It’s funny that when this all begun I was scared I would never be able to finish a half marathon. Now I am worried I will never be able to start. I will admit that the pain has subsided slightly when I am not running. The key words there are ‘not’ and ‘running.’ I would rather delete the former and joyously focus on the latter. My body seems keen on healing at a snail’s pace so as of right now we are in a bit of a quarrel. I feel as though I can run no matter what obstacle comes my way. My body, on the other hand, says, “I would love to see you try.” The thing that my body doesn’t realize…I just might take it up on that offer.
Today marks the sixth day of not running. Oh, but I have tried, oh how I have tried. When I am alone you will catch me stretching my legs and running back and forth in the apartment. Sure it’s about a ten step jog, but it’s enough to sustain my sanity. I have tried miracle treatments. I have iced my ankle, soaked it in hot water, become uncomfortably close to my heating pad, and taken Alleve daily. I awake in the night just to rise from the bed and walk around to see if the pain has alleviated. In the middle of the night, half asleep and caught somewhere between a dream and reality, I probably think my ankle is perfectly fine and that I could fly. I have those moments when I am walking and the pain seems all but absent, but I take a few running steps and it politely lets me know it’s still there.
I had the pleasure of watching my girlfriend run on the treadmill yesterday as I lifted weights. I was jealous. I wanted so badly to go and push stop on the machine and tell her to wait for me, but that wouldn’t be very supportive would it. Don’t worry I didn’t do it, but man that stop button is really easy to access. It just doesn’t seem fair. I keep saying “Why Me?” as if any response would somehow make sense. “Everything happens for a reason” I keep telling myself, but I don’t really believe it. What I want to believe is that I will get better.
I had to go down and get something out of my car today so I threw on my cap, not realizing which one it was. When I came back inside I walked by the mirror and noticed it was my running cap; that beautiful blue dri-fit cap that has protected me from the hottest of suns and countless beads of sweat. I nearly cried when I looked at it, because I know that every time I put it on it signifies a part of me – the running me. It is always with me from start to finish. But today, as I stood staring at it, I noticed a change in my demeanor. The confidence that I had a week ago had diminished. I looked worried and scared. As my eyes began to tear up I told myself that I am more a man now for wanting something so badly and being passionate enough about it to cry. I don’t care how it makes me look. What I care about is finishing what I started. Real men, I think, cry for what they believe in.