I'm fast approaching physio graduation, after making rapid improvements over the last month. Things are really starting to come together now, and I'm excited to build up my training, and finally race again this winter. When I look back over the last year since I 'checked into rehab' (so to speak), I feel in such a better place. I feel like I missed out on a lot, but in the end I know I am coming out in a better, more sustainable, and wiser place.
The hardest part was in September after realizing that I had to let go of precious mileage and long runs that were just getting my nose above water again, and cut back again to let my new physio stuff really kick in. It made sense on paper that the quickest way forward was to hit the pause button, but by then I had used up all my patience. I was in an ugly mood let me tell you; it was so frustrating to miss another fall without a goal race.
My physiotherapist, Stacee Smith, is incredible. She really understands how interconnected the body is, and keeps the big picture in mind as she corrects imbalances with stretching and progressive strengthening. I've learned so much from her, and my running will always be better for it. Even after she proclaims me well, I'm going to keep going for maintenance on a regular basis in the future. We ask a lot of our bodies and need to take care of them. Somewhere along the line I really started taking mine for granted.
Another amazing healer who I've been going to this year is Dr. Sonya Nobbe, a Naturopath. She has also helped me a ton with her advice and recommendations of supplements based on my blood work, diet, lifestyle, etc.. I've had absolutely great results so far and can really feel the difference. For example, she casually mentioned in my first visit that we'd get my iron stores above 50 and I thought, 'wouldn't that would be nice, but not possible'. Just a few months later, they were at 51.
When we hosted the Sydenham Fall Trail Run two weeks ago, I stood by the finish line, where I always do, and was struck by the emotion of individuals and groups coming in. All shapes and sizes of people, all ages, some with pain written on their faces, and some with huge smiles. A group of women wearing matching pink shirts streamed in whooping it up, and the thought that this little race has become special to a lot of people was overwhelmingly satisfying. I was glad I was wearing my sunglasses. I still can't watch it in the video without welling up.
We're all connected, and I've learned we don't always need to achieve something ourselves to gain from it. I gained 223 times over that day, and am grateful to my fellow runners for giving me that. I'm certain that without my year of injury it would have just been a rather nice but exhausting day, but instead it turned out that it gave me my fall race after all.