I love to run. Most of you probably know that. I haven't done a race in a long while (aside from our annual Drumstick Dash on Thanksgiving morning -- can't wait!), but I have done 15+ half and full marathons, and literally enjoyed [most] every step.
I crave the challenge - mentally & physically. I crave the scenery, the time spent focusing on your steps and surroundings and trying to determine the 'whys & hows' in the variability of each run.
I mentioned last week that I visited a foot & ankle doctor a couple weeks ago, hoping for a diagnosis that would motivate me to nurse my foot back to health. I was pretty much convinced I had a stress fracture (I've had one before) and that I'd probably need to wear a boot for 6 weeks to heal it... but knew I wouldn't do that without an official diagnosis.
The ACTUAL diagnosis the doc gave me literally dropped my jaw to the floor. And while now - 2 weeks later - I am more settled with it, it still shocks me, and sends waves of disappointment, sadness and defeat through my mind.
Hallux Rigidus. AKA degenerative arthritis, complete with bone spurs of course. It is focused in my big toe joint (not everywhere, thank goodness) and hurts like a mo-fo after certain activities that put pressure on the ball of my foot (... which at least explains why in recent years I CANNOT wear heels without enduring a tremendous amount of pain). For the last year or so I have joked about my 'broken foot' whenever I felt the pain (often), and yet it took me that long to get into a specialist (lesson: don't be like me!).
Running won't help it. Neither will any activity that causes my big toe joint to bend, move, or have pressure placed on it for an extended period of time. I know certain exercises that exacerbate the issue & cause it to flare up... and for the rest of time I'll have to be cautious and mindful of how often and how intensely I do those things.
This sounds like a totally lame issue to cause me such distress, but fitness is my livelihood and my passion... so being told I have physical limitations is literally crushing. I can do anything, but certain things could speed up the rate at which I will need surgery down the road. And let's just say I want to avoid that as long as possible... as the doc's words of taking a "hammer & chisel" to it literally made me throw up in my mouth. But one thing is for sure -- it may frustrate me, feel discouraging at times, and - honestly - piss me off... it's something I have to learn to deal with. But it won't stop me from helping you; it may even help me IMPROVE on what I have to share with you. And that's actually my goal.
So, while this newly turned 32-year-old might have a diagnosis that makes me sound about 60... I'm determined to use it as a stepping stone.
I went for my first run on Saturday morning since getting this awesome diagnosis... and I can't tell you how awesome it felt mentally. So here is your workout of the week. Take your strides lightly... smile through each one... and remember that running should free your soul and make you feel like you can do ANYTHING, no matter what.
And for those of you who know ReAnna... know she is smiling down on me, giggling & rolling her eyes. Limitations?! Nobody has time for those. #runningforReAnna
Cheers to a fabulous week ahead :) Maggie