For those of you who don’t know me very well, there’s a little bit about my foot injury in this post.
I went to college to be a competitive hurdler, but life had other plans, and I ran a myriad of other events because of a foot injury that was incredibly stubborn. Five years and four surgeries later, I distantly recognize the athlete I was when I signed to run on the collegiate level. Continually fighting against an injury during those years, I developed a perfectionist mentality, an image disorder, and some seemingly insane standards of measuring success.
I graduated from college, got engaged and three months later married, and I self-evaluated. Why am I exercising? I don’t have to run if I don’t want too. What activities do I enjoy? What does healthy look like for me? Let’s try loving yourself, sister. (Yes, I preached to myself in that endearing tone, mind you).
I struggled through the idea that running wasn’t the only way to be a fit person. I had always been a runner, but I was feeling pressure that was undue: my foot wasn’t having it, even when I wasn’t competitively running. So I took to spinning, HIIT classes, and recently yoga.
Back to the title of this post… I haven’t run consistently in about 6 months, and I confess I miss it. I volunteered for an Ironman race last month; I came home, looked at John with hopeful, pleading eyes and said: “I miss running. I want to run.” I’ve spent a lot of time asking God for help — wisdom, grace for myself, passion for the simple act of stepping out for an easy run. And he’s graciously granted all of them. Hallelujah.
I’ve made a promise to myself: You know your limits, you know your body. Be mindful as you run, be wise, and enjoy the run. Whatever the run looks like that day, enjoy it, be grateful for it, and challenge yourself.
Enter: the need for quality running shoes.
I’m at a fresh start. God has placed before me this beautiful chance to enjoy a passion once again. One that I probably shouldn’t be having. I’m finally at a place where I no longer feel like the recovering injured athlete. I’m once again a human being who simply likes to run. My injury doesn’t have to be an ever present topic of conversation anymore, unlike the past 5 years. I run because I enjoy it, because it’s therapeutic, and because I’m happy to be active. I run to enjoy God and the passion He gave me, to strengthen my mind and my body, to explore scenic routes. And it’s funny, but I think my body is reacting to the peace in my heart and mind. I’ve hardly had any major discomfort in my foot, during or after. (Oh, how glorious.)
Enjoy this run. Believe you can and your body will follow.
My new stance. If I feel good one day and go four miles, I’ll be smiling. If it’s only one, I’ll be smiling. I’m tired of “well, with my foot…” weighing me down. I’m moving forward from that part of my testimony. It will always be a part of my story, but maybe it doesn’t have to be an identifier anymore.
Thanks be to God.
— Have you ever been at the beginning of a fresh start like this?
— What is your exercise mantra?