back to neutral

I’m grounded. Again!

“It’s for your own good!’   Isn’t that what every parent, teacher, babysitter tells you?!

Spoiler alert… They are in fact correct! For my own good, we’re shutting down my running for a minimum of two weeks. And by “we” I mean my PT Nikki, with the support of Jesse, Patrick, and pretty much everyone who is sick of seeing me limp around K-Town after a run!

This isn’t the first time I’ve shut down running because of issues with my left hip. But this getting back to neutral thing? That’s a new concept! And it changes everything. It doesn’t reverse the fact that I have these bone spurs on the femoral head of my hip that keep it from rolling around smoothly like everyone else. It doesn’t undo the labral tear resulting from doing triathlons fully knowing that this bone spur existed. The jury is still out on whether triathlon caused the bone spur, or just brought it to my attention. But the bottom line is this:  I had a hunch that something was off biomechanically from that first year of triathlon. For various healthy and unhealthy reasons, I ignored it. I learned the hard way that being in hip flexion on a bike for hours and then demanding that your body adapt to running (in the 90 seconds to 5 minutes you spend in transition) is a set up for all sorts of injuries. Plenty of people dodge injury. I am not plenty of people.

And I’m cool with leaving my tri days behind me. I may be walking away with some scars, inside and outside, but there are so many beautiful souls in my life because of triathlon, and I choose to focus on those blessings!

But what I’m NOT cool with? Leaving running behind! Because it is so much more than a sport to me. It is an expression of me! A vehicle transporting me to enchanted places and unlocking new adventures.

I’ve been grounded from running before. Every time I just rush on through the time off, distracting myself until I’m not quite healthy, but stable enough to justify a return to running. Missing the entire point of grounding – To ponder how you got in trouble in the first place, and change your habits to avoid stumbling into trouble again!

That’s how I missed the reality of this hip condition – A bone spur cannot be run, rested, or stretched away (not gonna visit the subject of surgery, because I’ve read about too many athletes who had negative results from it). It can, however, be accommodated, and with some adjustments, I can eventually return to some capacity of running.

Until I committed to being intentional about being grounded, I was just a runner wandering further and further away from neutral, to this extreme position, physically and in my heart!

It makes me wonder how many times in life that pain meant to ground us only sidelines us, nothing more? How many times do we get stuck in a pain cycle?! We’re sidelined, but fail to examine why, so when we discover the slightest sign of mobility, we limp right back into what hurt us in the first place!

What if we stopped and acknowledged that bone spur in our hip, or broken shard in our hearts, or broken thought pattern, or being flat-out broke? What if we looked beyond ourselves for help in understanding how we keep ending up in this same painful, extreme position?

Maybe it’s time to explore what can and cannot be changed, and adjust accordingly. Maybe it’s time to stop limping right back into trouble, and choose to be intentional, right now, right where we’re at, about getting back to neutral.

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