It wasn’t until I was watching the safety video on the Singapore Airlines flight to Malaysia that it really hit me how much I miss being able to run. I suppose if you’re going to put trigger warnings on in-flight safety videos, it’s unlikely you’ll realise a shot of the bridge at Henderson Waves is going to upset anyone, but there I was, presented with a reminder of somewhere I’ve run up and down countless times, wondering hopelessly if I’ll ever be able to do it again.
I have pretty bad plantar fascitis in my left foot at the moment. It’s a great example of how the knee bone is connected to the shin bone and that’s connected to the foot bone and all the trouble that will cause. I’ve got tight calves, and because of that the plantar fascia, which stretches down the back of the shin and through the foot to the toe, is stressed. And as a result of *that*, my heel is incredibly sore, so when I get up in the morning I limp around the bedroom, and through the day my foot is sore and reminds me that I should have paid better attention to it.
There’s exercises to do; I stand on my left foot and raise myself up and down to strengthen the muscles, but it’s at a point right now where I can hardly manage to do ten reps. I roll my foot on a tennis ball to try to relieve the tension, I stretch my leg by wrapping a tension band around my foot and pulling, but it’s hard, and right now I struggle to make it through the pain.
I ran 10k ten days ago, and it’s hurt ever since. The pain comes and the pain goes, but mostly it comes. Because I’m not running, and because I have bad eating habits, I keep putting on weight (also bad for plantar fascitis) and now for the first time in my life my wedding ring hardly fits on my fat fingers, and my hands hurt. Perhaps I’m just falling apart.
I don’t want pity for all this. That would only make it feel more like something out of my control. I flick through a Facebook feed where it seems everyone is running a marathon every weekend, and I’m sat down, slowly turning to cheese, and I don’t feel like I know my way back.
But it will pass. If a year with sciatica so bad I couldn’t walk in a straight line didn’t teach me anything, if giving my daughter a ride on my shoulders and not being able to move my neck (twice in two years), if breaking my collarbone or a bone in my foot didn’t teach me anything else, it taught me that nothing lasts forever. So I don’t want pity. If I’m pitied, that crystallises me as somebody worthy of pity. I don’t want to be that. I want to be able to go running down Henderson Waves again.