These 8 little words resonated with me last Fall, as I struggled to heal a running injury to my achilles tendon. For the last 15 years running has been my fitness and sanity go-to. I traded in the structure of gym memberships and aerobics classes for the schedule-free, instructor-free world of running and the endorphin-hit has kept me coming back for more. Through the dark, cold mornings of winter to the heavy, humid days of summer, I have been a (slow &) steady, running machine. Until this Fall, when I hurt my leg.
The injury was an overly stretched achilles tendon. This was very inconvenient as it threatened to interrupt my well-planned training schedule. A schedule that was preparing me to run a 10 km race. My first instinct was denial. I could feel the beginning of a tinge in the tendon…but chose to ignore it, stuck to my schedule, pushed through, got my long run in for that week and then rested. (Type A personalities: does this sound familiar?)
Well, that didn’t work too well, because the next day I wasn’t able to weight bear and was limping due to the pain. This seriously challenged my “I’m fine” strategy. Time for plan B: “lets’ make a deal”. I found myself bargaining and making all kinds of deals with myself, that if I could walk without limping by the end of the day, then I’d be ok to get a short run in the next day. I became obsessed with trying to outsmart, overrule & outrun my body. I was not willing to let go of my training plan, the great pace times I was starting to see, or how all my hard work was paying off. I didn’t want to face the reality of the situation. I found myself resisting my circumstances: I did NOT want to be this non-running person, with this injury, this was not supposed to be happening to me!
I get it now: Where you are, is not who you are.
Life happens. And actually, life happens in this way, to a greater or lesser extent, every day.
Looking back, on this downward spiral that I’d fallen into, the following questions come to mind, and if you’ve ever encountered an unexpected circumstance, I’d invite you to reflect on these questions as well:
What identities define you? Who are you when these identities are “injured” and have to take a break? What would happen if you softened into the set-back, instead of pushed through it?
Oh, now I get it!
Have you ever found yourself having one of those Oh-now-I-get-it-moments? They just seem to kind of happen, and then you realize, “oh…so this is what all the fuss was about, I get it now.” It’s like you finally tap into this deep wisdom that’s been lurking under your nose all along, but that you’ve just been unable to see. It’s a combination of the obvious with a dash of Oprah-level “aha”. In this blog, I will be sharing some of my experiences with these kinds of moments as they show up in my life on a pretty regular basis! Enjoy!