago, just two brief miles, late at night, and admittedly while wearing denim jeans. It started off as a walk, shifted into a faster-paced hobble, and finally a solid, smooth stride. I realized in that short outing that my injury, though visually awful, hadn’t greatly impacted the parts of my foot and ankle that I rely on for running.
In the weeks since my errant fall, I have pushed through what I call Frankenstein Foot Syndrome (“FFS”!) and have found many a reason to celebrate the fact I can still run, regardless of pace or distance. It’s like running is new and exciting, all over again.
I’ve been able to push beyond the negativity and depressed thoughts that had for so long started holding me back. In some situations, an injury can help your body, mind, and soul to reset. This was one of those times.