Saturday, November 2, 2013

Making the decision, every day.

Today while I was running, I thought about when I started running again (1996). I had kids in 1994 and 1995, and I wasn't allowed to exercise during those years. (It was a high blood pressure pregnancy issue).

I realize I tend to repeat myself on my blog. Every year, when I look back on certain events, I learn something new.

It was '96 when Jordan pointed to my flabby arm, wiggled it around and asked, "That?"

Fifteen minutes later, I had my running shoes on. I ran to the stop sign (20-30 meters), was out of breath, turned around and walked home.

The next day, I ran to the stoplight (maybe a quarter of a mile?), turned around and walked home.

I did that every day until I got to the 2.5 mile mark of a 5 mile loop. I realized that if I kept running I could, well, I could just KEEP RUNNING.

For the next few years, running was fantastic. No matter where in the world I was, I could bring my running shoes.

But it took that first step....whether it was based on vanity or desire to just do something for myself, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter HOW I started running again. The important thing was that I did.

With little kids, running was everything for me. During the week, I ran shorter distances. On weekends, I ran long. It was my time. It was the only time of quiet that I had.

Then, the accident happened.

I remember being in my cast. I was in it for months. First unable to walk, then into a walking cast. At one of my appointments, I asked my doctor when I'd be able to run again. He said, "Run? You'll never run again. You'll be lucky if you walk without pain again."

As important as running was to me, I stared at him, and I said, "No. That's not acceptable. Can I pool run?"

"Pool run? No. You can't do anything."

"Can I pool run without touching the bottom?"

SIGH...."Sure you can pool run."

"Can I swim?"

SIGH...."ABSOLUTELY NO FLIP TURNS. We can't risk you hitting your foot on the wall."

"Can I ride?"

"NO. Absolutely not."

With the thought of being able to swim and pool run, I took off to the gym.

I started swimming regularly. I'd always been a non-competitive lap swimmer. But I took my swimming more seriously now.

On the days I didn't swim, I took my little floatie and did deep water pool laps.

I had planned on running the (then) Denver Marathon in October. I didn't care what the doctor said. He wasn't going to take my running away from me.

My walking cast came off in July.

I had been swimming. I had been pool running.

I found out that the women's only triathlon Danskin was in August, and it was right down the street from my house.

I knew it was a long shot, but what if I could do it? If I could do that, maybe I could still do the marathon?

I started walking.

And the pain was unbelievable.

But I kept going.

I figured that if it hurt to walk, it was going to hurt to run. So why not run? I went to the store and bought the softest most cushioning shoes they had. I started running on the grass for 15 seconds at a time.

Every step hurt.

I knew that all I had to do was be able to swim 750m/bike 12 miles/run 5k.

I decided to register.

3 weeks later, I finished my first triathlon, a sprint, in 2:45, and having to walk and limp my way through the 5k. (Let's not even talk about my first open water swim AND not being on a bike).

Over the coming weeks, I realized that the marathon was out the picture. The pain was too much. I couldn't even get to 10 miles. I was still having to use crutches on occasion to just help me walk.

I kept swimming, and I got on the bike when I could. I really didn't know much about swimming or biking. I'd done bike events, and I always swam, but I never "raced".

I bought a book about triathlon training and started following the plans. I figured over the winter, I could do those plans and maybe get in shape for the next year.

Two years later, and many many hours spent practicing yoga, hours spent in the pool on the bike and running....I got home from a run and realized that I had just finished my first pain free first in 2 years.

I was running today, and I was thinking of all of this. Since then, I've done so many triathlons, so many running races, swim races and numerous bike events.

And I think that if Jordan hadn't asked me "That?"....would I be doing what I'm doing today? In a way, I have him to thank for getting me back into my running shoes, which in a strange twist of fate, led me to the pool and onto the bike.

In a few weeks, he and I will be racing the Turkey Trot again, a race that we've been doing since he was in kindergarten.

Honestly, I don't even know if I have a shot of winning, but I know that I will give it absolutely everything I have because I owe that to the guy who at 2 years old, got me back into my running shoes.