Sunday, January 1, 2012

What flavor?

"Are you injured?"

The question startled me for some reason.

As that person stood there expectantly waiting for my answer, I realized he asked because he wanted to know.  Not because he would launch into a lecture about how I will destroy myself running, or because he was judging me for running back to back marathons, as the non-runners in my life often do, but because he was curious.

I'm an injured runner.
If runners are ~weird~, injured runners are ~FREAKING Neurotic~ and ~weirdly defensive~.

I folded my pride into a little square and neatly tucked it into my back jean pocket.

"Yes" I admitted.  "I'm sentenced to pool activities for a few weeks."

It pleased me when the sympathy that flooded his face was quickly replaced with wisdom and a wry smile.  "The best pool for aqua jogging is this pool.  They play music in there so you won't go crazy.  Oh, and rig your iPod *this* way.  That way you can have music if you need to Jog in a Y pool."

Visiting Coach Naked Black chimed in, "Oh, and I used to bribe the life guards to talk to me."

Coach Black is always good for a smile.

The Y life guard is male.  The pool is rather nippy, er, chilly.  If I want conversation, I probably won't need to bribe anyone.  Just sayin'.

All this talk of aqua jogging, swimming and coming back stronger helped me realize something.

Being injured once in a while is part of being a runner.  The fact that GBA has been a relatively injury free team is probably more luck than anything else.

How one handles an injury determines what kind of runner they are...

Do you give up and take up roller blading or shuffle board?  Do you embrace your injury and convalescence, consoling yourself with thoughts like, "is there a flavor of ice-cream that will make today more bearable?"  Or do you fret for 12 hours before stepping back to figure out exactly which track will get you back to your drug of choice running with the least amount of lost fitness.  I know what kind of runner I am...  I'm the kind who "just keeps swimming".

By the end of my encounter with Those People, I had 20 different ways to aqua jog from several seasoned aqua jogging runners, suggested places to do said jogging, and reassurance that if I do it right, I can get back out there as strong or stronger than ever.

And the best news?  With a glint in his eye, Coach Black added in, "Swimming will tone you from top to bottom."

Thanks Coach.  I'll make sure to stop eating junk food so that we can ALL appreciate that toning later this year when it's time to run clear.

~savor the run~


Jen said...

I need to get THOSE PEOPLE in my life too. I am tired of all of the negativity my way!

Unknown said...

I actually talked to some people in my spin class last week and learned some stuff. Go figure, being friendly can be useful.

~savor the swim~
(because, it too shall pass)

Rene' said...

You are going to come back stronger than ever. I am even going to hit the pool this week in honor of you:)
xoxoxo! (I think that I am a woe is me injured runner)

Redhead Running said...

I did a LOT of pool running during the 9 months I was injured and I gotta tell you, it does in fact keep you toned and in shape. :)

Good luck and keep that can do attitude up!

Meredith said...

:) Love this!

Char said...

Nice to hear that there are still kind, supportive and helpful people out there.

Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS said...

I love this post.
One of my favorite running quotes:
"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."

Laura said...

So true- staying positive and determined makes all the difference, and having other runners/nonrunners who can sympathize is huge! I've never tried pool-running... good for you for putting yourself out there and getting so many helpful tips!