Saturday, January 30, 2016

That time I thought I was Invincible

The title of this post should probably be "that time I thought I was REALLY invincible" because let's be honest, I think I'm invincible every day...

This is the hardest thing I've ever had to write, so will you please pause for a second and open your heart while I get vulnerable?

Wait, let me get a joke out first... Cassadee Pope may be invincible, but I am not. And I sang her song one too many times, because, dang, did I think I was invincible. Not invisible. I'm pretty good at that. My specialty is hiding. You didn't know I was a super hero? Yes I am. But my power is invisibility, not invincibility. And there's a HUGE difference.

Okay. I'm done. Now lets get real.

There is very little chance that I will be running the half marathon in April. The one that I'm registered for. The one that I've been training for. And by "very little chance" I mean, if I end up running it, it will literally be by the grace of God. Literally. I don't want to say that I won't be running it, but I'm pretty sure it's off the table. And I have gone through every emotion associated with that statement. Every emotion. I am sad. I am disappointed. I am frustrated. I am embarrassed. I am humiliated. I am thankful. I am angry. I feel like a failure. I feel like everything I do from here on out is going to fail. I am hopeful. I am filled with peace.

I present to you my Friday, my Saturday, and every day in the foreseeable future:

Let me explain. On Thursday, I had scheduled a run after work. So I got ready and drove myself out to the trail. I started walking, and then started running. I made it an entire 3 minutes before completely stopping running. My right knee hurt. And it wasn't one of those, my knee hurts because I'm running, putting stress on it, working it out, and it'll go away in a few minutes kind of "hurt." This was a "you can't do this" hurt. So I stopped. Still hopeful. I walked a bit and then started running again. This time I made it .3 seconds. I was down and out.

Being the stubborn person that I am though, I kept walking. I walked my route. I "ran" a few times. (Aka: went through the motions of running, but really I was inching along at basically the same pace I was walking.) For 30 seconds. And then kept walking. Defeated. Completely defeated. Walking back in the freezing cold. Dressed to be running. Watching other runners go by. I was about a minute away from my car, a minute away from tears, when I saw a guy running my way. Usually, runners don't look at you. They're focused. (Or just don't want to look at you.) He smiled at me. And it took everything in my to force a smile back. Because I wanted to cry so bad. I knew this was not one of those injuries you bounce back from a week later.

I needed to get some groceries and was right by Target, so I stopped and let me tell you, it took EVERYTHING in me to not buy myself a pizza. To not drown myself in bad food. To not do some major retail therapy. And that's not really saying much, because at this point I pretty much had nothing left in me, so really it was all God helping me out. I made it back Thursday night and I don't even think I could really process what it all meant, what was all going on. I've been through Friday, and now Saturday (as I sit and write this). And I have gone through every emotion you can think of. And so while I don't have the words yet, and still really can't understand this whole thing, you get a list of all the fragmented ideas:
- This has everything to do with my knees, and yet nothing at all.
- I should have bought shoes with more cushion.
- I should have paid attention to my knees, iced them, and strengthened them.
- I should have did my knee exercises...10 years ago when I hurt my left one (not the same injury or the same knee).
- No more crossing my legs twice.
- I need to run more often, less mileage, increasing less.
- I actually DO love running. I just didn't realize it. And now I miss it terribly.
- I am so blessed to be able to workout. I GET to workout. ( this time, GOT.)
- I unknowingly made running/training/working out my #1 priority. That's wrong. God should always be #1.
- I fell into comparison. I fell into doing it for me. And thinking I could do it by myself. I can't. I am not strong enough without Him.
- I put off the things in life that matter most.
- I made THIS race an idol, putting pressure on THIS race. I WILL run a half marathon, it's just most likely not going to be THIS one. And that's okay.
- I forgot where my heart truly lies in this world, where I feel my calling is, and put running ahead.
- I was looking in the mirror analyzing my body, picking it apart. (Heck, I'm still doing this...)
- I have yet to experience disappointment like this. Any disappointment I may have had in my life was all hidden in front of people, but this was laid wide open.
- I felt like I failed and was embarrassed. I had 2 friends tell me they signed up for the same race right around this time. One a few hours before. One a few hours after. They still don't know (as I write this) because I still want to hide.
- I was in awe of what God was allowing me to do in the moment, but then forgot the enormity of it a second later.
- I grumbled about running. I talked WAY too much about how I didn't like long-distance running and how ironic that was and how I would never run another half and how I loved BBG and higher intensity workouts more. (Come to find out, I kind of love running, long-distance included.)
- I am extremely thankful that God stopped me in my tracks or allowed me to be stopped. Looking at the above list, and the list that's even longer in my heart. This was the right thing for Him to do. Had He not stopped me, I probably would have never seen it.
- I am so blessed that He is sitting with me through all of this, opening my eyes, being there, and just showing me where I went wrong.
- I am still hoping this is all in my head and I will wake up tomorrow perfectly fine and I can take what I've learned, apply it, fix my heart, and get back to running.

To sum it up, this injury was a complete storm, physically and spiritually. Physically, there are things I knew I should have done to prevent this injury. There are things I should have done in hind-sight. There are things that I was up against physically that I have absolutely no control over. Spiritually, there are things I should have recognized. There are things I see in hind-sight. And there are things (many many things) that have taken me completely by surprise.

I wrote a simplified list of take-aways:
1.) Re-prioritize. God first. Love people. THEN workouts. You shall have no other Gods.
2.) This is not a competition. You shall not covet anything of your neighbor's.
3.) SLOW DOWN. (This is aimed at life, not speed in workouts.) Be intentional. Pay attention.

I'm still processing. (Have I said that yet.) This is a big one for me. It's changing my plans and my heart. So Lord, please be patient with me. I'm trying to work this out, but I desperately need Your help because I'm just me. I AM hopeful. And I AM thankful. But I'm also still sad and disappointed.