For the past month, I have been sidelined from training with a knee injury and limited to water running, light spinning, and swimming, but road or trail running have been off the table. The one discipline I struggle with most, and at some points have loathed, and suddenly it was no longer an option. It must be a love-hate relationship, because every day I haven’t been able to run has been torture. My desire to run has become a flaming, burning passion that has been snuffed out. Despite all of this I continued to put on my running shoes every single day. I have been limited to hobbling, limping or slowly walking in those shoes, but it was my way to remind myself to keep moving forward, and that one day those feet would be moving at a faster pace. The shoes are also insanely bright, and no matter my speed, they always make me feel fast, even if I was only hobbling or limping along. But this afternoon, as I slid them over my feet they appeared extra vibrant, extra bright, as if almost alive – for this afternoon, after clearance from my doctor, those shoes would be running again. The road to today has been a roller coaster – from a season-ending original diagnosis, to a couple second opinions, to a modified training schedule, to rehab, to limping, to hobbling to walking, then squatting, laughing again, and eventually go ahead to get back on the horse.
A few steps was all that was needed before I was grinning ear to ear. In this moment, my love-hate relationship with running maybe just maybe blossomed into true love. I was limited in my speed and intensity, but the feeling of my feet hitting the pavement in a pitter patter rhythm was a enough to spread a smile larger than a Disneyland happy face. I felt no pain, I felt free, happy, and alive. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this can probably speak for itself.
As Doctor King once said, “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
In the grand scheme of things, the severity of my knee injury was minimal and its affect on my season could have been a lot more costly. Yet still, working through it has been a battle that has taught me humbleness, patience and new perspective. It’s a difficult thing to do when life is normally going at a million miles a minute – it makes it a lot harder to slam on the brakes without momentarily sliding out of control. Yet slowing down has given me more time to think and reflect. For one, I am humbly reminded of why I started this journey in the first place. It wasn’t to take a walk in the park – I wanted a challenge – full on with everything the sport of triathlon has to offer, from the good times to the bad. Training for Ironman is not supposed to be easy or comfortable. These last four weeks have truly cemented that my passion for this sport is unwavering and burns hotter than hell. I am also reminded of my commitment to raising money for Multiple Sclerosis, and dedicating this journey to those who can’t dream this dream that I chase. That may be the most humbling reminder of all – be grateful for what you can do. Even if that means water running with the grey haired ladies in the casual lane.
The next month of reintroducing my body to a full training schedule still comes with uncertainty, but, I plan to just keep moving forward. Despite the setbacks, the stress and frustrations, I don’t regret this bump in the road. It’s because of the injury that I will come out on top, more driven, more determined and stronger than before.
*Since the beginning of my 2015 training season, friends and family have generously donated more than $1,400 to the MS Society in honour of Rust2Iron 4 MS. If you would like to support my campaign, please consider donating here.