What do you do when you’re not allowed to do the good thing that keeps you from doing bad things?
About a month ago during a Spartan Race, I rolled my ankle. But instead of just spraining it like a normal person, I managed to give myself something called a “Jones Fracture,” which required me to wear a boot for the next three weeks, then have another x-ray to determine whether I’d need surgery.
Boot = No running.
No running = Peter with no outlet.
Peter with no outlet = potential for chaos.
With “don’t run” echoing over and over in my brain, I tried to do other things. I swam. I did 50 mile bike rides. But nothing gave me that same “brain reset” as running. Nothing even came close. Not even skydiving. (And it’s hard to skydive with a boot, btw. It messes up your airflow.)
Having had a pretty tough weekend because of, well, stuff, I woke up this morning and realized I had to make a decision. I could put myself in a better mood and risk my injury recovery in the process, or I could hope that things would just get better without any input from me.
I went for a five mile run this morning.
In the end, it wasn’t even a question. I’ve worked so hard to change my entire life from unhealthy to healthy. I quit drinking. I exercise every day. I eat better… I did all the things I’m supposed to do, yet in the past three weeks since I rolled my ankle, I saw the tides start to turn, and it scared me. I saw myself ordering dinner in a little more than normal, as opposed to making healthy meals. I saw myself not caring as much about getting up early, since if I couldn’t run, why bother?
I even saw myself blowing off a swim with my training buddy last week, because “I just wasn’t feeling it.”
So I went for a run this morning.
I knew I wasn’t supposed to. I knew I should listen to my doctor. I knew that he knew better than me.
But, he didn’t know me.
He knew what the x-rays said. He knew what his medical textbooks said. But he didn’t know me. He didn’t know that withholding my endorphins could lead me down a backtracking road, one from which I’ve worked so hard to escape, one that I can’t go down again.
So I went for a run this morning. And my foot felt fine. And as I crossed five miles, and finished my run and shut off Runkeeper, I smiled, that kind of endorphin-filled smile that hasn’t crossed my lips in a month.
And my foot felt fine. So I’ll ice my foot, and I’ll put my boot back on, and I’ll do everything I’m supposed to do. But I went for a run today.
And I’m so damn glad I did. Because the alternative? Well, that’s worse than any injury I could ever have.
This post was originally posted on ShankMinds: Breakthrough, an entrepreneurial mastermind for those looking to join an amazing group of people dedicated to expanding their professional and personal horizons while learning how to think beyond themselves.