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A Little Faith

I've been reluctant to write anything about my continued progress in the past weeks because I'm afraid of cursing it. But now I'm ready to write.

First, an anecdote:

Sunday I went to boot camp (I don't know what to call it anymore) for the fourth time in three weeks, which is a great accomplishment considering I wasn't able to go at all for about seven weeks straight. And of course I'd lost some strength during that time away, and I prepared myself for that fact, initially. But after being back for a couple of classes, I expected to be able to do what I could do pre-injury, and when I couldn't, I got really frustrated.

I had a rough start to the morning: I woke up late, almost didn't go because I felt like crap and had no motivation, but Tim talked me into going, even though I made us both late for the warm-up run. So when I then tried to jump into the first team drill, going head-to-head with a woman who was stronger and faster than me--injured or not--I got flustered. Add to that the fact that during this drill we had to run--no, race--backward, and toward the end of the backward run was a pile of leaves, and the next thing I knew I slipped and fell back on my butt, hard, while my team was all watching and waiting for me to get back into place so the next person could do the drill. Embarrassing is a start at describing how I felt, but mortified is better, and raw and defeated help give an even fuller picture. It's not like I've never fallen; I am a times a spectacularly clumsy person. But to do it when I was already feeling down and out, in front of my peers who'd been making gains in class while I'd been getting weaker, made it all the more difficult to recover from. But that's all I could do; jump back into line and move on. Boot camp allows no time for tears, thankfully.

We moved onto the next exercise, for which we remained in two groups. First, I couldn't get my jump rope to clear my feet. I tripped on it continuously. Next, my calf was impaled by a wayward tire from the other group's activity. I just couldn't get into a groove and felt defeated over and over again. Then we switched teams and I realized why the tire had hit me; our task was to lift a tire from the ground and flip it up and backward over our heads (ideally with nobody in the path behind us). OK, done this before. But all of the "light" tires were taken, and the lightest that remained was about 22lbs. Seemed light enough to me (I still can't gauge my strength after a couple years of doing this), so I took it. But the coach, Allen, saw what I took and offered instead to accommodate me with a lighter medicine ball. I looked around and thought, no. I'm stronger than that. And I got mad. And I snapped at him. I said I'd take the tire (thank you) and then told him he needed to have a little faith in me. So then I knew I had to fling that tire over my head, every single time for the entire length of the exercise (which was only a couple of minutes, but it felt longer). And I struggled, but I did it. I'm not saying my back did or did not take the brunt of the flip, which was Allen's concern--just letting you know I did it. And so when we next took our tire and ran with it up and down a set of concrete stairs, Allen came up next to me and said, "Just so you know, Lee, I have more faith in you than you realize." And I knew he was right; in fact, he probably had more faith in me than I had in myself at that moment. After all, he was the one who'd gotten me to do box jumps after years of being too afraid to do them--even though I physically was capable.

In the midst of a GTO (ground to overhead).

Like my new accessory?  

So what's the point of this long, whiny story? When I got upset and told Allen to have faith in me, I think I was actually talking to myself. I'd become so negative about my ability to perform well--whether in running, biking, boot camp . . . life--that I felt self-defeated going into everything. Just a few weeks ago all I wanted was to be able to do the active things I enjoyed, and as soon as I could, it wasn't enough. But, as Tim pointed out in our car ride home from boot camp that morning, if I were able to just jump right back into the shape I was in, all that work I'd done before wouldn't have meant much. This actually gave me not only a more positive perspective but also a tangible sense of progress; all the hard work I'd done prior to the injury created measurable results, even if the measurement was my now decreased strength.

So moving forward, I have to trust that over time I'll build up to the ability I was at before, and maybe even surpass it. Last weekend I ran 10 miles. It was a sort of test run to see if my foot could handle the mileage. If it could, then I'd plan on running this weekend's Iron Girl Half Marathon; if it couldn't, I wouldn't. But my foot fared well, even though the run was slow and difficult. And that's just how this "race" will have to be, slow and difficult. And that's going to have to be OK with me.


shirley said…
You're such a Davidson. I'm proud of you and I'm always bragging on you when you run a race or achieve something you've worked so hard for. I also admire you. No matter what happens, you "come back" and you're better for it. I love you ~ always
B.o.B. said…
Oh this post made me so sad at first. I have totally been there and can absolutely relate to being frustrated & pissed off at myself when I feel weak. I'm impressed you didn't cry actually (I so would have!). But, in finishing up this post I'm glad you wrote it and worked it out in your head and with Allen. You are strong girl! Look at you in those pics you look amazing and I'm sure that your boot camp strength will come back just as your running strength will. Take heart. It just takes a little bit of patience and persistence.
Lee Davidson said…
Thanks, Aunt Shirley :) Proud to be a Davidson. Thanks for always following me.

Beth, I admit some tears rolled out of my eyes, but with the sweat and snot and everything that comes out during these workouts, I just hoped it went unnoticed. And in the times I need to push myself, I often think of you and all that you are able to accomplish. And it helps me. So thanks.

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