When you work on a comeback, it’s a crazy range of all the emotions. It’s truly kind of crazy what all goes into it, and how my mood changes from day to day.
At first, I couldn’t imagine a time when I would be able to run again. Heck, I didn’t know if I would be able to walk without a limp again! But as time went on, what seemed impossible became possible. That’s when all the emotions really kicked in.
I think fear is the biggest thing to keep a person from their comeback. We can be afraid of so many things: failure, or the chance of re-injury come to mind. Fear kept me from starting back to actually running sooner. I just couldn’t see how I could manage to make my body run without shattering my pinned together ankle. Irrational? Absolutely. But fear is like that. I can’t help but remember being at this stage and never wanted to be there again!
When I finally decided it was “safe” for me to run, I was still very plagued with doubt. In my mind, I had built this all up so much, and I just didn’t know what was going to happen. Even after my first few running sessions, I’m still not sure what the future holds. While nothing feels wrong, nothing feels right, either. It’s hard to stay positive in this comeback when I can’t seem to remember the joy of running.
This is hard one for me. I have always been embarrassed to show weakness, and in my comeback, I know I’m vulnerable. Before my injury, I always used to run before dawn, which meant no one could ever really see me. Now, I have to run in sunlight, because I’m scared of tripping or taking a misstep. This leaves me incredibly exposed to anyone else who might be out and about, and it’s hard to put myself out there. I wish I had a sign that read “rehabbing from injury” just so that there is a justification for my awkward gait or labored breathing. That being said, I know this is a “it’s not you, it’s me” feeling, and my comeback shouldn’t be negatively influenced by my own self-consciousness.
Starting over is hard. Like really hard. The body has to learn to move all over again. It’s hard to breathe and find a rhythm. I remember going out for six, seven, or eight miles like it was nothing, and now I struggle to manage two or three. It’s hard to stay in the now and honor the progress I’ve made, without letting it feel like defeat.
When all is said and done, the feeling of empowerment creeps in. To overcome any injury or setback, to get back to doing what you love? It’s everything. Seriously, everything. The feeling of victory is like nothing else and honestly, it’s like you’re invincible. While the emotions are hard to process, I love reaching this pinnacle and feeling on top of the world! I can’t help but be proud of how far I’ve come, no matter what the other emotions are. There’s lots more of this to come!
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What emotions are involved when you return to doing something after being away for a break or injury?