For anybody who knows me, running is kind of my thing. It’s where I find my centre and connect with myself. It’s a moving meditation, my whole body says “Ah, yes, there I am”. I’m a better “me” in every area of my life when I run. Not to mention, if you ask my husband and kids, I’m a much nicer person to live with!
Brene Brown wrote in her book Daring Greatly “whats worth doing even if you fail?” This is my story about what was worth doing for me, even if I failed.
Four years ago I detached one of my hamstring muscles, ripped the other two hamstring muscles and tore my achilles while attempting to show my kids how easy it is to get up on water skis. Needless to say, it didn’t quite work out like I planned!
With permanent nerve damage and a dent in the back of my leg the size of my fist from where the muscle detached I was told by Dr.s to hang up my running shoes, I would never be able to run again. For a runner, that’s like hearing “sorry, no more happy place for you.”
If I’m told I can’t do something that matters to me, this switch goes off in my head, it’s like “game on” and I think “ watch me!” I don’t know where this feisty, never give up, don’t know how I’m going to do it but I’m going to attitude came from but damn, am I grateful for it.
It’s been a long haul physically, emotionally and mentally these past four years trying everything imaginable to heal my leg. I’m not the same as I was pre injury but “they” were wrong, I AM running again…
On the side of a little road in New Zealand 25 years ago, I read this quote “it’s good to have an end to journey toward and it’s the journey that matters in the end.” This has been one of my guiding principles in life since that time. So while it was incredibly important for me to hold the vision of me being able to run again, it was the journey getting here that has kept me in the game and what really matters. It has been incredibly hard sometimes and exhilarating at others. A truly epic journey.
I entered my first post injury race in May 2014, my leg blew out at 16km during a training run just before the race and I had to pull out. It was the right decision but sucked none the less.
When I saw that the Rock n Roll Half Marathon was coming to Vancouver I knew I wanted to do it. Entering another race felt incredibly scary though, what if I can’t do it again? Not being able to complete one race I could handle (although my ego didn’t like it very much) but trying again and falling short felt incredibly vulnerable.
I was talking with a friend about entering another race and he asked me, “Linda, why are you doing these races anyway? Why not just run without going in a race?” It was a good question, why is entering these races so important? Is it my ego talking? Maybe a bit (10% of me) but the other 90% is getting to show up and run with all these amazing people that are just like me, people who love to run…
Half marathon runners come in all shapes, sizes and abilities ranging in age from 16 to 80 plus. From elite athletes to people with walking sticks, you look around and everyone is smiling & laughing together…all of us aiming for our own personal best. THAT is why I love to go in these races, to be surrounded by people who are going for it in some way in their lives. I also really like the cool technical running shirt you get from competing
So, on Sunday Oct. 26th 2014 I entered and completed my first half marathon post injury. It was nothing short of amazing. My personal best may be different then it used to be (I’m much slower now) but that’s ok. I’ve learnt so much about who I am, what matters to me, what doesn’t & how incredibly lucky & grateful I am to have so many friends and family who love and support me (quirks and all).
Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope you have something in your life that is worthing doing, even if you fail and if you don’t, go find it, it’s worth it. Remember to enjoy the journey, it’s what matters in the end.
With passion and gratitude,