Thursday, February 6, 2014

Gratitude

Good freezing morning!  So continues the story I started last week...

I've felt the need to write about this for a couple weeks now - the downsides and the upsides of sustaining an injury as a super active person - and living in a city that was not made for anyone who needs to slow down for any reason ever.  I've felt a lot of pressure to share the entire experience and to share it exactly right, and to say exactly what I wanted to say about it in the right way.  As a result, I've put it off to a point where my emotions about it aren't quite as fresh.  Maybe it's best that way - I tend to get a little long winded about these things, and I think a simpler approach works just fine.

After the wonderful, wonderful marathon - everything hurt.  Absolutely everything.  I only got a half-night's sleep after the race (shocking considering how long I'd been awake that day!) because my legs hurt too much for me to fall back asleep when I woke up in the middle of the night. The following day - Tuesday - everything felt so much better!  Keeping my legs moving really helped almost every part of my soreness dissipate - and then I took a step.  My left foot was in a kind of pain that was beyond soreness, and deep down I knew it.  But I'm quite good at denial and when I don't want to be sick or hurt or in pain, I just stubbornly press on and cross my fingers that it'll go away - a habit I don't think was quite this bad before I was a New Yorker!

To make a long story a little less long, I tried to push through it until I just couldn't anymore, and my amazing friend Dayle loaned me some crutches.  After a full day of rest, I was back to work and my wonderful boss Shari at Karma Kids sent me straight to her longtime podiatrist and friend - Dr. Sherri, as she's known around KKY.

I was sentenced to two weeks on crutches, 24/7.  Two weeks of no teaching.  And also getting to wear an incredibly fashionable boot - open toed, for extra comfort during the snow and rain.  All of this, of course, occurring days before Marc was to leave for PA (again!) for his second round of Pride & Prejudice, this time at a different (and wonderful!) theatre and this time as Mr. Darcy.

I definitely went through a massive phase of self pitying and frustration.  Doing anything by myself on crutches seemed impossible (thank god for the sippy cup I brought home from Disney!), and not being able to teach and make money and having to pay out of pocket for the doctor was a double whammy after a pricey trip to Disney.  My plan post marathon was to work like crazy and make as much money as possible - especially since Marc is gone for awhile.

Eventually, I got to that place where I was able to gain a little perspective.  People kept sharing stories with me of friends they knew who had sustained much worse injuries and I realized that it was a blessing I wasn't actually in much pain as long as I was staying off it.  There was a light at the end of the tunnel and the tunnel wasn't nearly as long for me as for others.  Then I called to mind the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and forget it - no more self pity for me!

I tried to shift my perspective and have fun with playing with what I could and couldn't do on the crutches.  I was blessed with the extreme generosity of my family and friends who helped me out however they could.  I realized that my word for 2014 (which I haven't even blogged about!  insane), Space, was being forcibly thrown in my face.  Slowing down, reflecting on not teaching, on not practicing, on not running - I had plenty of space for all of that.  And most miraculous of all, the injury isn't a stress fracture as we all feared!

A lot of yogis will talk about how injuries are our greatest teachers, or are even a gift.  When you're in the midst of dealing with one, that's the last thing you want to hear.  And I certainly can't speak to what it's like to recover from something more massive - as injuries go, I'm well aware of the fact that I got off light.  I'm just feeling incredibly grateful that I was eventually able to get positive again and break myself out of the dangerous self pity I was initially feeling.  To break myself out of the endless cycle of TV (although I do not regret my giant Boardwalk Empire marathons!) and go back to actually reading, to writing, to doing what little practice I was able to do.  It also gave me the time to slow down and actually reflect on the damn marathon I had worked so hard toward.

Now I'm slowly jumping back into teaching, into walking, and into setting my intentions for these next few weeks.

On a mostly unrelated note, I just have to comment on the death of one of my favorite actors, on Marc's favorite actor, and one of the most wonderful theatre artists of my lifetime.  Philip Seymour Hoffman's death was so shocking and so upsetting, and just made me want to hold tighter to my loved ones.

So I leave you with one of my favorite moments of his, from a film I haven't seen in quite a while, actually.  I hope everyone has a beautiful, warm, day, filled with gratitude for what you have - whatever you have - while you have it.  Life is short.

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