Fusaversary! Tomorrow is the 3-year anniversary of my lumbar spinal fusion. I am so grateful to God for my fantastic outcome! Prior to my fusion was a reoccurring nightmare of unbearable pain for almost a year before. I woke up in tears and disbelief morning after morning. I am so grateful for everyone who walked through that time in my life with me. I know there are so many worse things in life and many people are not as fortunate but at the time, I was simply lost in this physical and emotional pain vortex, I couldn’t see the light.
It wasn’t just about physical pain. I was grieving the loss of who I thought I was. If you asked me who I was prior to my injury, I would have told you “I’m a Runner”. I wore it as an identity not as something I did. I was never a “Runner”, I was someone who ran, a lot.
For a while I was really angry and bitter about not being able to run. All I wanted to know before my surgery was if I would be able to run again. I apologize to all my runner friends that part of my grieving process included some bitterness and envy for a long time whether you knew it or not. I don’t feel that way anymore, maybe just a passing tinge once in a great while. Just as many people were happy for my running accomplishments, I am genuinely happy for you.
I am so grateful to the many amazing people with whom I trained over the years in Chicago and North Carolina. Running and training with people provides a great community and connection in this disconnected world. It’s hard to find the kind of fellowship. runners who train together share. It transcends the finish line.
One of my friends will be running her first Chicago Marathon this Sunday and I am overjoyed with excitement for her! Like crazy happy! She is someone who runs but who she is so much more, a beautiful, giving and loving friend.
I look forward to my voice becoming horse from yelling, “WOO” and to my hands hurting from high-fiving and clapping for everyone. I look forward to being a part of a different community on the sidelines excited to take photos and capturing the expressions on people’s faces, screaming out the names of people I know and those who have their name on their shirt! I will be thrilled to see my friend running her first marathon as well as some of my other runner friends.
I am truly blessed that I was able to run so many marathons and I continue to learn I am not anything I do. I am just who God made me. I need that reminder all the time. I am happy for the blessings and memories I have from that time in my life and grateful for the lessons I have learned since. I found new interests and new passions such as writing, photography and art. My faith is my most important passion.
Not everyone makes running an identity. Most of the folks with whom I ran had balance in their lives but I didn’t. I held it in my hands as if it were mine to own forever and it was water that slipped through my fingers.
It’s hard to believe that I don’t really care about running anymore. I can run a little but it just doesn’t feel good. I care about many things but not the one thing I sought to give me confidence and accolades.
I know who I am. I am just another human being doing this life thing the best I can. I used to run…
I wish all the runners courage, endurance and perseverance.
I will cheer my friends on to victory in their races the ones they run or just this race called “life”…thank you for cheering me on.
Grateful for my friends, grateful for life and most importantly Grateful to God.