I think we all have different paths when it comes to our fitness journeys. Some people are just naturally inclined to live an active lifestyle. Others need a regimented lifting schedule to motivate them; some are training for a some kind of race or event; some are happy with a few yoga classes a week. However we get there is just as unique as what our preferences are.
I was never a runner. I played sports growing up, but the only running I did was whatever was required as a warm-up for practice. I’d go through spurts of running through my neighborhood, but it was never something I enjoyed. I probably even hated it.
Until I thought it would be taken from me.
It was New Year’s 2013 — yes, this story is as bad as it starts — and I was in grad school in Washington, D.C. A friend from home had come to visit and celebrate, and we got up to our old hijinks, as one does with old friends. It was probably a heel caught in a sidewalk grate — the memory is hazy — but by the end of the night I had broken the fifth metatarsal in my right foot.
Not my finest hour. Just being real here, folks.
Because of the location of the break, it was a difficult spot to get blood to flow, thus making it a difficult spot to heal. The doctor told me it might never heal completely, that walking and running might never be the same.
It was then I decided to prove him wrong.
Once I got my cast off, I took physical therapy more seriously than anything I have ever done in my life. I went to my appointments religiously and did all of my homework — and by the end I was working with my PT to figure out how to run again.
She started me on a Couch to 5K-type plan that incorporated spurts of running with walking and increased the running segments every week. I started on the treadmill, but soon I was running on my lunch breaks around Nationals Park and the Navy Yard (it was a mile from the home plate gate to the first ship in the dock). I ran my first 5K that September.
I ran because I was stubborn. I ran because I lived alone in a big city. I ran because I wanted to prove that I could.
Somewhere along the line, it stuck.
Running and I haven’t always had the smoothest relationship, but over the last four years we’ve been there for each other more often than not. I’ve run about 14 5Ks and a couple 10Ks, and now, as you know, I’m tackling my first half marathon. Running makes me feel strong and capable, even when it’s hard. Maybe especially because it’s hard. It really hasn’t gotten much easier, but I’ve gotten stronger.
Who knew a broken bone could change your life?
How did you become a runner?
Have you ever broken a bone? (I hope not!)
Have you ever done something just to prove you could