Digging Deep

So I've been writing lately about how my body hasn't been cooperating with me lately--last month it was my back and lately it's...

So I've been writing lately about how my body hasn't been cooperating with me lately--last month it was my back and lately it's been my hip.  This morning, as I was running, my knee started acting up.

For a good five minutes of running I let myself feel sorry.
Then I told my knee "Not today!"
I stopped and stretched a bit more.
Then I relied on my buddhist training that reminds us not to turn away from pain, but to turn toward it, and so I thanked my knee for sending me the signals of pain, that I'd correct my form, but I was pressing on.

But my knee still hurt. I either had to stop or figure out some other mental resource to get me over the hump to the point where there would be pain, but it wouldn't be at the forefront of my focus. 

And then I remembered a friend of a friend.
Instantly I felt the pain dissipate from my consciousness. It was present, but it didn't hold me back.
The friend of a friend is a badass by all definitions.  Not only was he a Marine that saw combat in Iraq, but he is an amputee that competes in the Warrior Games.  He has his aims set higher than just about anyone I've ever met.  I thought about him not because I thought "well if he's an amputee and he can compete and run, then I should shut my trap" but because of something he said to me almost a year ago.

Now, as a Fat Girl, you're not always accustomed to sincere compliments from hot guys, so when he said to me that I was a really cool chick, I sent him an email to thank him for saying it.  His reply?  "Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise."

In that moment when my knee was crapping out on me and I doubted whether my body was capable of this, I told my knee that I am a runner, and I wasn't going to let any minor injury let me think otherwise.



In other news, a coworker was at the gym with me this morning.  She is a very fit person -- tackling the elliptical on the highest incline and bending and flexing in ways I can't.

At one point halfway through my run, she told me "I am in awe of you."

Later she was doing plank exercises in perfect form and all I could think of was, "You're doing something I can't do and you're the one in awe of me?"

I mean, all I did was stop my elliptical, dismount, and kill a cockroach.  Just sayin...
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.

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12 comments

  1. Awesome post! Way to keep at it :)
    I struggle a lot too with taking compliments from others, especially guys or women who are really fit/have accomplished a lot more than me. But you just have to realize that you're really awesome and you do deserve it! Before you know it, you'll be holding a plank in perfect form!

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  2. I don't know if a plank is ever in my future with the way my back is, but i'm always at the ready to kill a cockroach.

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  3. There's pain and then there's injury -- whatever you do, don't run through an injury.

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  4. David H -- I have a whole post (the hyperlink on "plank exercises") about trusting your body and the messages it's sending to you. I had a trainer tell me that my back was weak. I had 3 bulging discs.

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  5. I can really really relate to this post. I've had a few running injuries this year but nothing that was too serious. Until now. I hurt my IT Band doing Hood to Coast 2 weeks ago. I tried to run after resting 7 days and it just hurt. I was so deflated and depressed. I know my body is telling me to rest. It's so frustrating. :(

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  6. Lisa -- could it also be telling you to go for a swim?

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  7. Great post. I have a running injury right now that is hurting my knee. It really sucks and sometimes I hate my body for it.

    And also, I have trouble taking compliments as well . . . from my husband, from my family. It's tough, but something that I am really working on. I am struggling with aceepting my strenghths as well as my weaknesses.

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  8. I wouldn't hate your body for its limitations -- but sometimes it just needs extra love and care!

    And take the compliments.
    Save them in your heart for a time when you truly feel them yourself.

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  9. Very cool the bit there about the Marine and how he inspired you through the pain you were feeling. Your mind is strong, you've shown us several times you have what it takes upstairs to overcome the pains and obstacles to the fitness you desire. As that Marine said, don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

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  10. Patrick -- Through this whole journey I've been repeating one thing to myself -- a take on the whole "sweat is pain leaving the body" idiom. I prefer "Sweat is fear leaving the body." The more I sweat, the more I push myself, the more I truly know how strong i am. The minor setbacks that once seemed so huge are now revealed as what they are -- maybe needing some ice, maybe needing a day to rest, but getitng back in the game because that's where I want to be.

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  11. Great post! Glad to hear (read) you sounding happier! You really are a cool chick!

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<3 Robby