I ran on Saturday. Two miles. On the treadmill. At a painfully slow pace. A pace that would have driven me crazy two months ago. Slower than everyone else on the treadmills. Slower than the people on the elliptical machines. Slower than I used to walk. But still, I ran. And I felt good and real and alive and scared all at the same time. I was afraid I’d hurt my foot again. Was I doing too much, too soon? Were my shoes good enough to protect my foot this time? What if I hurt the other one? But my foot didn’t hurt. Not during the run. Not until a few hours later. Probably a sign that I ran too soon. Probably. But my aching muscles after a short two-mile run were also a sign that it’s been too long since my last run. Two months. A roughly 60 day span that I’ve been dealing with this injury and the inability to do that which brings me joy and peace and sensibility. And so, I ran on Saturday. And I can’t tell you the last time running felt so good. So freeing. So necessary. I also can’t tell you the last time I stopped at two miles.
When I first got hurt, it felt like darkness was surrounding me. It blinded everything, shielding me from any light at the end of the tunnel. I was sure I’d lose all of my fitness, gain a lot of weight and go crazy. Instead, not being able to run taught me balance and patience and to rely on other things to get through the day like God and love and laughter. I lost all control of my physical circumstances and at first, it killed me. I was a mess and my insides felt jumbled. But then, I learned to give in. To be okay with not being in control. To live the way God intended. And it felt good and holy and real.
I’m ready to run again. This time, though, with a healthier outlook. And with the ability to stop if I have to. And to be okay with it.