Apr 21

A New Day

Every single day, I told myself it was ‘A New Day.’ Every new day brings a chance for improvement, right?

I will admit, I had high hopes. I was confident. I’m the kind of person who always takes on challenges with a smile.

Earlier this week, I knew I was standing at the beginning of my last test. Up until this moment, I had been hopeful I would be able to participate in a few shorter distance races this spring. I was not willing to give up yet. This was the moment I knew I needed to listen instead of denying it all.

That day in the middle of the White Pine Trail, I stood there with tears streaming down my eyes. I didn’t care that other people saw me. I could not hide the pain behind a smile anymore. I was too tired.

I have tried everything; I have listened to my body taking more rest days than I have in years. I have switched up programs when I notice my body saying, “hell no K.”

I tried a heavily modified MMA style workout but my leg could not do it. I switched to lifting & found after a while I had to put the weights down when it came to my leg & eventually I found I could barely do the moves without weights. I walked away from extra weight & switched to an extremely modified HIIT program & found the fire returning in my leg. I tried yoga & my legs wanted to scream. I ran & rarely got past just a few minutes before it arrived again. I tried walking. It just does not seem to matter.

Some days from the moment I get out of bed, I feel it. I feel the pain in my leg driving my car. I fight through the pain when I’m trying to be active with my girls. I have to cry through the pain carrying laundry baskets from the basement to the upstairs.

I lay in bed at night & see the swelling in my foot and ankle; sometimes my knee too. I lay awake at night tossing & turning trying to get comfortable while my leg feels like there is a fire burning sky high inside. Some nights, I cannot even move my toes. For real.

I stretch all day long. Every morning, every time I go to the bathroom. I stretch nonstop throughout my day….sometimes I feel like it consumes most of my day yet brings me zero relief.

The issue isn’t a simple thing that resting can heal or massaging or PT. Because my genetics gave me extremely high arches, over time, my body essentially has become deformed. The middle or inside part of my foot literally never touches the ground. The outside part of my leg & foot bear all the weight. I got custom made orthotics but even those cannot correct me as I’m still on the outside of my foot. It’s partly because my foot literally is not able to be flexible & get itself in the correct position. It’s physically impossible.

Because of the construction of my foot, my calf muscles are way too short. So no matter what I do, my leg muscles always feel tight…they are being pulled so hard every single day. I cannot even find the right words to explain the way they feel…perhaps a bit like playing tug of war all day long.

I have been an athlete all my life. I have struggled with my ankles, spraining them more times than I can recall. Still to this day, I can be walking down the road & it will give out on me. Even times I have literally fallen to the ground because of it {ask my girls, they have laughed at me}. I have struggled with my calf muscles forever. Anytime I worked with top instructors or coaches or doctors or had to attend physical therapy for injuries, all I have ever been told is how tight my leg muscles are; how inflexible I am.

This is the way my body is built. This is not something that is going to just disappear on me someday. This is a lifelong condition I have. It’s not an injury from overuse; it’s not a stress fracture to be healed. It is here & I have to find what works for my body to continue living my life.

The surgical option my orthopedic surgeon recommended is a less invasive one than the other option & would allow me to eventually live my life the way I want. It is essentially transferring a few tendons in my foot. It would also involve going in to my calf & lengthening that.

I have not made a decision yet but I also know I cannot live the way I want on this track I’m stuck on. The pain began to sideline me last May and here I am just shy of a year later. At this point, I am waiting until I see a knee specialist to confirm there is no tear or anything in there either with the level of pain I have been experiencing there.

I can tell you what I will not be doing regardless of my decision: I will not be giving up. I am still going to be here sharing my journey, doing what I can. I cannot allow this to be my excuse. My direction may shift a little, my goals may need to change. But, I am not going to sit down & say, “well, there is no point in trying. I might as well just wait until after surgery.”

No, I can make myself stronger. I can still work on me. I will also be focusing so much on my nutrition because my calorie burn is going to drop significantly.

I’m still going to be here; showing up. I’m going to be here proving that there is always something we can do, that fighting for a healthy body is worth it. Yes, I am sure I am going to have days of struggles that will make my emotions run crazy high, I will have days where the desire to quit will be high but if there is one thing I have learned, it is this:

Today is a new day. A new day of opportunities & chances. It’s a new day & you never know what you might find if you just stay open to it.

Until Next Time~

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