As I was running today I realized that tearing my meniscus happened at a moment in time when I needed to slow down, when I needed to step back and take time to figure out where I wanted to go and what I wanted from my life.
I realized that for a long time I used running as unhappy place, I used running to run from my problems.
I began running on a regular basis during my relationship with Mike. He often made comments to me such as “if you gain anymore weight I’ll have to break-up with you” or “maybe you don’t need to eat that today”. Running for me gave me a sense of control over my life that I felt I no longer had control over. However, I began running to please Mike and not for myself, I began running not to feel good about myself but so I could stay in a relationship I needed to be out of.
I continued to run after Mike and I broke up but not out of love for running but to outrun the pain. The pain of the breakup and the pain of not feeling like I was good enough for anyone, the pain of feeling inadequate.
I was the smallest I had been since I quit swimming. Everyone told me how good I looked and how pretty I was and this kept me running for the fear the if I stopped I would no longer look good. BUT, I didn’t feel good. Something was missing and that something was love, not love from someone but love for me.
A year ago I tore my meniscus trail running. It was really hard for me not to run, everyday I would ask my physio “can I run again?” “can I run yet?” “can I run, can I run”. I think he was getting sick of hearing me say “run”. I was excited to get back on the running trails as I was fearful I would begin to gain weight, fearful I would no longer be adequate.
Spending almost a year from running was really HARD on my body physically and emotionally. I put on some weight initially but not as much as I thought I would and I began to find other actives to fill my time with, I began to fill my life with actives I loved and was shocked at how much I actually didn't love running but rather I realized I used it as a numbing agent.
The past few months I’ve started running again and my distances have been slowly increasing. Running is different this time for me, running is for me and not for anyone else; it makes me happy and I am able to find my happy place while I’m out on the trails. I come back feeing invigorated and excited to run again instead of drained and feeling like running is a daunting task. I know now what the love of running feels like.
It feels satisfying to be able to run for life and not from my life, for once I am finally fulfilling me and not trying to please other people around me. I am doing things for me and to better who I am, that is self love!