Thursday, March 7, 2013

When injury comes

Injuries happen when you run. Not often for some, and quite regularly for others. Whether you are a regular injury-prone runner or one of those fairly free-of-injury runners, it happens sometimes.

And that’s why I want to, however briefly, explore not the specific injury or the specific cure, but rather our attitude to and through the injury. I don’t stop running. I’ve run in blizzards, in casts, and in hurricanes. I’ve run with ankle sprains and knots that can bring you to your knees. But recently, I had to stop. Just a brief stop, but a stop nonetheless.

And it got me thinking. I had to walk part of the run. I hate when that happens!!!!

OK. Shift over to 2 years ago and then flash forward to today. Not much has changed in the way of my pace, distance, etc. Not in the big picture. But this time, when I had that stop, I didn’t fret and obsessively wonder how I would make up the mileage. Instead, I just walked.

Truth be told, it did bother me a little. But not as much as it would have just a few years ago. And more than my disappointment over walking was this peace that it was ok.

Sometimes, when we have these injuries, these setbacks, they force us to grow a little stronger in a different way. Dealing with injuries, weather conditions, scheduling nightmares, set us up to not only enjoy our “successful” runs, but even during our less successful runs, we can have more peace.

With every failed run, every hiatus from running, a deposit has been left on me. I am more and more likely to handle it better, be more circumspect, be calmer, and happier even in the trial.

I like to think that our disappointments are simply opportunities to grow stronger, more mature, more comfortable, with what we have. I enjoyed my run, even though I had to walk a part of it (1.2 miles but who’s counting?).

And I am quite certain that through every run stopped short over the years due to pulled muscles, nagging pains, I have been left stronger. Not in the sense we all think of in running (endurance, health, pace, distance), but in a deeper – to the root – sense of stronger.

My setbacks have made my comebacks all that sweeter.

When a running injury befalls you and you are forced to walk, I want to encourage you to remember my words here; you are getting stronger.


  1. Great post!! Setbacks only make us stronger!!

    1. This was a very hard lesson for me, Jose! I am still a work in progress!!!!! Thank you for your encouragement.