Almost 2 weeks ago I got my ridiculously pink cast put on, and while I’ve learned nothing in this recovery is a given, I’m in the home stretch of being non-weight bearing. I’ve been impressed, actually, by how I’ve handled this piece of my journey. Other than it making life just a bit more difficult, and after I got past not being able to sleep for the first 3-4 days, I have had very few times of just breaking down with frustration.
I’ve refocused on getting in whatever workouts I can do, which has helped a ton. You don’t realize how much of your balance in life comes from the energy, physical and mental challenge, and ability to step away from everything else in your life while training, until you can’t just lace up and run.
Between getting my workouts in regularly again and the start of the Olympics, I’ve started to get really excited about the idea of getting clearance to walk when I get my cast off. I have begun fantasizing about doing squats, and getting to bike and row, or modifying my first ropes & rowers class at Equinox. While I definitely get chills thinking about getting up and running at rise again, I know that’s much further off, and I’m okay with that. That time will come.
But as soon as I think about the next step, I also get quite scared. The next step in recovery is going to be painful. I haven’t taken more than a few dozen steps in more than 4 months. Even if the fracture and related injuries aren’t painful, these muscles, bones and ligaments haven’t been active. It’s going to be hard, really hard. I’m going to get frustrated remembering how easy walking or biking used to be. I’m going to need to work harder than I’ve ever worked to ensure I don’t end up with a new injury as I come back.
And when it gets hard, I’m going to remember how it felt at mile 22 running Chicago last year when my legs were so cramped I had to stop and get massaged. I’m going to remember the months of early mornings, early bedtimes, and constant twinges of aches and pains while training. I’ll remember that those moments are why it’s worth it to keep going.