It’s tricky to hold both joy and caution in one thought, but that’s exactly what’s required during this time of recovery.
Last week, I returned to the orthopedic surgeon after three weeks of wearing a boot to stabilize my left foot and allow my stress reaction to heal. The news was good. An x-ray showed nothing, which means I likely only suffered a stress reaction– the less severe of the two possible injuries. After a test and some poking and prodding, she gave me the okay to give my boot… the boot!
This came as a pleasant surprise being that I was fully anticipating at least another two or three weeks of constraint. With this early-found freedom also came a strong warning: “Do not push it if there is any kind of pain.” I thought to myself, “Okay, I’ve got this. I’m not going to blow it now.”
Over the past six days, I’ve had some challenging moments particularly when twisting my foot the wrong way, or walking or biking just a bit too much. The consequence of which became clear when a sharp pain shot through my foot. It was a reminder that I still have a ways to go before I can run.
For the most part though, these first days out of the boot have been a time to appreciate, the often-taken-for-granted freedom of movement. I’ve been able to walk our dog, Skylar, again, which I’ve missed as much as my running. These aren’t long walks, but they’re enough to make me feel like myself again. I’m not sure if she understands why our daily routine was disrupted for a few weeks, but if her willingness to trot along again is any indication, I don’t think there were any hurt feelings.
The big takeaway here is there’s a lot to be said in appreciating the small things, especially when longer-term goals seem most distant. I know my time will come to run again and set my sights back on those goal races, but only if I’m willing to appreciate each moment for what it is and respect one step at a time.