Heart of Gratitude: Day 12

Many, many times, I have laced up my shoes, strapped on my watch, and hit the streets, trails or treadmill to log a few more miles.  I would not consider myself a natural runner, but my body has endured five half marathons, four sprint triathlons, three legs of a 200-mile relay, and a number of 10k and 5k races.  While gearing up for a marathon relay this spring, I was training on a treadmill when my knee suddenly gave out.  Gripping the side rails, I offloaded my weight and hobbled away from the machine.  The pain subsided, but my training came to a screeching halt.  I hoped that a couple weeks of rest would allow me to run my portion of the race, but only three minutes into my run, the pain was a clear indication that I should swallow my pride and pass the baton to another runner.

Weeks later, the pain was still keeping me from going out for a quick jog.  I made an appointment with a specialist and had an MRI of my knee.  It was both a relief and a frustration to learn that there was no clear indication of what was causing the pain.  I continued to train for this summer’s triathlon, but steered clear of any activities that would involve high-impact training.  Once more, I choked back my desire to complete all three legs of the race and walked away once I crossed the bike finish.

Never before have I been truly limited by an injury.  Through the spring and summer, there were moments of tears and questions as to whether or not I would be able to run as I had in the past.  While I may not choose to train for more than a 10k race, my sunglasses bounce off the bridge of my nose as I smile through the last tenth mile of each run I have been able to complete this Fall.  My heart rejoices when I consider the healing that has taken place in my body.  Today, I am thankful for the ability to run!

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