Friday, June 17, 2011

Finding My Zen.

I took my kids to a friends' neighborhood pool this afternoon and on the way home something happened that almost NEVER happens where we live.  I got STUCK IN TRAFFIC.  Now, I realize that I am completely spoiled in not having to commute to a job every day, or even drive around town during times of the day when traffic is heavy.  But, I grew up in the DC/Baltimore area, so I know traffic and have had plenty of harrowing traffic experiences in my lifetime (have you ever driven the DC Beltway? Absolute.Torture.).  As I sat there today, at a complete standstill in a line of cars that I could not see the front of, with my kids asking me "Mom, why are we just sitting here?", a great sense of calm came over me.  Because, you know what?  There wasn't a darn thing I could do about it.  I had already snaked my way through some back roads to try to find a less congested path home, but to no avail.  So we sat, and waited our turn.  I turned up the music, I hung my hand out the window, I noticed how warm the sun was.  I felt pretty zen at that moment.

All of this made me think about how I've been fighting this injury thing.  I haven't really even accepted that I'm actually injured--there was no hard evidence, afterall.  Every day I wake up and wish I was going for a run.  Most days I even consider actually going for a run.  Just a quick one.  Could it really be that bad for me?  Then I step down with too much force coming down the stairs or quicken my step to cross the street to go to the mailbox and the same pain is there.  Again, I'm reminded that something still isn't quite right in that left leg of mine.  Fine, I surrender.  And that's really it:

I need to just surrender.
Because, you know what?
There's not a darn thing I can do about it.

It is what it is, and the more I try to fight it, the harder it becomes.  I do believe that the universe sends things your way for a reason, and the more you try to fight against them the more the universe pushes them back at you until you finally learn your lesson.  It's time to get zen about this injury and stop trying to fight against the flow of things.  I think if I can find a way to stop trying to take a shot at the universe, I could actually come out of this with grace and new found strength.  So, that's what I'm going to work on.

Here I am with my Zen face on.  Don't I look serene? (I also look like I just came home from a run which, sadly, is not true.  Geez, I suppose I could put on something other than a sports bra and a ratty tank top.)

There's my Zen legs.  That left one sure doesn't look stress fractured!

Things I have been doing, instead of running:

1.  Yoga - as many consecutive Sun Salutations (Ashtange style, baby!) as I can handle when I get up in the morning.  This has been a huge positive in what seems like a huge negative.  Man, was I totally inflexible!  I should've been doing this all along.  Who knows, maybe that was part of the problem.  Plus, I'm going to start teaching yoga to preschooler's this fall, so it would probably be good to be able to say that I actual do yoga.

2. Free weights - just some basic upper body moves with some old school metal dumbells we've got in our closet.  I think my husband worries that I might start to look too "beefy".  I don't think this will be an issue...But, I am enjoying focusing on my arms.  They're not lookin' too bad, if I do say so myself.

3. Eating a crap-TON of fruit - seriously, today I ate: a few handfulls of blueberries, a plum, half a banana, a quarter of a canteloupe and a whole mango.  Tomorrow ought to be interesting, don't you think?  But, seriously, I am aware that I'm burning a lot less calories these days, so I'm trying not to let that creep up on me.

Hey fruit!!
Get in my belly!!

Things I haven't been doing, instead of running:

1. Swimming - I've said this before, I am a horrible swimmer.  Plus, my darn gym is approximately 19 minutes away.  Not terribly convenient.

2. Cycling - Again, my gym is (refer to the above statement).  I actually called my gym last night to put my name on the list for this morning's 5:30 spin class.  Um, yeah...I didn't make that.  I think that kind of dedication is up on another level.  A level that I, apparently, do not aspire to reach.

So, I'm not expecting my cardio to stay where it was.  This might just be something I'll have to deal with building back up.  (Ommmmmm.)

Funny how running can be such a mental sport, because it seems that not running requires just as much mental stamina...


  1. I'm so happy to hear you've reached the 'acceptance' stage of your injury. I think it is the right approach and to be honest you'll be back in no time. The doctor said six weeks, not six months, right?! If I can return to running after being out for six months (thanks, Olivia!), you can most definitely do it after a stress fracture. Enjoy the time off and take it easy on yourself. I think your new zen approach needs to apply to most things in life, why do we stress about things we can't possibly change, we just need to relax and let it play out. I'm going to keep that in mind this week...thanks.

  2. I think that is one of the hardest things when having an injury or having to take a break..coming to terms and actually accepting the fact that you need to step away from running. Time will heal and you will be stronger in the end :)

  3. hope you had a great weekend!

  4. Yeah, waiting takes a lot of patience. Sounds like you're getting your dose of fruit these days!

  5. I was going to say on one of the last posts about your injury that it just might be time to polish up your yoga moves!

  6. enjoy the zen will be so much stronger.

  7. This is what I needed to read today. Thank you! I completely agree with you - being patient waiting for the body is much more challenging mentally than going out for a run. Grrr.

  8. Ugh running. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't it seems. Sorry you're going thru this. Like you said, we have these obstacles for a reason. I think you're doing a great job of working around yours. Hang in there. Love the zen face!