My Month of No Running… A Year Later

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This past Thursday, I came back home after housesitting in Sycamore for two and a half weeks.  Other than seeing my husband and my cats, I was most excited to run along the lake again.  It’s an awesome experience.  To one side you have the lake and the beaches, and (if you run as early as I do) the beautiful sunset.  On the other side you have lake shore drive and all the early morning commuters zooming by.

It’s the perfect balance of zen and chaos.  I love it. 

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Friday morning rolled around and I popped right out of bed when my alarm went off at 5:30 am.  Yes folks, I wake up that early on weekdays.  It was the perfect day for a run.  Not too hot but not too cold.  There was a slight breeze, not the winter gale force wind I had been experiencing for months and there was a gorgeous sunrise.  It was one of those runs where you don’t even realize you’re running because everything is just perfect.

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As I was blissing out over this run, I started to think back to last year.  About this time last year as I was on one of my runs my left knee started to hurt.  Then it started to really hurt.  Then I had to stop running and walk and then sit down in the middle of a country road and wonder how I was going to get back home.  It was the first time that I had a real running injury.  I had gotten my share of blisters and chafing and other running maladies but I had never had a full-blown, can’t run it hurts so bad injury.

I was devastated.

Not because I was hurt or because it was really painful but because I could NOT run.  I tried to trick myself and took a few days off thinking I would be fine after the weekend.  Yeah, no dice.  There was no way I was going to be able to keep my regular running schedule with that knee.

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It was a really hard month.  I was mopey and crabby and pouty.  Adam should get a medal for being around me because I was not a pleasant person to be around. Running felt like the only thing that defined me as far as physical activity.  I had fallen in love with running and it had helped changed me inside and out and to suddenly have it ripped away really took it’s toll on me.

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It sounds dramatic, but I know other runners will feel me on this one.

But here I am a year later, running along Lake Shore Trail despite my dark moments of despair when I would cry and ask Adam if I would ever run again.  That month of no running taught me a lot of things and they have stuck.

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1. I am not just a runner.  I have so many other things going for me

2. I don’t have to run every single day to be physically fit, in fact I shouldn’t run every single day

3. Running isn’t the only form of exercise that I enjoy.  I actually like lifting heavy weights and want to lift even heavier

4. I can handle adversity, but I need to learn how to do it with a little more grace.

5. I need to be thankful every run that I can do because sometimes I can’t

Sometimes things happen in life that knock you down so that you can pick yourself up and be stronger.

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I think experiencing a month of no running helped me to get to where I am right now.  And where I am right now is pretty awesome.  I am truly blessed to be living the life I am and I love being able to do things that I believe in and help others.  I have an amazing support system and I learn new things each day.  I have pushed my limits more than I thought I could and I am ready to go even further past my comfort zone.  Running has given me so much but not running gave me more than I thought possible.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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What I Learned from My Dad

This past weekend was Father’s Day and today is my dad’s 50th birthday, so I thought in honor of all the dad awesome-ness I would write a post on some important things that he has taught me over the years.

I can really only attribute my passion and curiosity for health and nutrition to my dad. I’ve mentioned before that he is a kinesiotherapist, and he also knows a plethora of information on the way the body works as a whole. He is always eager and willing to share that knowledge with me and I have grown to love everything about the way the body works and how we can help it to perform at its optimum levels. I honestly don’t think that I would have started this blog or begun my pursuit of my own health goals without his help and guidance.

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I think that one of the most important lessons that my dad has taught me is this; no matter how many times life knocks you down, you can ALWAYS get back up and rebuild. While this can and does apply to so many aspects of life, I got to thinking how it can directly apply to your health. I know for me personally, there have been so many times that I have failed when it comes to my health. I struggled for years to try and lose weight or establish a consistent exercise program or eat better. How true is that for so many of us? It seems like falling off the health wagon is so much easier than finding something that works for us.

But it is so important to keep trying. Your health is vital, and good health makes your life so much more enjoyable and easier. If I had given up after the first time I faltered, I would never be where I am today. Yes, finding a healthy lifestyle that works for you will take time and you will most likely fail or struggle at some point, but you are strong enough to pick yourself back up and try again. I have been blessed enough to have a father who instilled that in me and has always been there to encourage me to get back up and fight for what is important. So if you are struggling right now, or have given up, know that I believe in you and I know that you can dust yourself off and jump back into the game!

And to my dad, thank you so much for everything that you have taught me, I am a much better person because of it. Happy Birthday D!

Yup, that's his kilt in Buchanan plaid!

Yup, that’s his kilt in Buchanan plaid!