Today I heard words that no runner ever wants to hear.
“It looks like a stress fracture.”
I feel frustrated and disappointed, not to mention the excruciating pain in my foot. For so many months I have been running, training, preparing for a race that may never come. I look at the hours spent, the hundreds of miles run, and aches and pains fought through and find myself here. . . just short of the finish line.
Check out my new kicks. . . or kick, I suppose. . .
. . . pretty fancy, eh?
Seriously, though, this is not my first injury. It kind of comes with the territory. I’ve had more stress fractures than I care to admit. What is truly frustrating is that I find myself dealing with the same insecurities that have accompanied almost every injury before this one.
Oh, it is subtle. So very subtle. It creeps into my subconscious like a snake slithers through a tall grassy meadow. It sneaks into my insides and begins to eat away at the very soul of who I am. It taunts me and teases me without my awareness. I am its prey and it attacks with the vengeance of a Momma Bear protecting her cubs. What is “it”, you ask? Just a few simple words. . .
If you’re not a runner, then who are you?
Yep. Another confession. It seems crazy to even write it out. The reality that if I am not running I am somehow “less than” I’m supposed to be. . . less than I could be or simply “less than”. That somehow, if I am sidelined I have lost my sense of self. How did my identity get so wrapped up in one thing that I do rather than culmination of the many parts of me?
I have spent this day battling these thoughts, processing these ideas and fighting through tears of frustration. I want to do it different this time. I want to fight “it”. And so on this day, not knowing if I’ll be running next week or next month, I’m choosing to be thankful that I am a woman. And it was the following words by Maya Angelou that pummeled me like ice cold water being poured over my head:
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
How beautifully simple.
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman