Right about the same time I got into fountain pens, I injured my right knee. At the time, it was very stressful because being mobile and agile is part of my daily life in the Navy. Thoughts about how this could impact my life in the long term whirred through my head. Months went by with no improvement and I began to want to do things I never had before, such as become a marathon runner. I thought, “If I can get past this in good shape, I’m going to start running.”
Famous last words.
Well, with knee surgery out of the way, and the months of physical therapy behind me, I began to do what I threatened myself with, lol. It was painful and slow. Anyone who has ever had surgery on a major joint can tell you the rehabilitation and physical therapy can be exhausting and getting back to where you were before can take years. Well, they are correct, and I wish someone had told me that because just a couple months after my surgery I was jogging if that’s what you want to call it. I saw some photos of a buddy of mine (who was an avid runner) posing at the finish line with a large gold medal around his neck after finishing the DisneyWorld Marathon. Now, I can tell you, I have wanted a lot of things in my life, but nothing more than a medal like that; so I began to train. It started with laps around my block, maybe a mile in total, and I pushed for “just one more time around.”
Life has a funny way or working out. I lived in southern California, on Coronado Island – one of the most beautiful places in the world (arguably) to train. But it wasn’t until the Navy moved me elsewhere that my training would take hold and I would begin to push myself beyond what felt comfortable.
The human mind and body can be such a hurdle sometimes. My mind was constantly saying, “You need to stop, you’ve gon too far, and you’ve done enough.” Or, “Just stop, it’s starting to hurt.” These were my obstacles and I was my own worst enemy. Every step, every mile, was work. It was like dragging an imaginary couch ridden self behind me, all the while pushing to the next marker. I wasn’t going fast, though, and by some standards, I really wasn’t even running… more like a very slow jog – but I was doing it.
I started posting photos of my success on Instagram with the tagline marathon training. Soon, I found a community of folks like me, who were addicted to the pain. By that, I do not mean the pain in their feet or in their knees, but the pain of dragging their ass off the couch each day to get out there and make a difference in their own life.
I was doing it.
Oh yeah, and those medals I was talking about. I finally got one. The 2016 Elvis Presley 5K was the first race I ever found myself running. The feeling of the first medal around my neck was irreplaceable.
I found what worked for me – medals.
I hope you enjoyed this story, give me some feedback or shoot me some of your questions. If there is anyone out there thinking, I cant do this, let me tell you, your right… Until you prove yourself wrong. If I can do it, any of you can.