Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Location: Toronto, ON
|Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:28 am Post subject: Getting back on my feet
|I am a completely normal person – whatever that means. We all know that “normal” is a strictly relative term. I am a middle-aged Mom of two young boys, one with special needs. I work full-time out of economic necessity (and also to keep myself sane, to be completely honest). I commute an hour each way, and like millions of working Moms all over the world, I never have enough time on my hands. My day-to-day existence is focused on being the best I can for my boys – feeding them nutritious meals, being a good role model, providing them with opportunities, playing with them, showering them with love, making sure they do their homework (and yes, my four-year-old actually does get homework). In other words, I face the same challenges and aim for the same goals that any other working Mom does – at least, any other working Mom who has an autistic child.
I am very weird about my running, though. I was out of running for eight years, and got back into it in the Spring of 2009, when I had the opportunity to register for a half-marathon to raise funds for autism. I registered for the race and followed a tried-and-true training schedule. The race, which happened in the Fall, was an unforgettable experience. I was on a tremendous “runner’s high” boosted by the fact that I was doing this for my son. When I crossed the finish line, I was so happy I could have wept. In fact, I did weep, but anyone looking at me thought it was just sweat running down my face.
And by now, I was firmly back into the habit of running. I had regained the sheer love of the sport – and the tendency to not miss a run no matter what. About a month before the half-marathon, I twisted my ankle one kilometre into an eight-kilometre run. Did I limp the one kilometre back home? No. Did I take out my cell phone and call my husband to come and pick me up? No, and not just because I didn’t actually have my cell phone with me. Did I go on to run the full eight kilometres? You bet! I was in sheer agony for about a week, but the thought of not completing that run did not even cross my mind.
For the last month or so I have not been able to run due to a nasty series of pinched nerves in my back. Now, for me to not run for a month, something has to be seriously wrong. My injury sent me to the emergency room on two separate occasions, I took more painkillers in a three-week period than I had for a full two years, and for the first time in my life I understood how constant, unrelenting pain can actually drive a person insane.
The good news is that I am now on the mend. I went to see the good folks at the Sports Medicine Institute, and they have me on a regimen of physiotherapy, home exercises and heat packs. After just one week of this, the difference is phenomenal. I no longer have to fumble desperately for my pain medication. I don’t have to sleep with the kids’ giant stuffed gorilla anymore (another story for another day). I am no longer sobbing with pain, and my family is no longer having to listen to my constant whining about how my life is over because I’ll never run again.
Because I will run again. I have not been given medical clearance to do so yet, but my physiotherapist is of the opinion that I could be going for short runs this time next week. So my plans to run the 2010 half-marathon for autism are once again on track. This forum is going to be about my journey towards that goal. Follow me as I experience the joys and pains of training, the good runs and the bad, the 5:00 a.m. solitary runs in the pitch dark, the long Sunday runs in the sweltering summer heat. And be with me at the finish line of the half-marathon as the finisher’s medal is placed around my neck – a medal that will later be given to my son George. Because after all, he’s the reason I’m doing this. I have him to thank for getting me back into the sport I love.