Injured Runner Series

I received a runner’s nightmare for Christmas this year: An injury. I slipped on black ice during a normal, everyday, easy winter run, and my foot smashed backward underneath my leg, majorly messing up my ankle. The very moment I fell, I knew it was bad news because I couldn’t move. I could hardly breathe, and, frankly, I was a basketcase!

The pain was real, and so many negative thoughts flooded my mind. How could I be so careless? Why didn’t I just run inside? What am I going to do? Will I be able to run again? I don’t want to go to the doctor! Why Me?

It’s natural for negative thoughts to be the reaction immediately following trauma. But they can become paralyzing if we continue down that rabbit trail. I had to pull myself together and have some emotional stability. My slip and fall was purely an accident.

I rung in the New Year with even worse news: Surgery. I came to find out that I not only broke my Fibula, which I initially learned, but I also tore my Deltoid Ligament, and my ankle completely shifted out of place. Have you had to cope with bad news? Injury? Loss?

Then came the dreaded word: Recovery. The surgeon said I would be completely off my foot for six to eight weeks and then learning to walk with the boot for another four to six weeks! No running for five to six months. When you’re used to running six days a week, this is a major kick in the gut.

I Can Choose

However, now it all comes down to a choice. I can choose to have self-pity and spiral myself downward and succumb to the negative thoughts, or I can choose to overcome and find victory in this unfortunate circumstance.

Our circumstances don’t have to define us. We choose to define who we are going to be through them. I choose to be a victor and not a victim. I choose to learn and grow during this season of slow. Even though injury really does stink, and I would much prefer to be back on my feet running and working, I feel like I am called to grow through what I go through, and that’s exactly what I choose to do.

I choose gratefulness. Things could have been much worse. I choose to start dwelling on the upsides to my injury. I’ve never had a major injury, and now I can understand the mental toughness that is needed to get through it.

Season of Slow

I now have a season of slow to reflect and renew. Sometimes you have to slow down to speed up, and those who know me well know that I have one speed, and it’s overdrive! I’m going, going, going all the time and rarely take the time to rest.

Walking this injury out is helping me to understand and empathize with those who have gone through injury or who will endure it at some point. I can now understand them through their journey. I can understand the mental battles that rage with injury.

The mental struggle is real. I can understand the mental strength that it takes to keep going and not fall into a downward spiral of the “what ifs” or the depressing feelings that we have or the crazy emotions that come. We can choose to be mentally strong as we walk through it, and the best part is that we can grow through it.

Mental and Emotional Healing

I am believing for miraculous healing in that my ankle is stronger and better than it was before and that I am now capable of even more. I’m believing for mental and emotional healing that I will overcome all negative, fear, and trauma.

I believe walking through this struggle is one of the best ways to grow. I’m learning to rely on others, grow my connections, figure out what is truly important, and taking time to declutter my schedule. This season is making me stronger. I need to see it through.

I will get back to running. I will even get back to running in the winter. I choose to overcome the fear and the trauma that comes with injury. I’m believing for healing in my spirit. I’m going to use this as my testimony, and I will grow through this season of slow.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”

Mohandas Ghandi

Whatever circumstances you’re going through, whatever giant you are facing, whatever wall is standing in your way — it may not even be injury, it may be something else — my encouragement to you is that you grow through what you go through, you learn from it, and you become better.

If you choose to be a victor, you can inspire others and be the person you’re meant to be. Don’t let circumstances or obstacles get in the way of you accomplishing your purpose. Grow through what you go through!

You are a winner. Just run YOUR race!

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