Pride and the Snow

Yesterday I ran 1.7km. Today I ran 4.3km. In the snow. On icy trails where I didn’t entirely know where I was going, or how long I would be. It was a combination of running and walking. I wore a backpack with a toque and gloves inside, because I didn’t know how the temperature would affect me.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written. When I saw awhile, I mean it likely seemed like I had given up entirely. The last time was over three months ago and I was SURE that I was going to be active, getting up, and getting out there. It didn’t happen though. As I previously mentioned, I moved across the country. Getting settled was more work than I remember it being. Maybe because it was just myself and my partner, maybe because it was such a new place, maybe because there was a problem with all my furniture being damaged in the move and trying to remedy that.

Whatever the reason, I wasn’t running. I still focused on school, but without a social community to go out to (replacing furniture is expensive), I didn’t have a lot of time away. I watched a lot of Netflix. I was still up before 6:00am, but it just meant more television and movies. My arm hurt after that run back in September and it made me afraid to go out again.

There was also my pride. I used to run marathons. I didn’t win them, but I completed them. I travelled to new places to experience running events and I looked forward to new shoes, equipment, technology. Then, since a year ago, my arm was injured and I couldn’t hold it in any position and especially not move it repeatedly. I did the Mini-Taur in Crowsnest Pass out of pure stubbornness but it was only a 10km race. I should be able to do it. I used to do marathons!

Starting over is hard. I feel like starting over is even harder than starting in the first place, because there’s the muscle memory of what it felt like to have that long stride and run for hours every day. Suddenly, I need to be aware of myself, take breaks so that my arm doesn’t ache, and turn around much earlier than I normally would have. I have playlists on my phone that I would listen to on repeat while I ran because I wasn’t willing to stop and change it. Now, I’m getting home before the playlist is even close to being finished. My pride is rearing its head.

I received some gift cards for Christmas, as well as a pair of leggings that didn’t fit. When I returned the leggings, I saw shoes with rubber cleats. A very long time ago, before I lived in Victoria, I ran in the winter. I didn’t have those shoes anymore. If I was going to run here, I would need something waterproof with cleats. I was able to indulge and I bought myself those shoes. I can run on snow and ice. I have no excuses. In the last few months, my arm has been healing (thanks to my lack of doing anything active) and I’ve been careful. Lots of stretching. Lots of taking it easy. Slowly building up that muscle again to the point where I could run-walk 4.3km without pain.

Running has been my life for years. It’s been my meditation, my time alone, my peace. It’s been my strength and my confidence. I was proud of myself in doing marathons. Apparently so much pride that once I couldn’t, I was afraid to start again. Not this time.

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