As most of you know, I am sitting here with an air-cast on my foot. I have to wear this thing for four weeks to heal a stress fracture on the top of my foot. My doctor said the pain in my ankle is ligament pain, and that “isolated” or “normal” ligament pain should stop right there — in the ankle. He became concerned when I said the pain radiated to the middle of my inner-left foot. That’s when he pressed on the area where I said it typically hurts, and it killed after he did that.
After I got an X-ray, he told me that he could see some kind of build-up where the pain is, and that means I likely got this stress fracture in this past and that it did not go away yet.
So, here I am — me and my air cast. And while I imagined I would be sitting here counting down the days to running again, I’m really not. If I am honest, I’m not even sure if I want to continue running in the future (which is probably not a surprise to anyone).
I started running in 2014 to lose baby weight. I was new to running and new to being obsessed with losing baby weight. Side note: Baby weight is a special kind of weight gain, and I am sick of women showing off how to they lose baby weight. Most people do. End of side note.
Anyway, I always enjoyed sharing my story: I was not a track and field athlete at any point in my life, and I did not play any sports in high school or college. I actually barely did anything, including walking, because I foolishly believed that my thin privilege meant I was healthy. I was proud of going from zero-to-marathon!
The problem, though, is that I had no idea what I was doing and by this point, I have suffered a plethora of injuries: ITBS in both legs, torn hamstring, bone bruises, and now a stress fracture. There are two schools of thought on this:
- These obstacles have come your way to make you stronger!
- These obstacles have come your way to show you that you need to slow the F down.
There obviously is not a wrong answer, but at this point, I am pretty much on board with #2. I have put myself through too much in too little time, and I am paying for it. I didn’t strength train or cross train which I am sure did not help me at all. I also didn’t rest enough: I ran through forty weeks of pregnancy and ran my first marathon when my son was just over a year old. These are accomplishments, yes — but they have also run me into the ground, worn me out, and made me question if all of it was worth it.
Running became a chore for me, and if you follow me on Instagram, you already know this. It because something I didn’t want to do and that I was forcing myself to do. I wanted to read more books, crochet some hats, and work on my business. I was constantly forcing myself to run…
…and so much of that was self-comparison based. I was always comparing myself to others on social medial: how did that girl lose all of her baby weight and stretchy skin and why did I just lose the baby weight but still have stretchy skin — maybe I should run more? Why is this person so much more motivated than me to run more — why can’t I be that motivated? Oh looky at that girl! She’s doing a run streak! I’m going to be like her and do a run streak! WHY AM I NOT LIFTING AS MANY WEIGHTS AS THIS PERSON?
Quick answer: because I am not any of those people! My little, 82 pound pre-pregnancy body was stretched to the MAX and the only way to remove lose skin is by getting plastic surgery. I hate lifting weights. I don’t want to do a run streak because I don’t think I am cut out for it. I think there are more important things in life than getting on a treadmill at 4:30 in the morning. That. Is. Just. Me. Refusing to allow me to be me has caused me to crash and burn in more ways than one.
So…here I am with this boot thingy on my foot, and it’s got some symbolism to it. I am not only physically deadlocked, but I am mentally deadlocked. I would be lying if I said I was super exciting about running again, because I’m more excited about other types of workouts that will allow me to stay healthy and don’t require a lifestyle change.
Instagram voted on naming my air-cast, and my Instagram friend @readyforarunchbreak wins: We shall call her Ericast! So, here is a special message from me and Ericast: Slow down when you want to, and stop obsessed and over-analyzing if you “need” to. You slow the F down if you feel like it, and you do not owe anyone an explanation.