Saturday, September 7, 2019

Recovery Setbacks and Resilience

Ugh. After over compressing my ankle descending Crestone Peak two weeks ago, and then before I was totally recovered from that on Monday trying to run five miles. This has not been a great two years for me athletically. I seem to do well on a six month long cycle and I'm now in the process of missing my fall 2019 cycle, the fourth in this chain of physical issues.

It's been depressing at times. A big part of me just wants to throw in the towel and not dream about doing big cool things in the future. For example, I had thought that this would be the year I go and crush Nolan's 14, but with my ankle, that's not the case.

I think sometimes people look to me as resilient. As a person that continues to overcome this and that, unemployment, the 2014 Everest disaster, and more running injuries than I care to admit. When I coached at UD track and field I would say I had "buckets of motivation" and having spent years thinking about it, I still don't know where it all came from or why I have it and others do not. And that's the struggle, how do I describe it to others? I'm sitting in a coffeeshop about to go on a longer bicycle ride this Saturday, because at least I can do that and yet, why?

One thing I like about running and mountain climbing are how accessible or democratized or informal they are. Where as if I was an NFL player or a golfer, you are either in the big leagues, or you aren't. However, there is a spectrum. I stood near the top of Everest with national heroes from other countries and I ran the first mile of the 2013 Chicago Marathon faster than Rita Jeptoo (who was doping). I think maybe that's part of the motivation. Maybe my leg speed is gone and I'll probably never run under 4:40 for a mile again, but if I can get my durability up there are 48 hour races and six day races...

Again, I don't have any magical answer. Sometimes I feel like I have some super deep insecurity that I am trying to fill through athletics that keeps me motivated to recover, but I don't know what would be. Maybe we get up and try to recover and get back to where we have been because, that's just what we do and it's easier to pursue the goal than debate it. I'm off to bicycle.

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