Today I started 2015 off with a fantastic run with one of my best and favorite running friends, Trena. This same time last year, Trena had come to visit me after surgery. I was laid up in bed wondering if I would ever be able to run again.
For a whole year prior to my surgery, I hadn’t been able to run over 1.5 miles without excruciating pain that felt like a grinding in my hip, stopping me dead in my tracks. For a long time, my husband and I thought it was just something that had stemmed from the delivery of my youngest child. So I waited patiently for my body to get back to normal. It didn’t.
I started experimenting with other forms of exercise that didn’t cause pain. I was on a quest to find something to fill my running void, and give me the health, vitality, and endorphins that I needed. Stopping an active lifestyle was NEVER an option, and it was so much fun to explore all of the possibilities! I tried just about everything and fell in love with barre (for more info, click HERE) and PIYO (click HERE) and decided to get certified to teach both of them.
I loved teaching and helping people reach their fitness goals, but felt a longing for my true passion of running. I found myself thinking, “What I wouldn’t give to run a long run!” It was like a part of me was missing. I started to feel hopelessness and guilt, thinking that maybe the hip pain was my fault. Maybe I had overdone it exercising while pregnant. Maybe I didn’t give my body sufficient time to recover after having the baby. I told myself all kinds of stories that just deepened my despair. Would I ever run again?
Finally, my husband and I decided that I should seek medical attention about my hip pain. The doctors were very puzzled at first. After multiple visits and in-depth testing, we discovered that I had a peculiar growth on one of my ovaries that turned out to be a tumor about the size of an orange. The movement of running caused the tumor to twist, which cut off blood supply to the region. After a mile and a half, this manifested as pain in my hip. If I hadn’t been a runner, this tumor may have never been found and could have become cancerous later on in life.
Long story short, the ovary and tumor (which ended up being benign) were surgically removed and in time, I made a full recovery. In 2014, just a few months after my surgery, I was able to train for and run two marathons without any pain in my hip.
Sometimes in life (family, parenting, relationships, exercise, and just life goals in general) we have setbacks. Things that make us question who we are, and our ability to succeed. We may even begin to tell ourselves stories and put ourselves down. When in reality, these setbacks are just stepping stones of discovery. They may help us to become more creative, adaptable, and give us strength. It is our job to step outside of that place of despair and approach our trials with new eyes. In the end, these very setbacks will help us gain more appreciation for the gifts that we have and what we’ve been through to get them.
This morning on my run, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and love for God who saw fit for me to go through this time of trial. It helped me acquire new talents, learn to endure in faith, and realize just how blessed I am. My love and appreciation for running and my health is stronger than ever!
It’s time to make realistic and attainable goals for 2015! Something that will stretch you and take you out of your comfort zone. Something that will encourage you to embrace your challenges and set goals to turn those challenges into strengths. You can do this!
What About You?
- What struggles and challenges have you been able to overcome? How did they strengthen you in the long run?
XOXO LauraShare This: