Yesterday I got to run for the first time in what felt like the longest time ever, but was really only a little over two months. Believe me, to those who hate running, there was a time when I never ever thought I’d actually miss not being able to run, but here we are. I’ve been on my own version of house rest due to physical therapist recommendation while she got everything to calm down and get my body working for me again instead of against me. The only physical activity I’ve been allowed to do is walk at a leisurely pace and some light yoga. If you know me you know that’s like a death sentence. I love being active, getting my sweat on and moving some heavy weights around. I’m an intense person and so are my workouts.
Since my muscles have been testing much better physically over the last week my homework has been to test out a couple activities here and there to see if it kicked up my pain and, if so, when the pain started to rear its ugly head. Much like the last two years since I got sick, the run wasn’t easy or pretty, but I got it done! I walked for five minutes and ran for five minutes for about an hour. The pain bounced around everywhere from the inside of my right hip to my right glute and even down into my foot. I could feel my body quickly moving out of correct positioning due to fatigue and I’d have to mentally check where I was holding my arms and how I was moving my legs, but I got through it!
It would have been really easy to just stop in frustration and throw in the towel. After all this time and money I’m still in pain. After spending so much time in chronic pain it’s so easy to retreat back to that dark place where your fears and anger live. Even though it sucks in that place it somehow becomes home because you’ve spent so much time there. With each step I reminded myself that I couldn’t have done this without a Norco a few months ago and was practically bedridden without painkillers. Even though there was pain the majority of it was in my hip and not the trigger points in my stomach which is a huge sign of progress. So while 30 minutes total of running at a 10-minute-mile pace may make avid runners roll their eyes at the seeming nothingness of it all, it meant the world to me.
Even when my hip ached the pain never got over a level 4 of pain and at the end of my run, despite being tired and sweaty, I was smiling a huge grin. My body so often feels like my enemy and today felt like one more step forward to a friendship with it. The same music that I used to encourage me during 15 mile runs as a college student was now the music encouraging me just to keep putting one foot in front of another. A couple years ago no one knew what was wrong with me and an illness was slowly taking over until it became almost all of me, but I’m still here. I’m still standing here to tell anyone else in the same situation that you can fight this! If doctors won’t listen, you’re stuck in that dark place you call home and can’t find your way out or you are in constant pain that you can’t escape please keep trying. Push your doctors. Push yourself. Keeping putting one foot in front of the other even when it seems impossible because you will get to the end of this chapter and you still have a whole book left to write!