I've often talked about wanting to be part of the pack. For the longest time, I thought I was relegated to the elliptical, unable to put foot to ground because of my bad back. But then the craziest thing happened: I ignored the doctors and listened to my heart and mind. I asked myself "but what if I can?" And an amazing thing happened: not only could I, but it didn't kill me. I was fairly good at it. The last time I had raced (10k) was before my injury, and that was at an average of 13:42/mile. Many years and injuries later, as well as a spinal surgery, I was expecting 15-minute miles and ended up between 10 and 11 minutes.
On Tuesday, I woke up in the morning, fed the monsters (as well as myself), got myself dressed, and gave Spike his insulin. I set out for a run. I have been using different variations of the same route because I like the slight uphill/downhill and I know that the ground is fairly level. But I really go for the view.
As I'm rounding 2.5 miles, I see the first other early-morning runner passing me.
She nods back.
With the simple return of a nod, I felt like one of the pack. A subtle shift in my little heart, in my mind, towards knowing that I'm not approximating running: I am running. I may not hold any world records, but I am doing something that doctors didn't think I'd ever be able to do.
In a world where people are looking for "FitSpo" (fitness inspiration), I hope this inspires you to fight for yourself, to listen to your body, and improve upon what you did yesterday. It may not be a photo of a half-naked female fitness model with a pithy quotation superimposed on it, but I want to leave you with this thought: