I have acquired my first sports injury.
Technically it wasn’t really a sports injury as I did it getting out of my car… but it is impacting my running, so therefore I think it sounds more virtuous to think of it in terms of a sports injury!!!! (New Labour are not the only ones who could be accused of ‘sexing’ up events!!!!)
Joking aside, I have pulled my calf muscle, which from over-compensating is now affecting my knees. 😦
As soon as it happened on Wednesday, I knew this was going to be a challenge.
1) Could I do the sensible thing for my body and not overdo it and
2) If I stopped the routine of running, could I tolerate the slightly irrational fear of not ever running again.
It got me thinking, sometimes not being free to do something, is just as special as being free to do it. I feel the need to explain- to myself as much as you my reader. I manage life on the whole by being very rigid and slightly disciplinarian with myself. If I commit to something- I commit to something. If I start a new routine, by hook or by crook, come what may, I will not deviate from it. I started to run, and whether I have to drag myself out come rain or snow, I will run every other day. This attitude does have some advantages, I can be quite productive… but it has a terrible side-effect: I treat myself appallingly. I find it difficult to bring compassion into the equation. I ignore both my physical and sometimes emotional needs. And I do most of it from a place of fear. Fear of never getting going again. For example, running. If I stop, will I ever run again? Will I be able to make the humongous jump from nothing to something again.
I have been trying to do things differently. Two weeks ago OFSTED came a-visiting: I knew that putting myself under pressure to run, was just not going to happen. I was ok with that. I got back on track (which made me feel enormously happy) but on Wednesday the calf muscle thing happened. I did some research and the consensus seemed to be I needed to rest it. But I don’t want to rest it. I want to run. I want to increase my running stamina. I want to be outside running.
And marrying these two needs is proving to be quite difficult for me. In my head I agreed to wait until the weekend. Today,(Sunday) I want to run. Today my knee is really hurting. What am I going to do. I just don’t know. Kindness says, maybe I shouldn’t. The harsh critic says get off your fat arse and go for a run you loser.
Obviously, I need to do some more work on self-compassion. With Penelope on Friday I had a horrible moment when I started hitting myself and the words I was calling myself were just awful. I would never say those words to other people, but I find they easily fall from my lips towards myself.
As I write I see so many different elements.
I have started attending a Christianity Explored group. A 7 week course studying Mark’s Gospel and funny enough Exploring Christianity. I can’t make next Thursday evening. I always knew I couldn’t make Feb 12th. Historically, I would have either, gone to quite a lot of bother and re-arranged 12 other people’s lives so that I wouldn’t miss it or in my more extreme moments, I just wouldn’t have started the course. This time, even though I find it quite tricky missing one of the sessions- I have done neither of my previous behaviours. I will miss a session and the world will not cave in because of it. I know that, but it doesn’t stop the anxiety. It doesn’t stop that pit in my stomach that makes me think I will miss out if I’m not there. Slightly weird I know, but thats me! So I have been trying to do things differently but the poorly leg has really thrown me!
As I’ve always done with any physical issues I’ve experienced, I have the push through mentality. Just ignore it and it will go away (no). If you just do it, it might actually make it better (usually not). Don’t give in to it, you are stronger than whatever affliction it might currently be (absolutely definitely not).
And this raises another issue (gosh, all of this is tumbling out of me- I’ve had a lot going on in my mind!)… the other issue is that I am still so disconnected from myself and my body. The disassociation has been very noticeable to me in the last few weeks. I was part of a children’s event at the O2 which should have been amazing- it took every inch of elastic band pinging to keep bringing me back to reality. Others were moved, excited, thrilled. I was absolutely nothing. No matter how much I was trying, I just couldn’t get myself in the room. The whole thing was a test of endurance in the face of non-being- which I can assure you is absolutely exhausting!
In my session with Penelope yesterday, we did an exercise in response to me telling her this. I was soooo furious with myself for not being able to feel my body and emotions that was when I started hitting my head. (Of course, I realise I was experiencing anger in that moment!) I feel so discouraged that I can’t seem to join myself up. The mountain seems totally un-reachable at this point. Spectating life and not participating in it, is such a lonely lonely place.
Wow, this post didn’t quite turn out as I expected. I was only going to report my strained calf muscle! The power of writing!
Thanks for listening