Injuries Su*k! Mother Runner.

My apologies for the foul language, but some things just have to be told like they are… injuries suck. It has been FOREVER since I have written, followed up with the business end of things, and truly enjoyed all of the joys of being physically fit.

I suppose never in my life have I ever really been “injured”. I know weird. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had a broken leg in 6th grade. A broken hand in 12th. A pulled hamstring on numerous occasions on the soccer field, but honestly — none of these injuries have ever compared to the shear frustration of a “unknown” injury that hurts your “lady parts”. For you men out there, I’m talking about your groin.

Yes, you read that correctly – and it totally sucks! As magical as having children is, pregnancy and childbirth is no joke. From 4 months in, it was pain. I couldn’t have been happier to give birth and not be pregnant. I thought then the pain would be over and I would be hitting the pavement back to my old self… I couldn’t have been more WRONG. For a full year, I gave everything I had to motherhood. I fulfilled the middle of the night feedings, nursing on the regular and doing everything possible to grow our healthy amazing little boy. By one year I decided I was ready to get back to me.. or the new me, whatever that was. I was soon to find out.

Three months into my running return. I remember distinctly, the Berry loop — 4 miles in; my calf was BURNING, but I was stubborn, insistent as a matter of fact. After all I had run a half marathon 8 months prior with minimal effort. But I couldn’t help but know something was wrong. A shooting ache and pain from hip to calf. But it would go away…If I just kept running.

Looking back I never considered the impact those crazy long 10 months and the 17 hour labor had my body. And yes of course there is the slight chance that the pregnancy and the delivery had nothing to do with it, but ladies, let all agree we know our bodies and we know the exact moment when it all changed.

So here I am 6 months in to this fantastic injury — yes, that is sarcasm there and my ass hurts on the daily. For real, who’s butt hurts — daily?! It is seriously the worst. The most perfect burn, ache and pain right across the right glute — awesomeness. For the first three months I was determined to run through the pain. Isn’t that what we do? It goes away. You pop some ibuprofen and move on with life. What happens when that doesn’t work anymore?

For those three months I trying to keep up with the ladies but I continued to fail. Finally I gave in. I sought help. Not once but twice. Did it help…sure — slowly. But help what? This SLOW long journey is unimaginably irritating, frustrating and in some ways so super depressing. Don’t get me wrong, I have been blessed to be surrounded by some great patient women and therapist but… well freedom is calling. It’s like I can smell the fresh air, the race energy and feel the runners high and am yearning to get there.

I never imagined being injured would be so much work. The constant stretching, rolling, lifting, appointments. All squeezed in to an already full mom schedule. Try rolling on a softball with a two year old climbing on you. I am sure the sight is one that could win on Americas Funniest Home videos. Let me tell you just how amazing it feels when said two year old jumps on you just as you hit “that” spot.

You surely become the odd lady in the corner office stretching with her foot up on the chair while typing away — very lady like I might add. A better sight, try sticking your hip out while you’re stretching at the copier – they make comedies about this! Seriously! This isn’t to mention what students must think when they walk into your office, only to see a bright orange roller that screams are you going to beat the he** out of me. Title, Crazy Professor going through withdraw beats student…

Being an athlete and a runner has been the greatest gift of my life. The shear freedom it allows me to have. The moments to clear my mind and simply be one with myself and nature is truly a gift. However, I sit here typing this absolutely FULL of frustration, I encourage you. Plead to you. Advise you. Listen to your body. Know your limits. Stretch and stretch often. Be patient and kind to yourself. Of all people I get it. Some days I think it is my soul purpose to see just how far and how much I can push my body, or at least I did.

From this moment on however, I will NEVER push through the pain. I will never overlook the absolute beauty that the body is able to provide, its ability to tell me when enough is enough. I never want to be back here. Being fit, free and active is a privilege, one I don’t think I can ever again take for granted.

Injuries are no joke. They suck and what sucks even more is losing control of the healing process and knowing it is one step at a time.

Run free. Run strong. Run well.

~ Carolyn

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