Five years ago, I was an athlete. Five years ago, I ran marathons. Five years ago, I won awards at local 5k races and duathlons. Five years ago, I was a runner. Five years ago, I also suddenly became very ill and was soon diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Five years ago, my life and identity changed. My body simply could not do the things it used to do, and I felt like I lost part of myself in the process.
Eventually, I grew and learned that I was so much more than that one singular identity. There were so many other parts of myself that I needed to explore and share. So, I did. I learned how to deal with the frequent bouts of debilitating fatigue and to listen a lot closer to what my body was telling me. In the back of my head, however, I missed running. It’s a fact that once you are a runner, you are always a runner. Two years ago, I decided to try to make a comeback to running.
God had other plans. The day before I planned to start a new training schedule that would get me back into running shape, I had a freak and unfortunate accident. Two years ago, I broke my kneecap in half. I had surgery to repair my knee followed by months and months of physical therapy just to get me walking again. I didn’t know if I would ever be physically capable of running again, but that was always my goal. It took 10 months, but my knee healed. I’ve tried running in the last year only to discover I am slow now because my knee just refuses to take me any faster. In the end, I was never able to stick with it.
Still, I am a runner. I see other people out running and feel jealous. I love how I feel when I run. I love that time for my muscles to stretch and release the stress they carry. I love how my brain sorts itself out during a run. See, a runner never stops being a runner. Once again, the urge to run is so strong that I can no longer hold it back. I want to be a runner again. I know I will never be like I was five years ago. I’m five years older and fighting against the broken knee and autoimmune diseasee. I’m fighting against constant fatigue.
Yet, I know it is what I must do. So, I decided to do what any other blogger in this position would do. I decided to write about it. I want to share my struggle and hopefully share my triumphs. I want to hold myself accountable to all of you. I’ve never stopped being a runner, but with any luck I’ll soon be a runner who actually runs again.