Running without pain? Is it even possible? Or isn´t it part of the parcel we carry on our shoulders as runners, accepting it as the norm.
I got back from my second run of the day and stepped out of the shower. I felt NO PAIN. No niggle. No discomfort. Just that delicious feeling of wholeness. Of feeling complete in my body. Uh, when was the last time I felt...so healthy? I asked myself.
And couldn´t remember. In winter maybe or a couple of weeks before the first race dating back to April? It didn´t matter.
A throwback to a couple of weeks ago reminded me of the pain I was in, unsure of how I was going to be able to continue the Trans Alpine run. It being a team race there was no consideration to give up the adventure. Making it work somehow was the only option for me.
So there I stood next to the shower, wrapped in a towel recognizing that moment, becoming aware of my health for a short moment. Without pain you can´t know what health feels like. Without falling into a low it´s impossible to appreciate the high. When everything feels in flow. Without mastering a challenge you can´t savor your achievements.
Your health determines your path and only you are setting the direction.
We swing in the whole range of the pendulum as athletes and somewhere in between. Where you sort of feel ok, run through it and find yourself on that fine edge. Needing to decide what feels right.
This brings me to the whole point: opt for new ways and discover your way of training and begin to trust your gut a little more. Focus on the way you want to feel and practice listening to your innate voice.
That one next push through may mean a longer break. Saying no requires a lot of courage and strength. It´s a fine discernment that makes all the difference to sustain your health long-term.
How does it feel to visualize yourself running along the trails, on wet grass, up and down some mountains, in the nearby forests and wherever your feet take you when you come to a more mature age?
You soak up the moment and remind yourself how good it feels to be healthy and to be moving all those bones and muscles in the right direction without feeling limited.
Take a few deep breaths and thank yourself to have come this far. Treasure your health, the one body you´ve got.
Oh, we quit on day 5 of our Trans Alpine adventure. It was the best decision we could make for our health and prevent ourselves from further damage.
After many days of recovering and allowing my body and mind some time and space to digest it all, I´m being rewarded with a heightened awareness and gratefulness. A somewhat more finely tuned sense of knowing what my body needs.
You, too, can make new choices today. Continuing on the same path doing the same things all over will not create a different result. But a tiny change you make today can have a huge effect on your health and well-being.
Be good. Be healthy. You deserve it more than anything else.