First Four Mile Run after hernia repair
I tore my tendon 5 weeks after my hernia repair surgery at my first Ultimate Frisbee game of the season. I was able to keep cycling even with the torn tendon. The doctor said the flexion and extension would bother it. The stabilizing needs of running however were painful and out of the question anyway. I began to feel some imaginary weight and some real weight dragging me down each day I wasn’t running.
Cycling, though I love it, is not the same as running. Cycling is a different type of awareness and fitness. I love them both. I’m not sure I could live without either. But I know I would be in the looney bin without running. I suited up after work, feeling confident that I would take it easy and turn around if the tendon hurt. I followed my normal after work route across the north end of Kalamazoo. I was literally weeping with happiness by the time I hit mile one out of four. It’s safe tp say I place way too much value on this activity. But it’s my life.
Running is not like cycling, or kayaking, it is a safety net, a place to vent, it is the padded room where all my anxiety and fear are pounded out with no intermediary. A place where schemes are hatched, plans made, thoughts held dear, memories rebounded, grief reconciled, love and redemption found, and it is entirely independent of weather, equipment, or external forces. I can run in a rainstorm, a whiteout, 10 degree weather with 3 feet of snow, or ninety nine degree heat. I do not need a running partner, or encouragement, I do not need praise or reward, it is not to impress or show off for anyone, it is entirely between me and the road.
At times I feel like my body has failed me, but in my heart I know it has not. Sometimes things are taken away to teach compassion. Now that perhaps I can continue for some time, I don’t know how long, I will be more thankful for each mile, for each step my body gives back.
I have to offer thanks also to Laura for enduring my confinement. Certainly it must feel like she lives with a lunatic in the tower when I am not running.
As additional food for thought, check out the copy from this new Pearl Izumi ad campaign. I’ve been reading online how most people hate it. Personally I identify with it. I guess if they wanted to sway people over who are not runners, maybe this wasn’t the way to do it. But if they were trying to create a brand impression for the runners that are already out there, they got my attention. I think the copy is genius.