By: Christine Babcock - Project Little Wing
There is that well known saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” But what about when life gives you sticky, slimy syrup? When every time you feel like you have started to take a few steps forward and gain momentum, you find yourself pulled back where you were. What do you do in those situations? While being stuck in a seemingly endless puddle of syrup isn’t something I would wish upon anyone, unfortunately I have found myself in this place for the last 4 months. Three times I have convinced myself that the syrup was a memory of the past as I slowly built running back up only to find myself back in the syrup shortly after.
In the end of February I found out I had a navicular stress reaction. They said it was in its really early stages: 4-6 weeks I would be good to go. 5 weeks roll around and I cautiously began to run. Some days it felt great and I was convinced I was healed and other days the sky was falling and I wasn’t so sure. 3 weeks into the build-up I got a CT scan just to be sure. The result showed that while it was healing, it wasn’t completely healed. I jumped back on the cross training wagon as 3 more weeks roll by before I begin the build up again. It feels great for the first 3 weeks and then it gets achy one day and aches for 3 days straight after that. Red flag! While in theory it should be healed, sometimes our body has a mind of it’s own and in this case ignoring that signal would not be wise. So I am back cross training (when the motivation strikes me), contemplating the possibility of another scan as a checkpoint, and unsure about the future.
Originally the intention of this blog was to share how my running progression was going and what my race plan moving forward was. When I saw the topic, I was running and thought it would be a piece of cake. But honestly, now thinking about it feels daunting. I don’t know when I will race again, let alone how long it will take me to build back up. In my most vulnerable moments I wonder if I ever will race again and how long it will take me to get back to form. I have been on this journey before and I know how hard the road back can be. While it would be easy to dwell in these thoughts, I am determined to live with peace and joy in the moment, trusting that I am where I am supposed to be.
Here are 5 things that I am prioritizing and find empowering when facing injuries and adversity:
1) Intentionally choose joy every day.
2) Surround yourself with people who love, support, and uplift you—some days you will really need it.
3) Pour into the lives of those around you and invest in their success.
4) Explore new hobbies with the extra time you may have—you never know what hidden talents you may have.
5) Give yourself the freedom to start fresh tomorrow. If the thought of getting on the bike or in the pool ruins your day, do something else—it should never be that painful!
As hard as it can be, sometimes journeys like these remind us of the simpler, taken-for-granted things in life. How blessed I am by the love and support that surrounds me and the immense sacrifices people are making for me! My gratitude is overflowing! To my family and friends, thank you for years of love and encouragement! To Bob and Sarah Lesko—your unwavering belief is incredible! To Lauren—your constant investment in me humbles me on a daily basis. To my roommates—Betsy, Kate, and Mel, for caring enough to uplift me every time I see you—you are amazing! To the women behind Oiselle—Sally, Mac, Kristin, JJ and everyone at HQ, thank you for your selfless love and hard work! And to the multitudes of women (and lest I forget, bro birds) who daily go out in pursuit of their dreams, thank you for inspiring me to keep going after mine!