For many of you out there who have chosen to follow this journey of mine from the earliest days when Run for Dom was an abstract notion of how I was going to do my part to try to raise awareness, funds and most importantly hope for a sick friend who was battling cancer to what is now going on three years since Dom’s death from that disease – I am sure some of you have wondered where I have been.
I had not ever gone more than 5 days between making a post at Run for Dom.
Today marks two weeks since my last entry. I have had a lot to say during those 14 days, but most of those thoughts started like this:
Two Wednesday’s ago in the middle of my track workout – while I was ticking off my miles in 5:58, 5:55, 5:54 I felt a twinge in my left Achilles.
Without finishing that turn on the track, let alone the entire 400 meters I immediately shut it down and walked gingerly across the field to my water bottle. I knelt down, loosened the laces on my flats and I paused for a moment and silently said a prayer.
It was short, but directly to the point.
“If this is what I think it is, please be merciful. Please know just how hard I have worked to come back from this injury last December. To rebuild my body, my mind and my spirit to pour everything into this training cycle. Please give me the strength to recover from this set-back quickly and let me toe the line on Race Day in Utah as close to 100% as possible. This race is bigger than just me.”
I started therapy immediately. I have seen a specialist, had ART (Active Release Therapy) twice, visited a Chiropractor for two adjustments. I’ve iced, taken anti-inflamatories. I’ve rested. Absolutely no running. And today I am no closer to running than I was 14 days ago. Only slight improvement has been made and for the second time in a row – my marathon is now lost.
I will not be racing in Utah on September 14th and frankly, I hope to just be running again by then. That also means that Steamtown – my back-up plan – is also out in October. I have been a bit depressed. A bit irritable. And in a moment of weakness even allowed negative thoughts enter into my head.
It is during those times that I realized that I was not going to say anything in this space until I could honor the memory of our good friend Dom by being positive. By searching for the good in all of this and for remembering what true loss really is. How it is final. Unrecoverable. Unchanging. That is loss.
Missing a marathon or two is not loss. Never being able to see your wife, daughter, son, father, brother, aunt, uncle again – is what “loss” truly is.
I believe that there are two certainties in life as I know them.
1. There is a God.
2. I am not Him.
I have no idea when I will be well again. I only know that I will be.
I have no idea when I will run again. I only know that I will.
I have no idea how long it is going to take me to get back to where I was not only 4 weeks before Houston last year when I was injured, nor how long it will take me to get even more fit, more prepared and more ready as I was 6 weeks from Big Cottonwood.
I only know that next time, for Houston in 2014, I will once again be even MORE prepared to break through and run the marathon I have hoped to since 2011. 2:59:XX.
Dom, I owe you an apology as you taught me the greatest lesson anyone ever has in my now 46 years on earth.
Take nothing for granted. Cherish everything. Never give up.
I’m sorry that it took me a couple of weeks to come back around. Stop feeling sorry for myself and getting my sh#% together.
Trust that in 8 days on the anniversary of your passing I am going to give this foot a try. If all I do is make it down the block before I have to stop, that is going to be fine. It is in the trying where winners are revealed, not in the succeeding.
Thank you for reminding me of that lesson and perhaps this injury is the reminder I needed to not assign success or failure by a race clock suspended over a line on some street. But in being willing to take a swing at that achievement with love in your heart and true fearlessness.
If things align for us down in Houston, TX this winter I am going to make sure that my wife and daughter are there to see the greatest 400 meters I will ever run in my life. I am going to do it with great passion, great effort and ferocity. And it is going to make all of these trying days just a side-note to this journey.
And God, if you are listening – I get it now. You have a plan for me and I’m not privy to all the details at this point. That is what faith is.
Thank you for keeping me honest and reminding me just how blessed I am and how wonderful a gift it is to be able to share watching my daughter grow up with her amazing Mother. I have a front row seat for the greatest show on earth. I may not be able to run right now – but I remain a runner. It takes a heckuva lot more to keep us down than a little pain in one foot.
I’ll be back and back with a vengeance.