Eleven Days to 40

I turn 40 on January 5th. I planned to run a 40 day streak leading to my birthday. That didn’t happen thanks to my foot tendons and nerves. I intended to do 40 “firsts” over the course of the year. My lofty plans included trying to jump out of an airplane with a parachute, considering another marathon, and my first trip to Germany.

I’m not worried about turning 40. In fact, this is the most “myself” I’ve ever been in my life. I’m the most assertive and comfortable in my skin than I can recall being in the entirety of my existence. I’m physically healthy and I’m working on my mental health daily.

Even so, I’ve felt the creep of my mental illness this week. I am fighting the ice cold waves of depression trying to flow into the flames of positivity I’ve been building up. I still can’t do a pull up despite working at it regularly. I get injuries from running every time I start gaining on my target speed. I love running too much to give it up. I hate not be able to run and release my stress. I don’t have time to train for a marathon even if I wanted to try again. I’m not good enough at crossfit to keep trying. Even if I enjoy doing it, my coaches and peers will never respect me because I can’t do all the movements [like freaking pull ups]. I did a shitty job competing in crossfit despite giving it my all. Other people who have been at it for much less time are surpassing me in strength and ability. I’ll never lose these last 15 pounds of fat and I’ll probably gain all the weight I’ve lost back anyway. I can be real with people and kind and they’ll turn around and deceive me anyway. I can’t make friends. I’m not exactly mother or wife of the year and being around everyone all of the time can really wear at me. That makes me feel guilty.

I’ve been learning positive affirmations. I posted supportive statements in the places I spend the most time. It’s hard not to roll my eyes at them when I’m not feeling well, but I can still start to believe the things I read. I feel pretty good about life most of the time, but negativity intrudes when I’m simply enjoying some quiet time or doing something mundane. I don’t want other people to feel like I do, so I radiate the positive when I’m feeling that way. If I find something that makes me smile, I instantly share it. I’m thanking people for saying things that make me feel good or especially laugh. I don’t feel as low as I have on my lows in the past. Maybe it’s the newer meds. Could be that I’m working on my my mental health more. Perhaps it’s a hybrid of those things.

This year, I experienced new things. This was my first pandemic and quarantine. I started and finished the One Year Bible for the first time. I’ve totaled 40 pounds lost since 2019 and I weigh as much as I did when I got married. I kept up with my fitness during the lockdowns and became close to my friends through that shared situation. I started working on my nutrition from a psychological stand and made a positive impact on not only my weight, but my attitude. I competed in my first crossfit style competition. I got to run a competitive half marathon and barely missed my best time, which is an accomplishment. I discovered the few close friends I have always support me even when the enemy is in my head. My husband is really supportive even when I’m being a brat [and I can be a total brat]. There are people who tell me I inspire them or somehow bring them joy and that’s all I can hope for by working hard and being positive. I’m finding beauty in the details that I took for granted. I’m not unhappy. The fact that some of these things are directly in opposition of one another doesn’t make either untrue. It makes it clear that the impermanent things of this life are unimportant in the larger picture. I yearn for greatness and miss the goodness of things. I have to work on that to reap more positivity from life.

Thanks for reading! I’ve been marinating on this for a few days and I couldn’t get how I would put all of these things into a readable length. Here’s a photo of me holding the gallon water bottle my husband gifted me for Christmas. Now I don’t need to refill my 32oz four times….

A gallon of water is heavy, guys…

Oh well, I like lemons

I had a nagging pain in my feet for months that I refused to give a name It was worse in my left foot than in my right. I was well aware that I had symptoms of plantar fasciitis. I tried stretches for my feet and legs. I used kinesiology tape, compression, soaking, and special massage tools for my legs and feet. I reduced my running mileage. I discussed it with the chiropractor as it ebbed and flowed with my half marathon training. My chiropractor suggested physical therapy. It started becoming too painful to walk at the end of the day, so I tolerated it a little longer. I finally called the podiatrist that took care of my 2016 injury and they found me a same day appointment.

The doctor ordered x-rays for my feet to ensure the pain wasn’t from a stress fracture. The pain was atypical for plantar fasciitis in that it increased through the day. Then, he offered me a few options to help me. His first option was to put my foot into a soft cast and use a boot for 6 weeks to allow it to “calm down” in there. He was clear that my ability to exercise would be limited to nothing on my feet. He also offered physical therapy, to which I was less excited about since I’d already been using therapy exercises. The option I went with was a cortisone shot into the most painful part of my heel. After discussing the risks, including rupturing the fascia, I asked for the shot. It was really unpleasant and that was how I described the pain to him as he performed the procedure.

I can’t run for at least 4 weeks. I miss the little trips the running took me on. I miss running with my dog. I’m sad that I lost progress that I made in my speed. I’m letting those feelings happen and pass. There isn’t anything wrong with having those emotions. Fortunately, I’ve been learning about that lately.

I have focused on what I can do with my body and what can be improved upon while I wait. I had pain during my workouts with a sore heel. I’ve been grateful that I have a coach who understood and explained to me what to do to deal with the injury and avoid aggravation. I’ve chosen to be optimistic about how I can improve with my fitness in the meantime.

I could really have let this deter me from being excited about the opportunity. I am pretty sure if running was my only sport, I would not have been as positive in this situation. There’s no way to know for sure because this is my reality.

Thanks for reading! I hope you are finding ways to enjoy the holidays. I hope to share some progress from my nutrition and psychological changes I’ve been doing in the near future.

A little humor regarding my feet.