July 3, 2011

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I have been a runner since I was 15 years old. I do not just run; running is a part of who I am. It is an integral and important part of my life. Running is my zen, my peace, my balance. It gives me a sense of self and accomplishment. So, you can imagine how devastated I was this past fall when I began to experience severe pain in my right hamstring. I visited doctors, chiropractors, masseuses, physical therapists, and surgeons. I received countless recommendations and diagnoses, but they all led me to the same conclusion – I was running too much. Bad answer. I did not accept that easily.

I continuously “self-coached,” telling myself to focus on what was within my control; to focus on what I could do, not what I couldn’t do. But try as I may, I wasn’t finding anything that filled my void. I tried walking, zumba, pilates, and swimming. I found nothing: no zen, no zone. Finally, I tried spin class. I have to admit that the idea of riding a bike inside a gym with no destination was not enticing but, I was on a desperate quest. The first few classes I attended were promising—not great, but promising. I continued to go, and soon spin became my alternative to pounding the pavement. My hamstring is on the mend, and I am now back to running a couple of days a week. I feel grateful for each painless step.

July 4th weekend my family and I were in the Texas hill country, when my husband suggested a bike ride. A bike ride in the hills was something that I had previously avoided at all costs but, I wasn’t really up for a run so I agreed. We started off with cautious optimism. After all, “We can always get off and walk our bikes.” Much to my surprise, I only had to get off my bike once! Never before, even in my 20s, had I ever been able to ride my bike in the hills. My legs had never been strong enough. I was giddy! We had such a great ride, and I can’t wait to do it again!

We have all been told, “When God closes a door, he opens a window.” As we get older or injured and our bodies don’t cooperate like they used to, we can definitely feel the door closing, and it’s not so easy to find the window. We can choose to resign and accept what we are given or to press on in search of a, “new normal.” If we do nothing, nothing will happen. There is something on the other side of every disappointment and adjustment, as long as we keep looking for it.

Live well/open-windowBe well.

 

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