Injured Runner: 9

Image by: Hunter Bryant

As the days we have left before transitioning to a new year come to a close I find myself rather distraught with possibilities both negative and positive.

I have been pursuing healing for several months now. With many ups and downs along the way. I suppose it’s a lot like a mountain trail, with highs, lows, rocky regions, pockets of fog that disallow a clear vision of the way-to-go. All along this trail I seem to be awaiting for the moment that I find a smooth way; long stretch of relatively even ground on which to more easily find my footing. While that path hasn’t come under my feet yet, it’s important to discuss what that has looked like for me.

I am still having pain, however it’s generally predictable now. The pain comes after each day of rehab I complete. When I push the tissues in my ankle a bit more. I stretch them, and I tension them to improve their flexibility and strength. Each time I push them they argue with me the next day. Today is one of those days.

My flexibility is truly improving, however as it improves the aches moves around to other previously inflexible regions. It’s become what feels like an unhealthy conversational loop. My mind says it’s time to push a bit. The science supports the timing and intensity (I am being very gentle). I feel as though my ankle is my nemesis. Always there to punish me for my pride, for my unwillingness to relent before. An agent of humility.

A note of success: I have found my window of improvement however, and I feel that by finding my window I have found my small hope, and my victory. I am only successfully walking 1.21 miles without pain now. This was not the case at the beginning of this holiday week. At the beginning of this week I did a 1.21 mile walk and it was slightly painful, which made it my new stopping point. I had to choose to respect that boundary and dial up my inner protector. My mind had to become a sentinel of body defense. I call it my sentinel mind because my warrior mind will argue with it, pointing out that no pain means readiness. I wanted to go beyond the 1.21, however, by giving value to my system of tissue recovery I respect the boundary. I did not pass that distance successfully and so from here out I have to follow the window of improvement from this level of capability. Too steep a climb and I will re-injur, as I did only weeks ago. Too slow a climb and no progress will be made. The last two walks at 1.21 have been successful and I can take joy in that.

The sentinel mind, the warrior mind. Both are necessary for success. Each has their place and time. Knowing which mind is right for the moment is not so easy a task.

Sole Physio

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