Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Happy Fourth of July! It’s a day to celebrate—not only our country’s independence, but summer, good friends, good food…and I’ll be celebrating the anniversary of my plantar fasciitis.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been exactly one year since my plantar fasciitis became such a debilitating factor in my life. Exactly one year ago today, I limped through my run only to find myself practically unable to walk the rest of the day. But I stubbornly pushed on, thinking it would go away on its own like all my other aches and pains did, until a month later when I finally sprained my ankle.

Since then pain has been a near-constant companion. Sometimes good—as in, the soreness after a good, long run—but most often the burning, ripping claws of pf or the deep, penetrating stab of broken bones. I have missed more time riding my horse this past year than I have in the rest of my life put together. I have seen more doctors than anyone should ever have to. I now have two walking boots and a pair of crutches that I am afraid to actually “put away” because I might need them again soon.

But maybe it wasn’t all bad. In the past year I’ve had so many new experiences, too. I ate pizza for dinner with my family; I ate ice cream in the middle of the week; I ate waffles and grilled cheese sandwiches and marshmallows dipped in peanut butter. I learned what it feels like to not have constantly sore feet from nonstop running. I’m a more versatile athlete, now that I can bike and swim. I learned more about giving my body the nutrients it needs, at regular intervals.

So in some ways, I’m healthier. But I still have a long ways to go. There’s part of me that’s ready to give up on ever running again, because so far it has only ended in failure. But at the same time, I know I will keep trying until it becomes impossible, because I don’t know when to quit. It’s why I am where I am right now.

So…is it wrong to make a New Year’s resolution on the Fourth of July? Maybe a better way to look at it is just as a reflection on the last year and a plan for the next one. In any case…I won’t give up. Not yet, anyway. And I will try to be more aware of my body when it tells me to stop.

A lot can happen in a year. I will have graduated, hopefully not in a full-body cast. If you had asked me a year ago what I’d be doing on this day, I’d have told you with absolute certainty, “running.” It just goes to show that no one knows where life will take you. All we can do is take what comes and learn from it.
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