I Like The Runner

When I was younger, I was not really physically active.  As a kid I would rather curl up with a book than exercise.  In middle school I loathed PE class.  By the time I was in high school, I was content being a band geek.   College was consumed with filling my daily hours with work, class and time on the college radio/ TV stations.  Then I graduated, got a job in television and worked crazy hours.  I was not into fitness.

My freshman year of college I discovered yoga.  I dabbled in that throughout college, periodically taking classes.  After college I did a yoga TV show each day, it was on during hours I was home from work and I could do it without feeling more exhausted (I was constantly tired from working at 2:00 AM during that time.)

Then I got my current job, got married and got a gym membership.  I didn’t love the gym, but I did like knowing that I was doing something good for my body.   I did the couch to 5K program a couple of times during this period, always on a treadmill, and never building to an anticipated 5K race.  I never finished the program, it always bored me after a while.

I moved to Las Vegas, lost a ridiculously unhealthy amount of weight, decided to train to do a marathon and that switched on something inside of me… a more powerful, confident, connected girl.  That led me to becoming a healthier, more balanced and peaceful girl. *

I liked the runner.  I liked myself more as a runner.

Soft Cast
My "soft cast" with a sleeping #JadeTheBoxer in the background.

And now I can’t run due to stress fractures in my foot.  I was put into a soft cast today to help stabilize it further, thus I can’t even attempt the pool because the cast has to stay dry.  (And believe me, I was all set to teach myself how to swim. I’d looked up the YMCA pool hours and everything!)  There is a little part of me that is fearful that during this forced idle time, I’m going to lose that “happy runner” aspect of me.

I know this is just a short blip on my life’s radar.  But it is still feeling like I’m losing something that has become such an essential part of me.  I don’t know how to define myself without running.  I’m not a knitter, I’m not a dancer, I’m not a singer, I’m not a mother, I’m not a fencer… I am a web geek, but I need some separation from my computer, that’s what physical activity gave me! I feel a little like I’m not anything right now.

I know I’m still Jill, a unique blend that is only me.  But right now, it feels a little like one of the main ingredients is gone.  How can something that was not part of my life for so many years be such a large component now?

*Not to say that I’m completely at peace, or completely healthy or completely balanced… but I’m a lot closer than I’ve been in a long time!

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27 comments

  1. …i can only imagine how frustrated you feel right now…but i truly believe everything happens for a reason and i am sure you will bounce back quickly…maybe this is your body’s way of forcing you to just take it easy for a while…maybe dabble in some new areas like my favorite, cooking ;)….and you are much much more than just a runner and a web geek!…you are an amazing person and friend.

    • Cristina: If I could make pizza like you, that would be a dangerous hobby for me! Thank you for your encouragement and kind words though. You are amazing yourself!

  2. Oh no!! I am so sorry. I can totally relate to how you are feeling. My hip is hurting, I have a doctor’s appt next week and am terrified of your diagnosis. My identity is built so much around being a runner and the past week and a half have been tough. I really hope that you heal quickly.

    Like the above comment stated: you are so much more than a web geek and runner–you are a great person!

    • Lisa: I hope that YOU heal quickly with your hip injury and I wish you the best of luck! Thanks for the positive words!

  3. Oh dear! I didn’t anticipate this happening to you. I am confident that you will be out of that cast and running in no time.

    Don’t worry about your inner-lightbulb going out – too many won’t let that happen.

    Can’t wait to run with you again. In the meantime, get better soon!

    • Charlene: I didn’t anticipate this either! I appreciate knowing that there are people that will help me maintain my runner card! Can’t wait to run with you too!

  4. You are still a runner. All runners face injuries. I think injury may be a requirement for runner status.

  5. I like Momm-O’s comment, because that’s what I was thinking. Of course, I’d be frustrated as you are, too. Maybe it’s a good time to learn how to knit. 🙂 I love having that as a hobby. It keeps me from baking (another hobby) so I don’t eat my way through a baking book. 🙂

    Seriously, a blip on the radar. This too shall pass. But prayers are with you.

    • Sara: Believe me, I was slightly tempted to bake more, but at least I have the heat of the summer working in my favor. I don’t like turning the oven on in the summer due to the heat! But thanks for your support and prayers, it means a lot to me!

  6. BUMMER!!!

    I had a stress fracture last winter. It stunk, but in the long run, I learned a lot about not getting hurt again (so that’s a good thing…right?)

    I completely understand about liking The Runner. I could have written almost the same scenario about my life. The Runner in you won’t leave. It’s too much a part of who you are now.

    • Thanks! And I’ll be on the sidelines at Napa instead of on the course… you’d better be wearing your bright shirt!

  7. Oh, Jill. I feel your pain. Maybe you can take this down time and get some of the things you’ve been putting off done? (of course I’m assuming you put things off like I do!) Focus on getting better and running will be there when you’re back to 100%. Remember, you’re still you without running. And you’re still awesome. 🙂

    • I have a massive pile of stuff waiting to be taken to charity… I guess I should just box that all up and do that, huh?! There are things that I’ve put off… you’re right, I should take care of those! Thanks for your encouragement!

  8. You’re gonna be ok Jill! Just hang in there – I was in a soft case too for a while and it was soooo madenning. We don’t realize how much we use and need our FEET do we? Until they are stuffed into something weird like a cast and then you REALLY appreciate them anew! All runners get injuries and you will perserve!!

    GO JILL!

    ~Kelly (a fan of your blog 🙂

    • You’re so right, it’s interesting how you really find out how all your body parts work in harmony when something is not functioning! At least that’s a good thing to come from injuries, a new appreciation for how things work! Thank you!

  9. Oh, Jill! Hang in there! I know that isn’t much comfort to you!!! How long are you in the cast? I have been wondering about you – I am glad that you updated us here. Can you treat yourself to something that is not athletic related or maybe promise yourself a new running outfit once you are healed?

    ((((HUGS)))))

    • I’m in the cast for 2 weeks, then I’ll get it off and see what the x-rays show. What’s sad is I just treated myself to new running shorts right before this, haven’t even had a chance to run in them yet! I guess I have that to look forward to! 🙂

  10. Oh no! So sorry to hear about the stress fracture. Even though I have never had an injury like this I can relate to how you’re feeling. When I was pregnant and couldn’t really workout I felt so “not me”. It’s hard when you are so involved and love something so passionately. The bright side is your recognize this so you can stay aware. Stay strong! I know you can. 🙂

    • Tina, you always encourage me when you post about getting in shape post baby. I’ll take the encouragement I get from your site and use that to fuel my post-fracture return!

    • Thanks Kristen! I don’t want to say I’m glad you had an injury, but it is comforting to know that so many people understand and have gone through these emotions too!

  11. All the commenters on this post have had such great things to say that I’m not sure I have anything new to add. Just remember that an injury doesn’t mean that you’re no longer a runner. Even if you were voluntarily taking time off from running, you’d still be a runner. You are in control of your relationship with running, and you’re the one who gets to decide when you stop being a runner.

    This is a difficult time, but you’ll make it through! You are really strong and I know you can do it! *HUGS*

    • You do have something to add… the line about me being in control of my running relationship really struck a chord with me! Thank you!! I love the support you give me!

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