In October 2010, I was in an accident that messed my knee up. The orthopedic surgeon said therapy could help repair it, so I didn’t need surgery. 4 months later, he told me I could no longer run. Not news someone whose ran for 20 some years wants to hear. I had to switch to riding a bike and taking walks.
In February 2011, I was in another accident. I should not have survived this accident. I was a passenger in a truck and we hit an icy patch on the road and hit a tree 10 yards away at 30 m.p.h. I woke up in the hospital. The left side of my body and the right side of my face were pretty banged up. After I was released from the hospital, my brother and I went to look at the truck. The front passenger side of the truck was shaped like a tree trunk.
I went to my doctor and he recommended that I see my orthopedic surgeon. The ortho was surprised to see me again a month after my last visit. Physical therapy was schedule for as soon as I could stand on my leg again. The Physical Therapists weren’t as surprised to see me. 4 more months of PT and I was informed yet again, that I could not run.
For those who run, you know my pain to hear this. What most people don’t realize, is that runners are a special breed. If something has us upset, we can’t figure something out, or we just feel like we’re being dragged down, we go for a run. Running helps release oxygen, endorphins, and calms the nerves. It also allows us to have a few moments of the day to ourselves.
Not being able to run, makes me feel sluggish. I cannot explain this to people that don’t run, but I’ll try. It feels like everything on me weighs about 100 pounds and I have a hard time moving. My body is conditioned to expect the release of oxygen and endorphins when I feel this way. To not be able to run, was like literally killing a big part of who I am.
Fast forward 2 years later.
I am now running again, against my doctors, surgeon, and therapists advise. I don’t get to run like I used to, but at least I can still get out. In October 2011, I had a rotator cuff surgery due to the accident. I informed my surgeon than that I was running again. He gave me a look that said, I’m gonna see you again in a few years for a knee replacement. I explained to him how I had slowly worked my way back into it. With much trepidation, he gave me the O.K. He also gave me a lot of restrictions too.
I no longer run the distances or at the speed I once did, but I still get to enjoy the oxygen and endorphins. Plus I no longer have to feel lethargic. I also no longer get to run everyday. The surgeon told me every other day and on the off days, walk or ride the bike. During the summer, I ride the bike, but with winter almost upon us and snow already on the ground, I go for walks. It is a fair trade off in my opinion.