A reflection on my first summer in years without being able to run and what I filled my time with instead. Plus, thoughts on identifying myself as more than a runner and what my future looks like with the sport.
This will have been the first summer in more than 10 years that I haven’t spent pounding the pavement, running with friends, or participating in local races.
The first summer I haven’t been able to enjoy time outside doing something that I love. Seeing my city while striding on two feet and sprinting down sidewalks.
The first summer not preparing for a fall race or recovering from a spring training cycle. A summer without new PRs or epic long runs.
But for everything this summer lacked in running fun and activities, it made up for in things that I haven’t done in years. I put myself out there more, explored new passions & hobbies, and discovered who I am outside of running.
Here’s what I did in my summer without running…
“green” commuted (walked or biked) everyday
laughed and smiled more than I have in years
hit my lowest point and clawed my way out of it
found new favorite places to go hiking
elliptiGOed my way around town
went urban zip-lining
made some amazing recipes
experimented with recipe videos
ate some delicious food
said NO THANK YOU to things that don’t serve me
swam in a natural oasis right outside my own city
appreciated natural beauty
laughed my ass off watching old home movies with my family
realized my worth and removed myself from toxic relationships
went out on dates
fell in love with kayaking and stand up paddle boarding
went to an awesome Beatle’s tribute
discovered a secret beach 10 minutes from my apartment
became OBSESSED with skydiving
made travel plans for the rest of 2018 and 2019
connected with old friends
made investments in my future
What my summer lacked in running, it made up for in memories and moments I’ll never forget.
While my running future is still very uncertain (I had to DNS 3 marathons this year and I highly doubt I’ll ever be able to run one again) because I am still dealing with residual nerve pain from my herniated discs as well as various stress fractures from unknown origins, I am choosing to remain positive and focus on the things in life I AM able to do. Of course, I am hoping beyond all hopes that I can run in some capacity some day, but dwelling on ‘what ifs’ won’t get me anywhere and certainly won’t bring any joy into my life.
So as cliche as it is…onwards and upwards. Even if my fall and winter don’t include running either, I am determined to make them just as great as summer was!
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