There are only so many hits a person can take before she breaks. Only so many disappointments. Only so many setbacks. One day, she finally has enough. One day, she realises that this is an abusive relationship and she's suffered her last blow. One day, she turns her back on running for good.
But today, good folks, is not the day. Today, setbacks and disappointments have given way to victory. And the love affair continues.
My visit to the chiropractor last week left me feeling carefully optimistic. After popping my knee back into place, he told me to rest for four days and then, he reassured me, I would be able to run as usual. If it sounds too good to be true, it's because it was. Four days later, I tried running and managed a measly 3 kilometres before the pain got so bad I had to stop. The gamut of emotions I went through may have been vast but I can assure you that happiness was not one of them.
I wallowed in misery for a couple of hours. Then I tried thinking rationally. This wasn't my first time at the injury rodeo. I had done this before and recovered and gone on to run ultras. But despite this rational thinking, the fact was that my knee hurt and I could not run. I was bitter and anxious that I would lose the benefits of all the hard work I had put in the previous months.
The day after, my determination, weak as it was after so many false starts and hiccups, got a second wind. Maybe I could not run far, but I could run. A little bit at a time. Just like I had done so many times before. Run 2 minutes, walk 1,5 minute. Lather, rinse, repeat. Tedious, uninspired, not even guaranteed to yield results. And my only hope.
So, this morning I took my bike up to Vitberget. Started my rehab for the third time since I got injured. As the autumn leaves gave up the fight against gravity all around me and fell to the ground, as the sun warmed the earth, I skipped between roots and stones, light on my feet, light in my heart. It is going to be a long journey back, but if each step is as magnificent as the ones I took this morning, maybe it doesn't matter.