On Monday night, my roommates and I wanted some pizza. Rather than walk, we decided to take razor scooters. On the way there, I hit a bump in the road and flew off the scooter. In the fall, I seriously injured my knee. Unable to move, let alone bend my knee, and experiencing intense pain, I was rushed to the emergency room at the local hospital. A subsequent x ray and MRI resulted in the diagnosis - a sprained ACL and a broken bone in my knee that will require surgery. This is not news that anyone wants to hear, especially a runner.
Every runner experiences injuries. In the 2012 Olympics in London, Ryan Hall was the American favorite to win the marathon. In his very successful running career, Ryan had never quit a race before. But on that fateful day, as was later reported, “Ryan walked off the Olympic men’s marathon course along the famed Pall Mall shaking his head, and filled with what-ifs after suffering a right hamstring muscle strain.” Ryan’s recovery was long and arduous; he did not successfully complete a race until April 2014.
Throughout my running career, I have had injuries that have affected my ability to run, including twisted ankles, Osgood Schlatter and shin splints. I have missed several race seasons and have been disappointed when I couldn’t perform at my best. My hopes and dreams for successful seasons were dashed and I battled with frustration, impatience and disappointment. When we are injured, we should proactively seek the professional help required and not let the injury discourage us. Having been the top runner at my school my freshman year and injured for my sophomore year, parents of my teammates constantly asked me when I would be fast again. Running is a psychological sport and injuries can cause us to lose confidence. Injuries also introduce an element of doubt and fear: Will I run again? Will I regain my speed? Will I be ready for the big race? We need to be patient and recognize that both healing and regaining fitness take time. However, if we stay positive, the healing process will be more manageable and our recovery will be more effective!
Ryan Hall said, “I have my own unique road that has had many exciting ups and heart-breaking downs, but the one thing I know is that my journey is not over and the best is yet to come.” Because I run, I have learned that injury is part of running; no one is immune no matter how careful, well-trained or experienced. Because I run, I have learned to stay positive despite injury or disappointment. And after this week, because I run, I have learned to avoid razor scooters!