At the start of lockdown 1.0, to my huge surprise, I took up running…
I had pretty much loathed it as a form of exercise until that point, but my body & brain were telling me they wanted a new challenge and that this was the perfect one. So I followed my instinct & dutifully downloaded the Couch to 5K App.
It wasn’t a linear track to the point where I graduated some months later, and I never reached a 5K distance, but in the meantime had busted through a number of physical and mental hurdles about being a woman in her 50s, who is still willing to break her boundaries and challenge her sense of body & self.
Then in August, after a random accident not related to running, I instinctively & immediately knew from the throbbing pain, that I had probably done some serious damage. Sure enough, an X-ray revealed a fractured ankle.
As I hobbled about in a support boot, I cursed myself initially, then realised that I simply had to adjust and navigate my way through the next few steps.
Swimming and yoga were a god send. And eventually the boot gave way to an ankle support and I tested my ankle out slowly – stiff, sore and achey at first, on longer and longer walks.
With no follow up health care, my body set to healing the break, as I nurtured it with supplements, practised online physio, etc. For all that, it seemed to take a torturously long time for the swelling to go down and the stiffness / aching to cease.
Meanwhile I’d been racking up my walking miles, putting some prodigious paces in, as my ankle slowly got stronger.
In the past few weeks I began to feel ready to run again and today, was clearly the day, for many reasons, to pull on my gear, strap up the ankle and test my boundaries again…
I set myself a 30 minute interval running goal, not bothering about pace or distance, but simply to get a feel for where I was. I ran and walked as the sun began to drop, at my own pace, pushing myself a little past my comfort, and it felt really good.
Now I’ll see how this sits with my body and gently work through building up speed and stamina once again.
And so, for today it’s enough for me to pat myself on the back for finally having taken those next few steps…