Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lessons from a wicked "f'ing" ankle sprain

I’ve been thinking about this blog post for a long time.  And I’m ready to write it.

It’s controversial though, because what I want to write is:

“Why spraining my ankle might have been one of the best things to happen to me.”

I know.  Crazy right?  

Especially since it happened in early January and it's now May and I’m still doing PT every day. 

Especially since there are days when I still get pain

And I still wonder if something deep down inside the joint was damaged permanently, never to be “right again”. 

I still even have days where I wonder if my GBA marathon in ’10 was my last GBA marathon because… yeah.  It’s a dark place.

I missed National Marathon because of that 'effing ankle

…and this is where I start to see the other side…

I was able to be there for T at the last miles of her GBA marathon because my ankle was not well enough to run the Half Marathon.  Best day EVER.

In the process of not training for any kind of anything I called my coach, and somewhere along the way, we became friends during the “time of troubles” (his words, not mine).

I swam.  Every day.  One day a mile, the next day a mile and half, and eventually 2 miles.  The Iron Man distance is just a series of laps… so why the hell not? ...because I could.

Swimming straight sets got boring, so I reached out of my comfort zone and I reached out to another blogger for a swim workout or three.  And she’s great.  I’m glad I did it.

I hate swimming in a crowd, so I started going to the gym early

I hate swimming in a crowd so I started going to the gym wicked early

I finally ended up standing outside the gym in the rain one day waiting for it to open, and realized that this was the right time for swimming.

I got stressed one day because I was missing my run so badly that I wanted to cry, so I went and did a double on a (stationary) bike.  I credit that that dread-bike ride with the adoption of a cross training routine that is enviable.

I planned on riding my pink Schwinn as part of the XT routine, and because of that plan, I stumbled into a bike store for a $20 part and found my Soul-Bike, OC.  She was not $20.  She’s road cone orange and full of potential; I love orange and finding the potential in things.

I had some crappy days, and they made me appreciate my best friend even more than I already did… and I do appreciate her.

I took a break from running and it made me appreciate my run.  I savor each step, every day. 

While I was injured, my f’ankle was my muse.  Crazy right?  But it’s true.

I met the HD, and got an expensive bone scan.

I became “BFF’s” with a writer whom I admire greatly.

A casual conversation resulted in my return to writing. And, for about the 29th (that’s a real number) time in my life, I submitted something for publication.

…And for the first time in my life, I wasn’t rejected.  (supposedly) I am going to be published shortly in a local publication. I will share with you all if it happens, when I see it for myself, I promise.

I became Pen Pals with some great ladies who live far far away.

I came to realize that not running is not an excuse for insanity.  It’s a cause. er, wait.

I came to realize that not running is not an excuse for insanity and I need to try to find other ways to manage my stress

Just call me O'Captain my Captain, as I became a Team Captain of a Virtual Shuffleboard Team.  To make the cut you had to be a non-running runner.  And there were quite a few of us for a while there….  (a quiet nod to those of you who are still on the virtual shuffle board team.  I’m here for you).

I came back to running with a newfound appreciation for the rest day.

I realized one day that I was swimming, biking and running 8 – 10 workouts per week.  This lead to the realization that I was going to do a TRI, whether I wanted to or not.

If I hadn’t sprained my ankle, I would have run National, and Monument 10K, and I would have come into the 2011 Richmond Marathon training season at the risk of burnout. 

So now, here I am.  Excited about MTT & the running miles that wait before me, with a newfound fitness routine to compliment my sport, a GBA** posse that supports me on the run or on my bike, and an ABA** coach who is freakishly amazing… I’m (going to be) a published writer, who is lucky enough to find herself standing beside a Best Friend who is more than a girl could ever ask for, and supported by a bloggy following who keeps me sane.  You guys rock.


Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS said...

I love that you're always able to stay positive, no matter what! You're an inspiration!

Rene' said...


Anne said...

Yes! I loved reading this...and I totally relate. Those twists in the road can take us to beautiful places :)


love this. even better since I was thinking the same exact things ...

p.s. there is no one else I'd rather have standing by my side

fancy nancy said...

I love how you have found something so positive out of this!

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Great post. I'm inspired, but hoping to avoid injury (mainly so I don't have to swim!!)

Looking forward (still) to meeting up in SF with you and T!

Katie said...

Congrats on getting published! I cannot wait till it comes out!

bobbi said...

This whole post = AWWESOME. I'm so glad this whole journey through injury has been such an ultimately POSITIVE experience for you!


Anonymous said...

This is a great post. Chin up and stay positive :)

Allison said...

I always think it's interesting how we handle challenges and bumps in the road. It does seem like things happen for a reason and you've definitely used your ankle injury to your advantage. I have no doubt that you'll be a better runner because of the time that you couldn't run and how you handled it!