Oh I have thoughts on this! So I grew up having a lot of women role models who were really big on running. It seemed like that was just the thing to do to stay fit, but I’ve never really been very athletically driven or talented. So it was rrrrough trying to make this a thing. I remember vacationing at the beach in the summers during highschool and trying my damndest to run this one particular “loop” that everyone was running. I could never get through it without walking and I remember always feeling so defeated- even tho I was exercising everyday, I still felt like a loser. Ain’t that how the story goes?
After college (a place and time in my life where I also tried but failed) I actually did it, yall, I actually got to where I could run a mile without stopping…a very slow mile but I did it!!! I felt so great that I decided to sign up for a 5k. I trained my ass off and ran that damn race all the way through. As I crossed the finish line I could barely walk but I thought that must just be because I went so hard. Well, like a week passed and I was still limping and a coworker basically forced me to go to the doctor.
Turns out I fractured my ankle. But it gets worse… this uncovered some hip and knee issues that I’ve basically had since I was born so the doctor was like “you’ll be fine just don’t run anymore and you probably should limit running in general in the future.”
You mean to tell me that I just got to this very important place of achievement and now I can’t do it anymore? Like wtf, life?!? So I did the whole boot thing and then resolved to stop running. Eh, it was fun while it lasted I guess.
About a year later I moved the beach for grad school. Yes, the same beach with the same “loop”. It had been quite some time since I had healed and I just had to see if I still had the stamina to do it. Y’all i ran the loop for the first time in my life and the 15 year old inside of me shed the best ugly sweaty tear of triumph.
I kept it up. Because that’s what the whole goal was right? To “be a runner”? I kept it up until one I started limping again. Just a little limp, it’ll be fine. To more colleagues being like “um Amanda, you’re not fine” to not being able to walk one morning and having to go to ortho urgent care. And guess what? Back in the boot I go.
I’ve finally come to terms that what I’ve believed society has been telling me I should do my entire life is actually something I shouldn’t do. At least at that level.
This gut wrenching and confusing realization is what ultimately led me to hot yoga. Which I looove! (Turns out I’ve never even liked running!) I could still benefit from a tiny bit of cardio so I need to get back to just plain ole walking.
Moral of the story is sometimes you need something different than you thought you did and maybe, just maybe, everything doesn’t have to be so all or none.