“I’m supposed to be training for my first ultra.”
Dr. Grant looked up at me, without much expression “when’s the ultra?”
“October 27th,” I said trying to sound happy and pain-free . . .
“Hmmmm, well I won’t say that’s not attainable. . . yet”. No eye contact as notes were written on my chart.
I ignored the last exchange and tried not to act as if I was disappointed.
“You need to focus your energy on becoming pain-free, the running can wait. Your back is in knots, your spine is out of whack and do we need to look at the x-rays of your neck again so you understand my direction?”
“No,” came my mumbled response “what I hear you saying is my neck and back are all kinds of fucked up and you seem to think I should do nothing until it’s all back in order.”
Dr. Grant just stared at me. I think I saw irritation behind green eyes.
“I never said do nothing. I said be smart. Be gentle with your body. Allow it to heal.”
I seriously fought the urge to say “blah, blah, blah”. Instead I said nothing.
“Normally I would schedule a recheck appointment for the end of next week, but I’m on vacation so I will see you in two weeks. I’m recommending two massages next week, I think it will help.”
“Don’t try to make me feel better with gratuitous massages doc, it’s not becoming.”
Laughter. Honest laughter. Too bad I was serious and found no humor in it.
I left the doctors office and walked back to work disgruntled. Couldn’t even be happy about the massages. Once back at the office I was met with a message from “M” asking about our running date the next day.
It had been three weeks since I had run. Three long, tortuous weeks. Three weeks of passing runners and feeling jealousy, envy, anger, self-pity. Yes, I’ve said it before, lest you forgot…. I have issues people.
I took a deep breath and responded to “M”
“Yes, I plan to be there tomorrow!” and so the commitment was made. And what? I was happy once more.
Friday morning, casual day in the office. Normally I would wear jeans, but instead I wore a dress. Why? Because I had my running clothes on underneath. Just having them on kept me excited…. I watched the clock and tried to get work done. I wasn’t very successful. I started cleaning my office for the weekend at noon and skipped, literally skipped out of the building at 12:15.
I got to Macleay at 12:45, took off my dress, slipped on my Sauconys and felt Joy.
“M” was there waiting and she looked genuinely happy to see me but I believe I was happier. “K” had just texted that she was there too and would be up at the trailhead momentarily… Moments passed and we were all together and ready to head out.
“How far are we going?” I looked at “K” then at “M”.
“Ten?” was “K’s” response.
Nothing was settled but we hit the trail. Talking, laughing, running. Around mile 6 we discussed distance again and agreed 12 was our number. Twelve glorious, wonderful miles along the Wildwood trail. Perfection.
I didn’t think about the headache I’ve had for two weeks straight, didn’t think about the soreness down the left side of my body, didn’t think about the look of disappointment on Dr. Grant’s face. I just ran, laughed, talked and breathed in 12 glorious miles.
I spent three hours in my happy place with two awesome running chicks and it was everything I needed it to be. Don’t we look happy? I’m on the right, looking and feeling as close to pain free as I have in two weeks! 🙂
When I woke up this morning I was sore and very stiff but my soul was happy and content.
And hey, that’s right. . . I have two massages scheduled for next week!
Maybe I will run again tomorrow…….
Edited to add: I did not run today (Sunday) because I woke up this morning even more sore . . . I could see Dr. Grant’s disgust in my mind’s eye. Whatever, my soul is still happy and the trail run was worth every second of this soreness and pain. Today I walked 7 miles instead of running and my body thanked me. Now I’m really looking forward to that massage. . .
Wishing you a wonderful week!