Action: A Choice and a Gift
About a year ago, I was feeling tired and found myself procrastinating the outdoor run I was planning on doing that day. Just as I was mindlessly browsing online, someone up there sent me a sign and I came across a quote similar to this:
Athletes know to take and appreciate the good days. The majority of training days involve an injury or some type of pain, so on the rare day where you're feeling well-rested and pain-free, you savor it. While this is a lesson I learned when I was a child and the meaning of this mantra deeply resonates with me, I still needed to remind myself of this every so often last year when I would have those days where I felt like a lazy slug who couldn't turn off the latest episode of Scandal so I could go workout.
That year feels like a very long time ago. Now, all I can think about is the first day that I can go without thinking about my hip.
The first day I am allowed to run a single mile again by the west side highway.
The first day I can run that mile without my hip being the thing that stops me.
The first day I feel that familiar feeling I love of being expended because I just gave it my all to earn new capabilities for my body.
What I would give to do that outdoor run now.
You see, I had hip surgery a little under 3 months ago. This was my first major surgery, and while I technically knew about the long recovery process and the inevitable ups and downs of rehabilitation, it's a different story actually doing it. Don't get me wrong, this has all also made me incredibly grateful that my injury is not nearly as bad as what some other people have gone through and that it is a huge blessing that there is a foreseeable return to close to normal function when some people don't have that possibility.
But let's be real here- my career relies on my body. Working out and being active is my livelihood, my zen and outlet for stress-relief. Having my zen and outlet blocked off by obnoxious, bright yellow caution tape has changed many things in my life. I've lost a lot of the strength and lean muscle I worked so hard to earn throughout the last year and a half, and that, along with my doctor's orders to essentially be bed-ridden for nearly 4 weeks, has sent my metabolism crashing so I'm still adjusting to my new nutritional needs since I've had to be more stationary. My body felt really summer ready this year, let me tell you.
While it's unrealistic for me to think that post-recovery I won't have those days where I have those feelings of laziness and want to procrastinate, I know I will never sincerely take my ability to move and the health of my body for granted. Sometimes we like to play the victim, making excuses for ourselves or rationalize our not-so-great decisions. Action, whether it be something huge like deciding to change careers or something on a smaller scale like just going to do that workout when you're tired, is a choice.You choose to do or not do something.
You choose to be an active participant in your own life, and even having the luxury of a choice is a gift.
Some people don't have a choice in their situations, so to squander the opportunity to choose when you have that luxury is an insult to those without that chance, and a deep disservice to yourself.
Eyes on the prize, I remind myself, on this road to recovery. In life, we need to experience the lows to be able to appreciate and fully understand the gift of the highs. And man, that first successful run will feel that much sweeter of a high when it happens.