I cannot run. I haven’t been able to run without pain since the middle of January. It took me until another couple of weeks to stop trying to run while in pain… okay maybe three or four weeks. I just didn’t want to give in.
It’s hard to know when you’re giving up or when you’re doing the right thing. In the end I decided I really want to be healthy and strong and run, and that meant stopping, resting, and rehabbing.
It’s taking what feels like forever, but there is progress. For example, I can almost do the stairs normally, and it wasn’t until just a couple of weeks ago I could do stairs without pain. On days when my quadriceps tendons are really tight, I still struggle BUT I am making progress.
AND a pretty neat thing happened – I discovered I love lifting heavy weights. I should probably say rediscovered, because this is something I did in high school (never seriously, but I did take a weights class… truth: I loved that class except for running day ).
I get stronger all of the time. My upper body is doing better than my lower body (stupid knee/quad), but I’m making progress and I can feel the wheels turning and goals forming.
That’s when I realized, while I love running (and I do), what I love most is to be strong and healthy. I thought I loved running and that strong and healthy was a nice side effect, but I suspect I love being strong and healthy – and running helps with that.
But so does lifting big (or medium, on my way to big, in my case). So does any physical activity that gets your blood pumping and produces noticeable results. Noticeable to you – because you are who needs to notice them.
So despite my initial frustration (real frustration, we’re talking tears) at not being able to run, not bouncing back from surgery – I gained a gift. I discovered another thing I love – lifting.
My trainer asked me how he could convince more women that lifting big was a good thing (and that we wouldn’t get all “big and bulky,” etc.) – my response? “Take out their knees”
Because let’s face it, sometimes we’re too busy running down our favorite trail in our favorite shoes, to check out the other routes. Sometimes it’s good to stub our toes, so we can stop, look around, and experience something new because you never know what you’re going to love.
So for now I will lift big… and soon I will start walking… and when I can walk far… I will start running… but I won’t stop lifting.