Sunday, February 20, 2011

Still Swinging!

It's my one year anniversary of "Crutch to 5k" - how I aptly renamed the running program to suit the fact that I was starting it on crutches (making it longer and more arduous I might add).

Exactly one year ago yesterday, I fell down my front steps in a freak accident and during the first week of Couch to 5k's running plan. More clumsy than freak, really, but I'm freakishly clumsy at times.  Anyway, I sustained a slight avulsion fracture and severe sprain to my left ankle.  I was devastated.  I had just started running that week, and was in week 1 of the Couch to 5k program.  The next day I had a trip to Panama City planned to get fitted for running shoes.  I was going places!  Yeah.  To my couch for awhile it turned out.

I remember crying that night - not from the pain so much but from the realization that I might just backslide now and gain the 30 pounds back I had lost...losing all ground I had gained, credibility I had built and once again finding an "excuse" not to achieve something great with my health.

When I met with the ortho doc the next week, he told me that if I were an athlete he would put a cast on the injury.  I've never had a cast before.  I've only had stitches even a few times and that was from surgeries and a car accident (I'm clumsy but pretty lucky not to usually seriously injure myself).  We won't talk about my multiple concussions.  hehe.  Anyway, he told me that was the quickest way to get back out there, putting a cast on my leg for 3 weeks then doing Physical I said ok, lets do it.  He had the tech come in and begin applying the stiff tomb to my leg.  Every ounce of me felt claustrophobic - I mean, I would not be able to move my ankle for about 3 weeks.  Holy crap.  Oh man.  I had an itch already.

As I hobbled out of there, I realized that I had another decision to make.  Because I had decided to change my life, but then my exercise streak had to come to a sudden halt.

So I had to decide not to let myself slip back into my old ways and gain all of the weight back. I *would* beat this injury and somehow come back stronger.

This is how Changing My Blueprint was born.  I had always wanted to blog but wasn't sure I had much besides complete randomness to talk about.  Well, now I did.  At first it was private, I invited a few friends and family members to read it.  It impacted some of them in a good way and then I thought, hey, if I put this out there publicly, maybe it can help someone else?  Blogging also kept me busy when I wasn't able to do my running training, or any real exercise, until I was done with physical therapy.  A LOOOONG 8 weeks I might add.

So today, I'm a little teary eyed as I think about that day a year ago.  Even this day a year ago, when my head was swimming with what-ifs and how-could-this-happens.  I had no idea on that day that today I would be 50 pounds lighter (for a total of almost 84 pounds down) and a bona fide runner.

I ran 3.15 miles yesterday with my running buddy Ashley.  We decided to run this morning also, and ran another 4 miles.  So I've run over 7 miles in a 48 hour period - take that ankle injury of 2010.  You are old news.  And you sure didn't stop me from continuing on my journey of healthier living. If nothing else, you fueled the fire lit under my tater and it is still burning.

Life is going to pitch us some doosies.  What happens next has everything to do with deciding to swing or not.  You won't hit the ball every time.  I have not had a perfect year.  There have been ups and downs, frustrations and pain.  I swung and got the cast on my leg (which was even more of a pain as I traveled for 2 weeks of the 3 I had the cast).  I swung and put everything I had into Physical Therapy to rehabilitate my ankle.  I kept on swinging, and started running again.  Every race was a swing and not all of them turned out how I dreamed they would, but I still did them.  Every swing was worth it.  Because even a bunt counts.

And I'm still swinging.

This is what success is made of.  When you can look back and see how far you have come, and focus on that, rather than how far you are from home plate.  I'm not done swinging folks.  And I'm totally cool with that.


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