I normally go to the gym if I am going to workout, but today I decided to go running outside on a hiking path that I really like.
As I was running, I was reminded of how I felt when I ran cross country in high school.
I had initially joined the cross country team for Ed, because he told me to find some kind of exercise. But once I started it, it wasn’t about Ed anymore.
It became about my team. It became about beating my best time. It became about learning how to listen to my body, how to fuel it, and how to make it run as efficiently as it could.
When I was running today, I could literally hear my old coach telling me from the sidelines, “You’re tall, you’re strong, you’re beautiful.”
I was honestly not thinking about calories or numbers or miles today.
I was stuck back in the 11th grade, with my other cross country girls, just trying to enjoy the feeling of running.
And just for the record, I wasn’t even one of the fast runners on the team who won us any titles.
I was the one who came in second or third to last, and truly pushed myself for even that. But I was known for my perseverance, a quality that I think has gotten me through a lot of rough days in recovery.
So there I was today, running, imagining that I look like some kind of olympic super star, while we all know we never look like that while huffing and puffing as we run hard, but it was nice to imagine.
And then, out of no where, I tripped and fell over a rock and landed right on my face.
The olympian moment was over and now I was back in real life. My real life where yes, sometimes I start to feel like I’m flying and then I fall. But isn’t that everyone’s life?
Anyway, as I limped my way back to my car with my two scrapped and now severely bruised knees and two fake nails broken in half (most painful part), I realized something.
And no, I am not about to use the metaphor, “when you fall, pick yourself back up,” although that did cross my mind too.
I realized, that for the first time in a long time, that when I was done exercising, (obviously I was very done after my fall), I wasn’t even mad that my run was cut short because I fell.
I wasn’t mad that I couldn’t spend more time burning calories.
I wasn’t mad that my one hour of running turned into 30 minutes.
I was mad that my nails broke and that my phone fell in the dirt and that my knees hurt.
Don’t get me wrong, those aren’t fabulous things and in no way am I happy about it, but I am actually really happy with myself that I was mad at that, instead of being mad that my exercising got cut short.
That is recovery.
To care more about myself and my body (from my knees to my nails), is recovery. That is self-care 101 and it’s something that Ed knows nothing about.
However, it is something that I know about now.
And now that I write this, I honestly still think I was like a mini olympian today.
I finished my own race. While it might had been flat on my face, it was my way-and it was without Ed judging me for it.
Who knew I would ever be more upset over some broken nails and cut up knees than about not being able to run and burn more calories?
That sounds like a recovery olympian to me.