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When You Can't Run or Ride

My new rock edging
I have been nursing a stress fracture from running for a little over a month. I injured my right foot about a year ago, but I kept running on it and treating it like a bruise that would eventually go away.

After a trail half-marathon, trail full marathon, and 5K on streets this spring, my foot finally said, "Not one more step until you take care of me." So, I went to the doctor, got x-rays, and she put in a boot for three weeks. No running. No riding.

I began to re-learn life without running and went reluctantly back to the pool to swim but excitedly got back on my back after the three-week required break. To add to this complete stoppage of activity, over a week ago a cable on my bike broke, and I have not ridden once during that time. More no running or riding.

As you can imagine, the removal of running and riding from my life caused me to reshuffle my priorities and find different ways to stay active. I slowed way down, and gained about 4 lbs., a runner's nightmare.

I wrote earlier about adding walking to my weekly activities as a way to have more solitude and to slow down while still getting the aerobic work I need. During my recovery, Kim and I walked to places to eat, had a leisurely dinner, and walked back home. We found this to be both good exercise and a great time for conversation. We also ate less because we knew we had to walk home over a mile after we ate! Kim does not run or ride with me, so this is something we could do for exercise and our relationship. I continued to add walking to the office a time or two, and have enjoyed the break immensely.

Last Saturday, (my usual day for a long run or ride, of which I could do neither) I completed three projects around the house I had wanted to do for some time. The most fun--and aerobic--was to replace the steel edging around a small flowerbed with rocks. I had a blast designing, choosing the rocks, matching the edges and setting them. It was hot, and I'm still sore from squatting and standing. It's not a professional job, but it will work for us, and unlike a run or ride, I can see and enjoy the results of my efforts!

I told Kim when I was finished the three projects, "See what I can do when you take away my running shoes and bike." I think she may hide them permanently.

When life brings you injury, illness, or your choices put you on the sidelines, you can still find ways to live that may actually be healthier for you overall. 

My ultra-running friends say that ultra runners are running away from something. They may be right, and, when you can't run any longer, those things catch up with you, and you have to deal with them or find ways to live your life creatively to cope with them. Slowing down has caused me to deal with my adrenaline addiction, and I think I'm doing better with it.

As I age and deal with injuries, I find the wisdom in the ancient call that does NOT say, "Hurry up, be busy, and you will know I am God," but that offers the blessing, "be STILL, and know I am God."