Agony of my foot?
I would have said “the feet”, but it’s really only one foot and I haven’t actually let it defeat me. I’ve been better. I’ve also been worse, though. Had I not been so active when I twisted my ankle, I probably could have had a much worse injury or it may have lingered much longer.
I’m not running yet. I’ve been away from running for about 2 weeks now. I miss going out and running. I fear that my speed and my endurance will drop while I’m not out there. I wonder if the injury will somehow alter my abilities to run well. Only time will tell and I was once completely new at it and had to work hard to gain speed and endurance. It wasn’t much easier after I’d gotten to go further and faster because there is always room for improvement and hard work. I’m willing to do it, so there’s really not a need for worry in that area.
I used my health insurance benefit to get a gym membership. They offer a fitness program through participating gyms that is a set monthly fee, but I can go to multiple gyms for that one fee. I started out with the local Gold’s Gym that has a pool inside. I’ve been trying to keep up my cardiovascular exercise through swimming laps I’ve gone 3 times so far and I’ve done better each time. I went from barely being able to complete 2 laps without significant rest to doing 20 lengths one day and then 44 the next. I really had to push myself to the 44. I’d set the goal before I’d gotten in the car to drive to the gym. While I was swimming, I kept convincing myself that if I just made it more laps than the previous day, I could settle for that. Then, I kept asking myself if I couldn’t go on or just didn’t want to. I had to swim another lap to test that question each time. So, I kept going. The pool isn’t quite 25 yards, so 87 lengths or 43 laps is a mile. I went half of a mile just to see myself do it. The day I swam 20 lengths of the pool, I dried off and headed out to the gym floor and used a few of the machines that focused mostly on arm, chest, and back muscles. I tried to stay around 35-50 lbs on each one and complete at least 2 sets of 25 repetitions with a short break in between sets. My arms were so shaky afterward, I thought I may have overdone it. I’m not terribly sore, though. I suppose using the free weights at home for so long helped me after all. I’m excited about the new additions to my fitness routine, but I really am excited to get back to running as well.
I’m going to take a moment to tell a story about my swimming background and it will probably tell you a lot about me. I was 16 and a couple of my friends said they were going out for the swim team. I had never taken a lesson in my life. My swimming experience was limited to a doggie paddle and a side stroke to get from one spot to another in a lake. My diving experience was off of a pontoon boat in Cumberland Lake in Kentucky and my Aunt Lisa had gotten me to actually go in head first without belly flopping. I went for the dive team and man, I stunk it up. I couldn’t straighten my body out after touching my toes on a pike. I was never very close to the board after jumping. The diving coach didn’t give up and tell me not to come back. She sent me to the swimming coach. I hopped in the pool and I imitated the front crawl/freestyle from what I saw and I came out gasping for air every few strokes and sounding like I was for sure not going to survive. Coach McFarland didn’t let me give up. I stayed a little after practice a few times until I learned to breathe during a stroke. I learned to flip under the water at the end of the pool. I learned to dive off of the block at the end like someone would to start a race. I got to participate in swim meets when the season started. I knew nothing about the sport and I joined the team and got to actually be a part of it. My teammates were helpful and would show me how to do the strokes outside of the water to help me do them in the water. I didn’t squander the opportunity. The end of the season awards ceremony saw me the recipient of the “most improved” award in addition to a “gag gift” of goggles because I had a terrible habit of losing my goggles off of the block at the start of races. I’d somehow get the goggles to pop off of my face in all the excitement or they’d come down on my neck and I’d yank them off and toss them onto the pool deck while swimming. I wouldn’t say I went from zero to hero, but I stayed with it even after I realized I wasn’t that good at it.
These past two weeks seem to have crawled by so slowly and I still have about 4 weeks left of recovery before I can fully go back to running. I still intend to go back to running outdoors on a regular basis. I intend to finish a marathon when I’m back to that fitness level and endurance. I also intend to keep going to the gym. I asked a friend who had done bodybuilding in the past for some direction in lifting. Her trainer answered me directly, which was a huge help for me. I know I’ll feel less self conscious on the gym floor now that I had that talk about feeling new to the gym. She told me that while she has years of experience, just being in a new place can be a little overwhelming for the most experienced lifters. I like having a variety of things to do. I want to get stronger and to get better at swimming. I plan to establish a fitness routine in the coming weeks and have the flexibility to change it as running comes back into the picture. My brand new reflective running jacket hasn’t even had the chance to go for a test run. I can’t wait to get out there, but I’ll still be active in the meantime.
Have you ever had an injury that sidelined you from a favorite activity? Did you find other ways to be active during that time? Thank you for reading! Any comments are welcome! Please let me know if there’s something you need me to discuss on here about my journey.