My friend was feeling on top of the world. She had just hiked up Pine and Cedar Lakes Trail and was running back down feeling exuberant, so exuberant in fact, that she spontaneously decided to skip over a low-lying stump to add to the experience. Mid-skip and she felt a loud smack in the back of her head which sent her tumbling. Finding herself on the ground, she was in pain, but mostly confused as to what just happened. Did an unseen person hit her; did a squirrel pitch the world’s largest acorn her way? Suddenly she saw the owl staring her down. Sizing up her formidable foe, she quickly shifted her weight onto her already sore knee to react when the owl made a sudden move and that’s when she heard the awful pop in her knee! A slow and painful journey down the trail; a visit to the emergency room; the resulting knee brace and convalescing followed…but, oh what a story she has to tell.
So what do you do when you go from feeling fit, in the groove or like you’re really reaching a new level in your training and…..bam….you are hit by adversity? Whether it’s injury, illness, a new work schedule, the loss of a training partner, winter, etc., just like the owl, it seems to come out of nowhere (except for winter!) I know what I should do. But what do I do? Sometimes lament, get lazy, feel frustrated. Say, “why me?” I read something about how you shouldn’t say “why me?” about the bad things unless you say “why me?” about the good things. Hmm…good point.
“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” These challenges sure are a good time to learn.
Lately, I’m trying to be like my friend (boy, she’s good) and like how I counsel others to treat their running setbacks. I try to remember that it’s better to be active and getting hurt sometimes, than not active; that I can fill that running time with strengthening, icing, stretching and especially cross-training; that I can be grateful for those glorious days I have run than lament the days I haven’t. It’s easy to deal with success. It’s how we deal with adversity that really defines our character. I’m workin’ on it. When the “owl” nails you in the head, I hope you can stay the course, too!!