“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain
Just a few short weeks ago, I was struggling to run. Every time I stepped out the door, it was a reminder how much everything hurt.
While I was at a loss to explain the constant muscle soreness, I knew there was a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel. I believed there was light at the end of the tunnel, especially after an MRI showed no bone or muscular damage.
Since the medical tests, which I feared would show up a stress fracture, I have been able to resume a better routine. At the start of June, I pledged to run as frequently as possible, even if the mileage was meager compared to previous years.
Frequent runs reinforces that it takes effort, commitment and discipline to be a runner. Our sport offers a steady diet of trials and challenges. The reward, though, is life defining.
As I’ve returned to running regularly, I’ve found the struggle in working through constant injuries – a strained left hamstring and an arch that provides doubt that I ever knew good running form. Those aches and pains seem to come and go, but they’re slowly getting better. I’m running through those issues, as odd as it sounds, and I’m able to do it because this sport has helped me better understand myself and my body. There’s a fine line between something that hurts (and, consequently, will get better even without complete rest) and a life-stopping injury.
Along the way, I’ve enjoyed the 30 Days of Running campaign for June, and I’m committed to running every day. Even though I messed up my streak, I told myself that the streak can just start again. One day, to keep the streak going, I headed out in the rain. It had been a long time since I’ve run in the rain – and the pure, simple joy of doing it made me feel like a kid again. And I’ve been joined, on occasion, by Coby, who is nearing 11 months old.
So, while I’m working on rebuilding myself as a runner, I am learning to run again – from form to fun. As the summer arrives, and offers plenty of warm days, I am hopeful this rebuild will lead me to some memorable places – physically, mentally and spiritually. And come Nov. 2, when I’m standing among the masses at the New York City Marathon, I will know that I am ready.