I was perusing through my email inbox the other day in a never-ending attempt to keep atop of the spam/shopping deals/etc. when a subject line caught my eye: "Why Quitting Running Changed My Life,” courtesy of Greatist.
As someone who has gained much of my fitness identity through being a “runner”, I was intrigued. And as I read the article, I realized that I connected with it more than I thought I would, because I was going through literally the exact same thing in my life. The author basically talks about how quitting running allowed her to have a healthier relationship with her body, her family, and her own unrealistic expectations.
I’m currently battling my way through an injury that’s effectively sidelined me since March. It’s a condition called compartment syndrome and essentially involves my leg muscle wanting to pop out of my leg when I run (very non-scientific; take with a grain of salt). You can read more about the condition from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons here. Needless to say it hurts; the recovery process has been painful, frustrating, and honestly a little discouraging but similarly to the author, I’ve found other productive ways to fill my time.
Thanks to barre, yoga, and fitness classes, I’m the strongest and most flexible I’ve ever been. I’m proud of the fact that I’m no longer intimidated by the free weights section (because believe me, that fear was so real!). I actually can see a bicep when I flex now and can do “real” pushups from my toes! Unlike the author though, I haven’t given up on running. When people ask me what I like to do in my free time, I still run out of habit - even though the most I log nowadays is a mile or so. I know one day I’ll get back to consistently using the shoes sitting in my closet but for now, I’m glad it’s not the only thing I do.