I didn't date at all in middle and high school until I was 17 and fell in love with my best friend. I was single during almost all of college and after, until I was lucky enough to snag Marc when we were a month shy of 25. So, I've had my fair share of Valentine's Days as a single girl, and honestly - I love Valentine's Day. I've always loved it. The elementary school years imprinted themselves firmly on me - this was a holiday that celebrated love (friends & family) and chocolate. What's not to love?
Even when I wasn't happy about being single, even when I was lonely and felt like the only one in my circle without a boyfriend, I loved Valentine's Day. I always thought of it as a choice - you can mope about what you don't have, or you can embrace the love that you do have in your life, and write cards for all your friends just like in the good old days. And enjoy all the chocolate.
People who don't like Valentine's Day, single or not, tend to say it's a made up, commercial holiday. They aren't necessarily wrong.
Today, June 6th, is apparently Global Running Day. I'm not sure who made this global decree, or for how many years it's been the case, but I have been faced with a choice today. My love of Valentine's Day never felt like a conscious choice or decision. This, however...
I had fervently hoped two weeks ago that my two whirlwind trips away - to my sister's for Memorial Day and to Philly for Marc's show - would be the break from reality and the rest that would finally cure my whatever-is-wrong with my right side. I made a fantastic training plan that started with two weeks of "test run's" - running for only a minute at a time, coupled with a ton of other strength and mobility work, to see how I feel - to begin today.
Unfortunately, I forgot that air travel, train travel, suitcase hauling, toddler hauling, and high-heel wearing were not exactly restful. My magical cure of leaving town didn't work.
I finally saw a doctor this past Monday. Probable diagnosis - a partial labral tear in my right hip. I have shallow hip sockets (who knew?) and the repetitive movement of external rotation in yoga and just my own habits have likely caused a form of impingement. Groin strain - that one wasn't news, it's just so damn slow to heal. Hamstring strain.
So, no, I'm not running today. And I could so easily be bitter about it. There is a part of me that straight up is bitter about it - bitter, angry, resentful, self-pitying...you get the idea.
But that doesn't help.
Instead, I had my first ever chiropractic and acupuncture treatments at the wellness center that gave me such great care (and x-rays) on Monday. I'm packing my bag for PT tomorrow morning. I'm starting a journey not just to heal pain or an isolated injury, but to finally, once and for all, fix my form. Not just my running form, but my biomechanics in every possible facet of my life and movement and all of the repetitive and everyday activity I do as a teacher, as an athlete, and as a human.
It's not what I want. But I have to choose to take what I can take out of this journey and of this arbitrary Global Running Day. I would much rather be able to just post a selfie of a sweaty tomato-face after a four miler (this morning was perfect running weather!), but I have to trust that what I'm doing instead will ultimately make me stronger. Luckily for me, when I can't find that trust, I have enough positive cheerleaders out there who trust for me and remind me and encourage me and make me dinner and get me chocolate. (Laura Frye, I'm staring at that card you gave me right this second. You are the best.)
I don't just want to run for a day, or for one race, or for one season. I'm running for life. So, first thing's first.
To all of those blessed enough to run today, I hope you ran with your whole heart and treated yourself to something cold and delicious afterward, and took a moment of gratitude for the gift that running is. I'll be back out with you soon, and I will be seeing you at the New York City Marathon this November.
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