ok, so here's the thing, running for me is a big deal. not the 'yea, i run to fit into skinny jeans' big deal, but the 'i'm willing to wake up at 5:30 am, bundle up and run through freshly fallen snow' big deal. so, here is where i should probably fill you in on the whole 'knee' situation, blah....
it all began when i was 15 years old (i promise this story is going somewhere).....deep breath.....
it was the last soccer game before playoffs and having went to state the year before (for the first time in school's history), we were favored to make another appearance. i was a sophomore sweeper (for those of you unfamiliar with soccer, that's the last defender before the goalie). all i remember from that game, was being told my injury was not that serious and i should ease back into practice over the next few days. when i climbed out of bed the next morning and having my knee too unstable to initially stand up, i knew this needed to be fixed before playoffs, which brought me to local orthopedic clinic. a few hours later, i was on crutches telling my coach and teammates that i had torn my ACL, but not too worry because i think it's a quick fix, right coach? wrong. not only was i 15 undergoing a relatively major surgery, but it was to be followed up with months of dedication and rehab. that year i missed out on playing basketball, but this rehab process made me grow in more ways than any sports season could have. i succeeded, cried, struggled, laughed, cried some more and grew. i grew as a person and as an athlete, maintaining my passion for soccer and basketball, which brings me to my first soccer game back 8 months. i was forced to wear one of those awkward knee braces (when you see someone wearing one of these, you're so thankful it's them and not you), but had the support of family, friends and teammates as i made this big debut back to the field. this big debut ended in another torn ACL. the sexy brace did its job on my bad knee (trust me, that thing was bionic), but it was my 'good' knee that would now need surgery. i could go into details about how emotional this was and how sorry everyone was for me, but i'll just say this was a dark time for me as an athlete and as a person. after days of being in self-issued solitary confinement, i came out with a chip on my shoulder, ready for sentencing. i'm sure this rehab process was just as demanding as the first time around, but frankly, i was too pissed off to notice. 7 years down the road (that made me instantly feel old), i have now had a grand total of 5 knee surgeries, 4 on what was once my 'good' knee. i went from being an all state soccer player my freshman year to becoming medically ineligible to play D3 anything after my first year in college. sure, i could sit around and dwell on 'what could have been', but where would that put me? a bitter retiree blaming everyone else for my misfortunes? hmm, no thanks, i've got shit to do and goals to accomplish.
running became my passion when i was 'encouraged' to find other activities that were less impact, but let me tell you, it was not a pretty start. i started out running/walking 2 miles (that may be stretching it) to losing sleep the night before my first 5k. running turned into my outlet, my way to decompress, my way to keep my competitive spirit alive, my drug of choice. these 5k's turned in 1/2 marathons, triathlons, dualthons and recently added to my resume, the twin cities marathon. had i really found my athletic niche again? wrong. whenever i seem to get too 'cocky', i am quickly reminded that i am human and there is a greater power above me who will do what it takes to form me into who i am supposed to be. after 4 knee surgeries, you'd think i'd not only own a wing of the clinic (sorry, mom and dad), but also, have bionic knees. wrong again. i had my fifth, and probably not my last, surgery this june which has left me with minimal cartilage, aka cushioning, in my left knee.
so, now do you kind of understand why running has turned into my passion? i am still struggling getting back into running. i realize after 5 knee surgeries i will have to run through pain, but some days the pain can be too much. although i am still coming to terms with the thought that i will probably never be able to run consecutive days like i used to, i start and end each run the same way, with patience and gratitude. patience, for however my body decides to feel that day and gratitude, that i have the strength, (read stubbornness), and ability to run what i can.
exhale.....my run this weekend reminded me of why i love it....
here are my necessities for running:. nike lunarglides (i have transitioned with nike thru the 1's, 2's and now 3's), ipod with my regular running playlist, protein shake-if i can't help my knees being sore, i can at least help my muscles and newly added, a heart rate monitor. i used to run with the nike+ device, but my running has taken on a new form. distance doesn't matter to me (as much) anymore, now i gauge my runs on how i feel. this weekend's run felt amazing, i was able to run over 4 miles in under 35 minutes while maintaining an average heart rate of 179. sorry heart, but my legs were not listening nor did they care how you felt because for once, they felt great. i have to try not to get too giddy over this run because tomorrow may bring a pissed off knee and a frustrated me.
well, now that i have wrote another novel (i promise they all won't be this long), you have another piece of my puzzle. i'd like to end this post with goals because honestly, what are we without goals?
the goals in my head at the moment:.
-get up and run in the morning
-clean my room (did not get crossed off my last goal list)
-clean my car and put new tabs on the license plate...sorry dad, i still have not done this, but i do know to clean the license plate prior to sticking them on.
-get my girls ready for their first big tournament this weekend!
-encourage and support the cute dude to accomplishing his current goal, passing an important test!
what did you do accomplish/wish to have accomplished this weekend?
i have decided to throw another component into this blogging thing, a challenge. your first challenge, ponder events that you've experience, positive or negative, that has made you who you are today. who do you have to thank for that?
my bed and kitten are calling for a cuddle session....
always striving for more,