I write random things all the time but they never end up getting posted, they just sit in my stack of notebooks full of writing. I decided I was going to do my best to post more, even if it isn’t perfect. 🙂
A year and a half ago amidst serious training for a 5k race, I went on a beautiful 7 mile run in the fall weather, a run that put me on a journey I never wanted to be on. I got a stress fracture on my left medial tibia 2 weeks before my 5k that I had trained for months for! I had gave up so many things for 3 months so I could focus on training, somehow stomaching 2,500- 3,000+ calories every day, all in pursuit of my dream of running a 5k in under 24 minutes (Yes, I know to some people it doesn’t sound like a high goal but for me it was a high goal!)
After that run, I spent the following 2 months hardly able to walk on my swollen left leg without searing pain. I’ve spent these last 1 1/2 years desperately trying to figure out what else was injured, since the stress fracture healed but the pain never went away. In my search for answers, I’ve been told I probably have compartment syndrome, a deformed muscle, a strained soleous, shin splints, tight ligaments, and basically every lower leg injury there is!
Thankfully I found a good chiropractor who specializes in running injuries. He’s quite sure I have severe shin splints. People look at me like I’m insane – what normal person has shin splints for 1 1/2 years?? Me, because anything to do with my injury seems to be a weird exception! Right now I’m halfway through a treatment plan of 5-8 Graston technique treatments. If you don’t know about them you’re in the same boat I was until it was done to me! Long and short it can be explained with 3 words – ‘healing through torture’. Instruments similar to odd shaped dull butter knives rubbed vigorously up and down the injured spot, literally breaking apart lumps of scar tissue so your body can remove them and the muscle isn’t so constricted. Having it done on a bad injury… Hurts! Actually, I don’t think ‘hurts’ even comes close to describe what it feels like. I can’t remember ever feeling pain that severe before, even when I got my forehead split open as a kid!
When I stub my toe or get a little injury I shriek, jump around, and moan loudly about how much it hurts as if the offending piece of furniture is going to offer an apology. But as I’m lying on my side on his exam table as he intensely scraps up and down, over what seems to be mountain of scar tissue and they start to break apart, somehow pain that horrific takes a deep concentration to survive it and not jump right off the table and run out of there shrieking! I quietly lay there clenching the side of the table and using every ounce of energy to focus on surviving it. Somehow that tiny, tiny little glimmer of hope, that sometimes seems non existent, gives me hope to hold on, hope that some day my leg will be able to function again without pain, and someday I will be able to run and bust that time of 24 minutes that I was so ready for when it happened! Hope that someday the pain and limping around for days after treatments will benefit me!
As I sit on my bed tonight moaning in pain, trying to write and distract myself from the 5 inch purple bruise covering my leg from the worst treatment ever this morning, I can’t help but think that sometimes the awful pain we go through can actually bring healing. What if the pain that comes like a ragging rain storm raining pain down into our hearts is slowly breaking up the calluses and scars in the cold corners of our hearts? What if pain doesn’t always create scars, what if sometimes it’s the healer of the scars? What if some pain heals and is actually an agonizing blessing in disguise?
If my injury gets better and I can run again, that would be amazing. But even if it never does, I will forever be grateful that I will never view pain that same way!