Friday, December 21, 2012

The Answer

Before the answer, there must be a question.
And right now, for me, the question is this:

"Should I run again?"

I started running about one year ago, and two weeks ago I suffered my third injury, my second stress fracture in eight months, serious enough to require non-weight bearing status and crutches.  Major sideline from training.  Major sideline off my feet.

All week I've been hearing the same thing from coworkers and pretty much everyone else who knows me and who just saw me get off months of crutches:  Criticism and "constructive" advice instead of encouragement:

"You ran again?"
"You should stop running!"
"Find another sport ... try biking or swimming."
"Your running days are over!"

And at first glance, the answer is obvious.  I ran, got injured, got better, ran again, got injured again.  So "obviously" I shouldn't run again.  Obvious answer, right?


Why?  Why should I stop running?  If my son falls off his bicycle, should I tell him to stop riding his bike?
When I was growing up, and made a mistake while playing the piano, did I stop?  The answer is NO.  You correct your mistakes, learn from then, get up and try again!

"But that's different, you're hurting yourself," they would say.  Well, technically, when I eat steak, I am hurting my self too, but I enjoy steak, so I will continue to eat it!

That's the point.  I enjoy running.  Truly.  I can't express how much of a joy it is.  Running.  Getting out there ... being outside, no matter the weather, no matter what time, how early ... and running.  And that feeling of accomplishment, when the run is done, looking at my time, looking at the distance, and just feeling good.  How can I give that up?  It would be like giving up piano because I made a mistake, or my son giving up trying to ride a bike because he fell off.  I can correct mistakes, get up, and run again.

But honestly this question, and this soul searching, has been a struggle.  If I run again, and I hurt myself a third or fourth, it will be like a "duh" moment, and frankly will just look stupid.  No one will have any sympathy.  But ... if I don't run again, I'll spend the rest of my life wondering "what if?"  and on top of that I will just be missing running.  It would be giving up a hobby, and giving up a joy.

Well, tonight I found the answer ... or the answer found me.
Tonight was our office's holiday party, and per tradition we the employers gave our staff gifts, and the staff gave us individual gifts.

The staff said, "this is for you when you get better ..." and presented me with this:

A GPS watch!!

How thoughtful.  Really, how very thoughtful.  Other from those extremely close to me, this was the first sign of encouragement that I got from anyone in regards to running since this most recent injury.

And for now, this is the answer:

Yes, I should run again.

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