On Saturday I headed out to the track on campus to test out my knee. I was able to run for 7 minutes pain-free, after which I managed 3 more minutes during which a little tightness became a sharp pain at which point I stopped.
But boy oh boy! You should have seen me for those first 7 minutes! I had smile on me like a fox in a hen-house! That 7 minutes was more than double what I had been able to do only a few days before, so it was a good indication that the physio and I were doing the right stuff, rehab wise. It was by far the best 7 minutes of my week!
Fast forward to 10 minutes ago. I was looking in the mirror and contemplating what a tough go I have had, and how I might end up not racing again this season. I imagined myself giving my sister a pep talk before her race at CIS in a few weekends' time. I will say something along the lines of: "We're not getting paid for this, so no matter what happens out there or how you finish, make sure that you are having fun."
Then I flashed back (sorry for all of the time-traveling!) to about 4 weeks ago (before Queen's Open) I was stressed out with my workload and the effort I was putting into my running seemed to be detracting from the effort I was able to put into my academics and the rest of my life. I no longer appreciated it and I was certainly wasn't having fun doing it.
Boom! All of a sudden I made the connection. I dropped my feeling of "woe is me" like high school french and I'm now a new man! This injury made those 7 minutes of heaven possible and has allowed me to remember why it is that I run. Because I flippin love to! I'm not sure why it has taken an injury to make me remember, but now I have a new sense of urgency to fix myself up. I trust that this new-found sense of optimism and general good-will towards mankind will, perhaps, speed up the recovery process. And if not, the pitter-patter of lightly treading feet will sound ever so much the more melodic when I do finally get back to running!
Run happy. Be easy.