My Sedentary Summer…

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted – mainly because I had to feel more optimistic about the outcome of this post…

Anyway, you know that saying, “People plan and God laughs.”? Well, I’m pretty sure He was bent over in FULL guffaw, whilst hands on His own knees so as not to fall over at my paltry attempt to “make the most” of my midwestern summer.

Many a Chicago runner eagerly await the first and then final signs that Spring/Summer is/are here. We buy new shoes, fresh workout wear, dig the sport sunglasses out, relish Daylight Savings, maybe download a new “track my route”-type app or get a new GPS. Yet, the real inner-mojo comes from plotting those runs: Fartleks, sprints, two-a-days (my personal favorate), easy-pace and, of course, reconnecting with our running group (for those of us that bailed in the cold and dark that is Jan-April!).

Just go on ahead and throw me right into that category. My return to the outdoors, with goals of speed, time alone, breaking in new shoes, and rediscovering my City on foot is also greatly anticipated by my family as well. Every Spring brings about the usual questions from my daughters: “How far are you running today?”, “Did you see anybody you know?”, “Did you see any deer yet?”, “Can I ride my bike along with you? I promise NOT to talk the WHOLE time.” My own exuberance replies with, “5!”, “Yes!”, “No!”, “Sure!” – for it is EARRRRRRRLY in the season so my runner’s high exists even before I’ve hit the pavement. Even the hubby is excited that, once again, if I am crabby and stressed, he can banish me to the outdoors – assured I will return still relishing the solitude…

You can, then, imagine my shock and panic when you take a look at what my plan was vs my reality. Quite simply, “The Plan”, was to begin a two-a-day run program starting in June to increase my per-mile-pace (a nice alternative to my loathing speed intervals, Fartlek’s, etc to accomplish the same goal). Having done this the past 4 years, I know that by August I would be down to about an 8:17/mile. That is fast for me and looks a l’il like this:


What actually happened was:

  • June 1 – Achilles tendonitis appears outta nowhere
  • June 2-17 – No running; visit to sports med Dr.; cross training both indoor and outdoor cycling; 2x/wk physical therapy; being a “good girl”.
  • June 18-23 – vaycay with power walks in lieu of usual running
  • June 24 – hubby and I go with the SIL to “Adults Only”-night at a roller rink and I break my wrist 38 minutes in; trip to ER w/discharge referral for trauma surgeon to set the wrist (dominant hand) PERFECTLY.

2015-06-26 11.07.05

  • July 1 – 2nd surgery; cast, 4 pins (no plate or incision!) to be removed 8 weeks later
  • July 2 – fly home alone w/daughters
  • July 7 – meet local orthopedic surgeon;
  • July 7 – Parting words from ortho doc after asking if there was anything I couldn’t do: “Yes. No sweating.”, Husband reply, “Dude, you’re killin’ me. She’s gotta workout – or it’s gonna be bad for me.”, ortho doc reply, “If she gets an infection, it’s gonna be bad for me.” My reply: silently crying…

After the shock and awe factors wore off me and people dared to ask what I was most afraid of, I said, “Total body atrophy.” Add to it, this self-described emotional eater was now about as unhappily emotional as she could be – pondering how staying Fit. Healthy. and Strong. was gonna happen. It was a humid July and I don’t need much in the way of no A/C to bring on a full sweat so I was going to have to be STILL – and really watch what I would eat and drink for the remaining weeks.

So how’d I do? I’ll spare you the daily recap and tell you this much I learned and know to be true:

  1. While I (admittedly) have been known to “eat my feelings”, I have a LOT of self-control – even when thrown an emotional curve ball.
  2. I really can “just be”.
  3. Inactivity begets inactivity.
  4. My (then) 9 and 12 year old daughters really “get me” and demonstrated that by truly rising to the occasion of helping our family, even when much of their fun plans for the summer had to be shortened, rescheduled or even cancelled because of my injury.
  5. I am grateful that my husband was already the better (and main) cook.
  6. There is beauty in showering once a day (I may or may not still be engaging in this – even though working out has resumed…😉)
  7. One’s mindset is a powerful tool and my tendency to “glass half full” most any situation can be a blessing.
  8. There are less fun ways to break one’s wrist and I like that I was hangin’ with my Sister-in-Law on Adults-Only night at the roller-rink, having returned to a passion of mine from the 70’s-90s (until the Rainbow Rink closed), and just wiped out – after telling my husband it was just like riding a bike…
  9. Having a MIL who is a retired OT & Certified Hand Therapist is highly recommended when breaking one’s wrist!
  10. At age 45, you still need to “call your mother – she worries” – especially when you are injured while out of town and she can’t help you – and is a nurse.
  11. Everybody has a joke when they see your arm in a cast – and it is always the same joke….
  12. YGG!F clients and students have probably heard me say at one point or another, “The body remembers quicker than it learns” and I’ve no doubt that statement is true. Praise God.
  13. And in answering the often asked question: Think you’ll ever go roller skating again? My answer is:

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Tomorrow marks a little over 6 months since I broke my wrist – hands down, the most painful thing I have ever experienced. Noteworthy in that I have ruptured an Achilles Tendon, had corrective oral surgery, and 2 C-Sections (just call me the Bride of…). I am set to resume teaching my classes, I have been running since August, and am daily regaining my range of motion and strength.

As I look forward to this new year, I am truly grateful for the gift of human movement – for a gift it truly is. To be able to meet the demands of life, pain free and with the joy of certainty that I can do what I set out to do fills me with a sense of empowerment and a deep pride. YGG!F programs and services provide education and training so one can be Fit. Healthy. and Strong. This year of growth at YGG!F will be focused on expanding our Women’s Health Workshops and Events to address many of the health and wellness issues facing women today so that we can all be Heatlhy Babes. Any Age. Any Stage.

Cheers to 2016!

jen d.