It's been two weeks since my trail running accident and I am beginning to believe that this will all be a bad dream someday. What lingers is an ache in my hip that I only feel when I am walking fast. I think that this will be gone soon. On my walk yesterday I harbored a small idea: I would try to run and see how it felt. Now, I want all the "don't overdo it" people to know I have been really, really good this time. It's very unlike me, but I have limited my activity to a point that I feel like I used to during a marathon taper. My body is energized and rested in a way it has not felt in years. So when I crested the hill I gingerly jogged along the flats.
The pain was only a minor ache so I slowly ran along the river for a total of 20 minutes and forced myself to stop. When I started walking again the initial pain was completely gone. So from this I conclude that movement is good, although I'm not about to go out and run five miles. I've been through this before. One mile, two, build up by adding a half mile each time. I know how to do this.
Lightning doesn't strike the same person twice unless they haven't learned anything. Although I don't think there is much I could have done to prevent the accident, I'm going to run smarter. On steep, rocky trails I'm going to power hike until I reach flatter, smoother portions. I'm going to do more hiking overall than running. If I don't feel like running, I'm not going to make myself. I'll do something else. I'm not training for anything but life, so I don't need to stick to any kind of a plan.
What this accident has done for me is give me a gift of time. Of course I would take it all back to be healthy and not have two weeks of pain, but you take what you are given. I have had time to write, cannibalizing old manuscripts and adding new sections to reach nearly 40,000 words into a new memoir. I have had time to read, lying in the grass of my lawn. I have had time to dream up a new Big Idea (more on that in another post). I have had time to just lean on my husband's shoulder.
What the body can heal from is amazing. I have gone from someone with almost no mobility without searing pain to be able to jog along a river in two weeks. It's hard not to believe that anything is possible.