Out for her afternoon run, the innocent runner had no idea that the car passing by wanted to run her over.
Jenn watched the runner from her car as she pulled out of her neighborhood to head to dinner with her husband. She couldn’t help but watch. The runner was impressive. Lean, fast, working hard in the heat. She appeared to be born to run.
It reminded Jenn of her last run. It wasn’t great, but the memory was strong. She longed for the time on the road. Time she carved out from her busy family life to relieve stress, blow off steam and get a little health kick in. Jenn glanced away, looked down at her knee and then back out the car window again. eyes squinting.
“Run her over”, she muttered under her breath. “What?!” Her husband responded.
“Sweep the leg!”….”No mercy!”
Laughter ensued. It was much needed comedic relief for Jenn and her husband. You see Jenn just had surgery on her knee. Here she is on her crutches…
The karate kid reference couldn’t have more perfectly captured the defeat she was feeling. Her freedom to walk and her ability to run has been taken from her and she’s mad. She wants to get even. Here she is just months earlier running the New York City Marathon…
Notice Jenn is actually smiling in both pictures. She has an amazing attitude.
Yet, anger is a natural response when someone or something is taken from us. We can’t help but want it back. We want that freedom, especially when it is a passion like running. We work so hard to build up our miles, to watch we eat, to do everything we can to reach our goals. Then life happens and we get injured. Sometimes it’s our fault. Sometimes it’s not.
So, what should we do when we get injured? Certainly not run over other runners out of spite!
The first step is to focus on recovery. Accept your injury. Don’t deny your anger either. it’s real. It’s what you feel. The awesome thing about that anger is that it gives you a clue into how much you actually appreciate the art of running in the first place.
Now actually do what your doctor says! That’s your fastest route back to the road. It’s easy to ignore “Dr. Doesn’t Understand Me” and to listen to “I Know Me Better”. Talk with your doctor about exercise and work with him to find other exercise alternatives. Who knows, maybe the first step will be to watch all the Karate Kid movies. Great lessons in there!
Even if you aren’t injured watching a good 80’s movie (Chariots of Fire) might just motivate you to get outside and run a little. Incidentally, the time to think about injury is not when you are injured. You need to have a plan to keep yourself healthy. Running can be hard on your body, but it doesn’t have to be. If you take the right steps and precautions up front you can avoid a lot of the common problems that runners face with their knees, hips, calves and shins.
I’ve put together a little guide for you this week that outlines my favorite tools that I use to keep injury at bay and out of the Cobra Kai Dojo. Check it out. I used some sweet 80’s references in it. Let me know what you think.