I was climbing slowly but surely into the runner's saddle. It didn't matter if it was 10 minutes or 45 minutes, I began carving whatever time I could to run every other day. Cutting down on eating out, donuts and alcohol was feeling more normal. I was running a little longer, a little further and a little harder each time. More importantly, I craved running.
But occasionally Murphy's Law is right— when something can go wrong, it will. After over a two month of running, I quite literally fell. A rolled ankle, two sprains and a broken fibula halted any running, walking, driving or moving in general. I wish I had a funny or interesting story attached to an injury to tell. But in the most uninteresting way possible, I fell walking barefoot in my own home.
Once I got over the pain, the stir crazy starts to set in quite quickly. When making myself a bowl of cereal feels like it is a twenty-minute production, healthy balanced meals go out the window. My water intake dropped by at least half.
After a week of resting and a little bit of wallowing, I started making myself exercise as much I could reasonably could. No more skipping meals because how annoying cooking and post clean up were. If I wanted to run sooner than later, falling apart was not an option.
Feeling my body heal itself after an injury brings a hyperaware sense of how the muscles in your body change. As my right calf is wilting away from lack of use, my left leg is strengthening rapidly from having to support my entire body weight. If you want to tone your arms quickly, I suggest crutches. Everything feels uneven and off balance.
I had told myself and everyone that after the six weeks it took to heal, I would be back in a pair of a high heels or running shoes. But the body doesn't quite work that way. I was told to try walking in boot immediately out of a cast and I couldn't quite remember how to walk. Doctor's orders meant I was back to crutches. I realized that I would most likely be working on walking before I hit a trail running anytime soon.
Even if it means I'm back to square one, taking it slow is better in the long run. Running is hard on the body and the mind too. Sometimes taking the time to heal off the saddle is the best way to stay in the saddle permanently.