I tried. After five weeks of this random foot injury, of not running and not really caring much that I’m not running, I slipped into a new pair of kicks and went for it. My foot has been feeling a little bit better, so I had good reason for breaking the recovery streak. But, it didn’t go well.
First, I ordered new shoes.
I wanted to test out a run last week, but knew it would be dumb to do so in my old running shoes. Shoes may be part of this foot problem, maybe not. But my Brooks Ghost shoes do have quite a few miles on them, so it can’t hurt to start fresh. I went with the Brooks Launch (4), because they are also a neutral shoe but a little bit lighter and with a slightly lower drop. They happen to be in a bright color scheme that happens to have purple. I considered that a good sign.
So, I ordered these new kicks and then I waited.
Some not-so-good signs were there.
If I ever learn to pay attention to the language of the world, I’ll let you know. What signs? What language? When the alarm went off at six o’clock, I felt groggy. We went to bed too late, and also I just didn’t want to get up. I’ve been pretty lazy in the mornings lately, and it’s been kind of lovely. The pup likes to snuggle, or step on my face and then go find a sock—depends on the day! The point is she’s super cute. And I didn’t want to get up.
The lack of enthusiasm should have been my sign. A dark, cold February morning isn’t likely to work magic on anyone’s motivation, though. I probably should have done a few little stretches, or foam rolled my calf at the very least. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried at all, but I did. I told him I’d be back in about twenty minutes. I knew it would probably be sooner than that. But hey! Maybe not!
I walked for two blocks, to the stoplight. I did a few very light skips, to test the motion of lifting off from one foot and the impact of landing on the other. I stood at the crosswalk and waited for the sign to go. When the white man appeared, I sighed.
I started to jog, took a few steps, and knew it wasn’t going to happen.
I didn’t even take myself a half mile from the condo. I turned as if I was going to my morning coffee shop, then turned again to head home. I mostly walked, but kept trying a light jog to see if I could…I don’t know…shake off the pain? Knock it onto the sidewalk with every step, as if it were dried mud? Show it who’s boss?
I couldn’t shake it or knock it off. I am definitely not the boss of this weird pain. It is 100 percent the boss of me. I wouldn’t say we’re back to square one, but we are sitting comfortably on CONFUSION SQUARE. (That’s a place.) I should schedule a follow up appointment with the Doc. I shouldn’t assume that since walking doesn’t hurt as much, running should be okay.
The new shoes feel great, my foot just isn’t quite ready for launch.
I shouldn’t push something I don’t need to be doing right now.
I’m starting to recognize metaphors in too many situations. Which is to say: I should have already learned this wait-for-it lesson from my business. I CAN go in many directions, but that doesn’t mean I should. I’m learning to swim 25 meters at a time and climb up a wall—skills that are new, hard for me, and way more fun and exciting than running in the dark for 15 minutes—and I’m working on a business that excites me, instead of falling back on what I’ve done before.
I shouldn’t push running when it doesn’t feel right. I should know that from the other things I’ve tried to push recently. Instead, I should sit back and work on new skills. I should enjoy the process of learning instead of trying to go back to what’s comfortable. I should treat this foot injury with care, not indifference. I should let it sit for a while, ice and elevate it, and do other things, for now.