I have been athletic my whole life – soccer, cheerleading, track and field, backyard football, you name it. I had the occasional lapse in my exercising habits, but I always came back to sports as a way to make and maintain friendships, and stay sane in the very un-sane world of academia.
On May 9, 2010, I was playing soccer, as I did every Sunday, when a little scuffle for the ball resulted in a traumatic knee injury. At the time I didn’t worry too much about it. I had been fouled a million times fighting over a soccer ball. I had no idea how bad it was until I met my (wonderful) surgeon. I tore my ACL, dislocated my patella, and stretched out pretty much every muscle, ligament, and tendon in my right knee. I cried the whole drive home. I was sure my athletic life was over.
I had surgery a few weeks later. I woke up from surgery asking when I could run again. I was as surprised as anyone. Though I ran often and well, I had never thought of myself as much of a runner. Nonetheless, my focus was on getting back to running. I was a woman possessed. In November of 2011, I was given my doctors’ permission to begin running. It was horrible. It hurt like crazy and I felt a bit like Inspector Gadget when a gadget limb malfunctioned. That first day I ran for 2 minutes. I was exhausted, but I have never felt more free. I have found more love, enjoyment, and peace from running than I ever thought I might.
The process of becoming a runner (again, or for the first time, maybe) has been difficult, wonderful, and life-changing. In the time since surgery, I’ve returned to running and fitness, suffered through the first early months of running when every run is torture, found a new appreciation for running, met great running friends, and even become a running coach. I’m not stopping there. This blog is dedicated to chronicling the next phase in my running journey – wherever that takes me.