I am going to be honest, I am terrified. I am terrified to be making the jump to the next level having been able to do very little training. I am nervous to be starting my season months from now when everyone else has several races under their belts and completed loads more training than I have. I am scared that I won't get my fitness back. I panic every morning before I get out of bed not knowing what the first few steps are going to feel like and if the stiffness and soreness in my knee is going to linger and I will practically be crippled after a day of rounding in the hospital. I go to bed each night with the worry that the little training I did was too much and I will be set back 3 weeks in my recovery. I worry that I will never fully heal and never feel normal again. But my biggest fear is that this whole ordeal of being out for so long is a sign that I made the wrong decision of deferring residency and putting my career in medicine on hold to pursue this pipe dream.
It is a horrible feeling, one that on many nights leads to me just sitting on the couch partly out of despair and partly because I am so scared that if I do anything (outside of therapy) I am not going to get better. But this is no way to live, consumed by fear. I have been scared of a lot of other things in my life, such as starting college, going to medical school, doing an Ironman, and all have turned out to be great and meaningful experiences. I really had no reason to be afraid; this shouldn't be any different.
The situation is far from ideal, I was supposed to have started up training the end of December at the latest. I won't bore you with the long story of what exactly happened, it is now April and 5 months is a long time. But what good does it do me to think about what should have happened, where I could be, and where I would be going had I had my way? I didn't have my way, it sucks (understatement), but there is no dwelling on that matter. Time only moves in one direction and I am going to follow. Slowly, but surely.
Chin up, eyes forward, blinders on. Counting my blessings that I am running again and adding biking back in as well. Instead of focusing on how far I have to go until I am in shape I am working on focusing on the process. The baby steps, however small they may be, eventually add up to hundreds of miles.
I will no doubt be physically stronger from all the time I have spent in the gym. I will also be stronger mentally having faced a great deal of adversity. Like I said before, there is a bright side of being injured it is just often clouded by a lot of negative emotions and grief.
There is a lot that is to be determined, but I am making my comeback. To help keep me focused and goal-oriented I am tracking my training in my Believe Training Journal, created by World Class runners and girl-crush worthy Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan. It is a simple way to follow my progress each week. The act of writing down even the smallest process goals makes them more concrete and gives them greater meaning. I am feeling confident that in just a few more page turns I will have come a long way.