Scars of the heart never fully heal. They are in constant need of ET (emotional therapy) and redirection. (I’m referring to my eating disorder/self image challenges. That is a story for another post.) I was on the track, running some drills, when, “pop”. . . my calf. . . . It hurt like crazy and made running instantly impossible. My immediate thoughts were, “what will I do now?” “will I gain weight?” “can I eat normal?” I walked over to a friend. The first thing he said was, “I guess that’s your body’s way of saying that it’s time to rest.” I had a choice to make at the moment. I could choose to believe the
lies thoughts in my head or I could take to heart what Kevin said. This was not an easy choice for me. The good news is that I chose to “ingest” what he said to me.
From the time he said that to me, to the time I chose to believe it, took at least 24 hours. That time was full of tears, encouragement from friends, esp. Kevin’s wife Teresa, and time spent reflecting on what I asked my body to do over the course of my races and training plans from October 2013 to June 2014. I did A LOT of training and A LOT of running. It was time to rest, and I knew this.
Here are the commonsensical (did you know that is a word?) things that I did, at the onset of injury. First, I saw my doctor, Jim Johnson. He confirmed my injury and gave me some things to do. I cannot stress enough, how important R. I. C. E. (Rest/Ice/Compression/Elevation) is, especially the first 48 hours of an injury. I iced/compressed/elevated and rested at least 5 times each day for 20 minutes. For the rest of the first 48 hours, I kept my calf compressed and I rested. It was compressed pretty much 24-7. I am not advising anyone to self treat an injury. I will say that RICE is an easy prescription and, I believe, critical in the first 48.
After the first 48 hours, I continued compressing during the day and compressing when I iced my calf. I went to the gym and decided to ride the bike and stay away from running for at least 9 days. This is an arbitrary number. In the mean time, I emailed Dr. Johnson. I told him what I was doing and asked him at what point would he say that I could try running on it. My first day back, I ran on the trails. 🙂 Because I have been working out in an air conditioned gym, and not getting intensity from running, I almost “gave up the ghost”! (HA-I love to search for synonyms, as I write.) It was quite humbling. It was just what I needed.
Do I characterize myself by injury? Does an injury make me less of a runner? I believe that unless you define yourself with the truth (who I am in Christ), then, you will be defined by the ebbs and flows of life. This is tough, because life ebbs and flows A LOT. I also believe that you need to have people in your life who you trust and who will speak the truth. I have an advantage here, guys, because I have wise people in my life who speak into it, daily. Most of the time they are speaking into my life by being who they are designed to be.
I will leave you with this quote from my pastor on Sunday,
Gratitude is a deep and abiding conviction that God’s in control. Don’t thank Him (be “grateful”) for evil, injury, cancer, etc. Thank Him (be grateful) for being in control. -Lloyd Shadrach