I’m breaking the rules. Today is Tuesday. I couldn’t get these words to flow until today, after a night of terrifying nightmares and a morning of dropping everything and just running.
I’ve hit the 2 week mark since my appendix was out. Or, I will as of 7 p.m. tonight. My doc told me no running for 2 weeks. So, today I ran. I tried to outrun the dregs of the nightmares, I ran to feel connected with my body again, I ran just for the sake of running.
I listened to my wonderful Running On Om podcast (guest was Sally McRae, ultramarathoner) for the first leg, and then switched to music. I work hard to keep myself fired up when I am left to indoor running in the heat. There wasn’t physical pain from my surgery – it just felt like running after two VERY long weeks off.
And I realized that, other than my two kiddos, no one understands the running thing for me. Here I am, training for a marathon, and I get a lot of naysayers: bad for your knees, bad for your body, extreme (although this makes me chuckle a little, because I do love listening to ultramarathoners and I think my marathon is pretty tame, comparatively speaking). It used to be that people would be concerned my uterus would “fall out” because of my running. I think they meant a prolapsed uterus? Or, they quite literally meant I’d be out on a long run and I would just lose a body part. I’m not sure. The lectures have changed in content somewhat (hey, no uterus anymore!), but the message is the same: “You can’t do this. You shouldn’t do this.”
When the endorphins kick in, and I finally feel the release of the fears that came into the day with me from the bad night, I know exactly what running gives me. When I feel the strength of my muscles after the unbelievable things my body has been through, I know what running is to me. When I manage to let go of the idea that I am at war with my own body somewhere around mile 4, it’s a gift.
It’s a gift that is all my own. These past 2 weeks I’ve been pretty pissed off. After all of the steps I took to prevent future cancer, with all of the healthy choices I make every single day, having my appendix out felt like an insult. It really did. I’ve been mad at my own body, like it didn’t hold up its end of the bargain. (I know, crazy.)
So, today, I forgave myself: for my hatred of anything that remotely resembles weakness; for my self-directed anger that hasn’t produced anything positive; for my drive that makes 2 weeks feel like 2 lifetimes. I even forgave my own impatience.
In mile 4, I was singing along to my iPhone, smiling. I found that smile again.
That’s a gift I can never appreciate enough: every mile I chase joy, and catch it.
Blessings to you all, happy Tuesday. I’m on a reset now – my week starts today. 🙂