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A Letter to My Ankle

November 8, 2010

Dear Ankle –

I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I am a klutz and tripped over that stick.  I’m sorry that you changed colors and sizes a bunch of times. I’m sure you’re going through some sort of identity crisis, and it’s probably my fault.  Please forgive me.

I really wish you were better, already.  I wish you weren’t in pain every time I step off a curb incorrectly.  I wish you wouldn’t get swollen in anger whenever I walk more than a half of a mile at a time. 

I wish you were ready to run, because I am, and it’s really hard to wait around for you.   I tried to ice you, compress you, elevate you, and rest you in order that you would be ready for action.  I tried to take care of you for a quick miracle recovery.  I thought maybe three days was enough.  I was wrong.  I thought maybe a week was enough.  I was wrong. And now over two weeks have passed, and your still not healed.  I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.

Saturday I attended the race expo for the Stockadeathon; the 15K we were training for not too long ago.  I picked up my packet and told them I wasn’t running.  The ladies behind the table apologized, too.  Even strangers are sorry that you are injured.  They want you to heal too.  They gave me the race bib, regardless that I was scratching the race 

At first, when I saw my number, I got angry.  I trained hard. I pushed myself to new distances, and new speeds, not skipping one training run – being more dedicated than I ever have during race training.  And THIS is how I am repaid?  A gimpy, weak, painful Ankle?  I was angry at myself for not being able to push through the pain.  I was angry at the stupid stick for causing me to trip.  I was angry at you for taking your time, and for being in pain.  I was angry.

(photo from Jen)

But then, I got up bright and early Sunday morning to attend the race, anyway.  I cheered my friends (using the sign I made with inspiration from Abby).  I saw people run their first 15Ks, and I watched a few runners cross the finish line of their first race ever.  I watched as seasoned runners made their way uphill, then downhill, then uphill again.  People who have ran a handful of races.  People who have ran dozens.  People who have crossed hundreds of finish lines.  And I watched Jen crush her 15K PR.

(photo from Jen)

As I watched them, I thought about their stories, unknown to me.  I thought about the races they’ve completed, and the training runs they pushed through.  I thought about the injuries they have faced, the seasons they took off, and the races they’ve had to scratch.  I thought about what it must have felt like to make a comeback. 

The race bib is now hung on my wall, as a reminder that this will not be my last race.  When I look at the number now, I am reminded that I can dominate another training plan, and new distances, and new speeds.  I can run again, once you are healed. 

You take your time, Ankle. My pace in a race is not the fastest, why should I expect you to recover speedier than you may need?  I’m sorry, and I’m here for you, to support you as you get stronger and give you what you need to do so.  I’ll move on your time, Ankle, not mine. 

 Thank you for the miles you’ve taken me, I’m looking forward to the journey ahead. 

xo,
Heather

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2010 1:26 pm

    Awww, poor ankle! I know it was hard, but kudos on being smart!

  2. November 8, 2010 1:31 pm

    I love this! Hooray for the Boilermaker 2011!!!!! 😀

  3. November 8, 2010 1:56 pm

    Aww 😦 Glad you were able to have a positive experience out of it! It is such a bummer, but there will be more races! And training is half the fun 😉

  4. November 8, 2010 2:47 pm

    Proud of you — you will be back to running before you know it. Love you!

  5. November 8, 2010 2:57 pm

    Injuries are so so so so humbling. I am a BETTER person with a spine fracture. I respect my body. And I know my limits.

  6. November 8, 2010 4:07 pm

    Dear Heather,
    thank you for coming out to cheer me on despite your ankle and the 30 degree temps. You are awesome! And there will most def. be more races for us to run. BOILERMAKER 2011 here we come!!! 😉

  7. November 8, 2010 5:57 pm

    I am SO sorry about your little ankle. Please rest and relax. You are such a trooper to come out and support like a rock star. You’re an amazing person, Heather!

  8. November 8, 2010 10:39 pm

    I am proud of you for hanging up that race bib with pride. It shows the accomplishments you made in training even if you didn’t get to run.

    The races we don’t run can sometimes be more memorable than those we do. But be proud of you for making the right choices for you and your ankle. One healthy choice…and then another 🙂

  9. Jenn permalink
    November 9, 2010 1:09 pm

    Have you tried soaking your ankle in epsom salts? The magnesium is very helpful for bruises.

    • November 9, 2010 1:11 pm

      Thanks, Jen! A great tip!
      That picture is from 2 days post fall- it’s much more “normal” skin tone colored now 😉

      xo

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