Monday, March 26, 2012

Lessons Learned-Grateful for Pain

I seem to learn life's lessons best through running and through being a parent. I'm not sure why, but that's when it seems to really hit me and really sink in. For example, my son came home sick last Tuesday. He threw up multiple times. At the end of the day he told me that he kind of liked being sick. With my jaw hanging wide open (because I can't think of much worse things than throwing up) I asked him with an incredulous, "WHY?" He told me simply that he got to lay on the couch while I rubbed his head and played with his hair and he got Gatorade and Sprite to drink. I couldn't help but laugh. Trust my little six year old to embrace the suck better than me.


Last Monday I headed out for my 5th post injury run. The 4 previous runs were euphoric and completely pain free. I was afraid to say out loud that I was back even though I wanted to scream it from the mountain tops! I got to run with my husband for one of them and I got to run with Heather again. After running 8 minutes/2 minutes of walking 3 times and even pushing the pace a bit, I felt like I was really coming back strong. Monday changed all that when I had pain after my first ten minutes. It didn't feel like it was in the same spot, but I'm still in that paranoid place where any pain is not good. I spent the rest of the day worrying about re injuring it and was pretty miserable. The next day after my son's answer I began to let go of the worry and just take it a day at a time and be grateful for what I had here and now. It reminded me of a few weeks ago after a 4 mile walk, I began to feel some pain. I worried and fretted all the rest of the day until my other ankle began to hurt in the same spot. I've never been so grateful for pain. It told me it was just soreness and not an injury. And just so you know, the two successive runs since then have been much better leaving me thinking that it was just sore muscles and tendons and ligaments that haven't been used in a while. :)

I feel like I've learned a lot of lessons these past few months. Some are pretty basic like I found out that I can do some pretty hard things and I can do them alone. Not that I'd choose to do them alone, but I CAN do it if needs be. I found that I like structure in my life and when it's taken away I don't do as well. I found out that I really like the pool. But the biggest gift I've gotten from this injury is time with my husband. It's not like we never see each other. He takes me on a date every single Friday night. Oh how I look forward to that time. But my Saturdays for the last 5 years or so have been reserved for my long runs. And without one single complaint, my husband has picked up my slack around the house. He's run multiple car pools, been the slave driver with the kids and their chores, and even done Easter eggs a time or two. The past couple of months have been so much fun with him. And without this time off, I don't really think I would have made the time to do things with him. And we've done some pretty fun things together. Climbing to the top of the mountain is high on the list but some other favorites have included several other hikes as well as snowshoeing.

My son and I also got to go snowshoeing on a day off from school.








I've really seen some beautiful scenery and enjoyed our time together more than I could have imagined. It never ceases to amaze me that my plan isn't always the best plan. And I'm going to try to remember the lessons I've learned long after I'm back to normal. If I miss a long run on a few Saturdays, it won't be the end of my training. And I might gain something even more valuable than training miles.

16 comments:

Mamarunsbarefoot said...

Took the words right out of my mouth! God is so good and I am so happy for your progress. I to learn so much from my kids as well as training and running. If we just let go and let God we usually learn what we need to.

Julia said...

this is a BEAUTIFUL post Jen...in scenery and words. seriously incredible. running really does teach me so many life lessons...thats what i love about it. i think i have slowly been catching on to the lesson you have been learning...sometimes there are other things in LIFE to appreciate in THAT moment and its just okay to miss a run. the time I had off from running was glorious...i am so glad to have it back of course...but i have never experienced or tried so many new things...it was fun to see what else is out there...whether it was new people to meet, places to see, new time to spend, new foods to try...new types of workouts, etc. it was a blessing in disguise i guess ;) i so hope you are doing well. i need to catch up with you :) sounds like you have been enjoying the simple precious moments though which makes me smile BIG. miss you and love ya friend!

Missy said...

Wow the snow is so beautiful!

Laura Boll said...

I felt like I learned so many of the same things when injured, too... it's hard to let go of our structure and routine, but also empowering to know that we CAN! And that life will go on, and even be richer in many ways! I'm so glad you're feeling good getting back to running... I remember being completely paranoid over every little ache and pain, but it eventually got better. So sweet that your son was loving that time with you, even when sick!

Lindsey said...

This is a great post Jen! I find that even though injuries suck, I learn more about myself when I'm injured than when I'm healthy. And it's nice to have a little more time for family :)

Alma said...

So very true! Lovely post.

Michelle Dragoo said...

What a wonderful post, and pics! xoxo!

Rachelle Wardle said...

I read this post last night and reflected on the lessons I learned from it throughout the evenning. Thank you so much for always teaching me. Everything you mention in this post is so spot on! Life is not about running or training...it is so much more and I am so glad that you have been able to discover that. You little boy is adorable and all of these pictures make me feel at peace. Thanks for sharing your life with us Jenn!

Jen @ Run for Anna said...

What a beautiful post and amazing pictures!

Katie said...

Beautiful post and pictures! Yep, God's plan it always the best . . . I have a hard time remembering that when my plan is not the one that seems to be His too. But His way is soo good.

Penny said...

Great post Jen. Sometime GOD has a hard time getting our attention. That is the beauty of GOD. I have has alot of learning lesson on this journey to. So happy that you have really got to enjoy doing that snow shoeing with your family.

Cory Reese said...

Wow, just awesome.

I always get ticked when things don't work out how I planned because I always think I know best. But it's always those times when things don't go according to plan that I seem to learn the most.

Thanks for these reminders!

Running Girl said...

Love this post, and sometimes have the same conflicting feelings about my weekends. It's really hard to carve out the time, without making tradeoffs with your limited family time.

Coy Martinez said...

What a great post and couldn't have said it better myself. My husband picks up a ton of the slack so I can train. I often look at the kids and think "I'll be happy when I reach my goal so I can just stay home for awhile and hang with them instead of running." I feel guilty a bit. When I'm injured or in the off season I really come to my senses so I try to keep those lessons with me now when I'm in the thick of things. If I miss a day of training, oh well. :)

Michael said...

Are those eye lashes for real? Super cute photograph! M

Laura Parson said...

This is SO well said - and something I definitely need to remember! I get caught up in my training like it is life or death, when there is WAY more important things out there!

I can't wait to be a Sweat Pink ambassador with you!