If life gives you lemons

I love running. I really do. Every time I have to take time off and then I come back I just remember why I run. Not for the medals, not for the PR’s, not for anything like that (although sometimes I forget and start getting the wrong reasons being more important than the real reason why I run). I run because it makes me happy.

I have been on a roll up to the beginning of February. I have been doing my best workouts, running faster than ever, feeling better than ever. I remember seeing the elite field for the Mercedes Benz Half Marathon and I saw that most of the girls were in their late 20’s but there was a woman who was 36 years old. I immediately thought “Wow! She is old, good for her”… then I remembered it has been almost a decade since I was 36 (I just turned 45). So, I guess not only it wasn’t kind of me to think she was older (granted, in comparison to the other girls but still it wasn’t kind), I realized I never think of me as someone of a certain age. I stopped thinking about age long time ago and now I just think in term of the present moment and in terms of keep getting faster and see how far I can go. Age is just a number unless you allow it to become your reality.
Going back to being on a roll, I came down sick as a dog (do dogs get sick like that?) with pneumonia. The week leading into the Mercedes Benz Half I noticed I had a slight pain in my achilles tendon on the right foot. I thought it would go away but every time I ran I had a little discomfort. Long story short, pneumonia sidelined me for running for two weeks (with the exception of my birthday that I didn’t care and went out and ran to celebrate) and the little discomfort is still there every time I run… so, I had several choices:
1) Panic and overthink (mostly negative): How are these two weeks affect my training? What if the achilles is worse than I think and I can’t run any more? Am I going to be able to train and be ready for 25K National Championships?…
2) Complain and become a victim: Why me? Why now? How come I don’t get a break?…
3) Take a deep breathe, be objective, proactive and optimistic: Pneumonia now means I have time to recover and go back training. Worst that can happen is I don’t get to run in this race and I just have extra time to prepare for the following one. Just because I can’t run right now doesn’t mean I will never be able to run again (seriously, there are people who can’t run, ever)…. regarding the achilles, since I can’t run now anyway let’s go see the doctor and take action before it becomes something worse, the worst thing that can happen is that I have to take an extra week off which, in turn, will help the pneumonia healing process…

I chose option number 3. I am not saying that it was easy or that I was super happy about it, but happiness is accepting things the way they are without wanting them to be different. You can’t control what happens to you but you can control your reaction towards it and, as my husband (who is also my coach) said it: two weeks in the scheme of four years (my long term goal: Tokyo 2020) is really not that much.

Bottomline is, life is not perfect, it is the way it is. Things are never going to be perfect, there is not the right time or the perfect moment. So if you are waiting for that you should buy a comfy chair to sit and wait. If you really want something go for it, make it happen. create your own opportunities… but also remember that sometimes not getting what we want is the best thing that could have happened to us and if we are open to go on the side roads that life takes us, we may end up to our goal faster or to an even better place.

Thanks for reading. Follow me on Instagram (@insightfulrunner) or twitter (@terezacher) for daily mental tune ups

Tere Zacher
28
February
2017

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