I run. Therefore I am.

The last 3 months have not been easy. I went and broke my lower back again. The same pain points, exercise routine and the feeling of helplessness.

When being active becomes a part of your routine, your life, it is hard to stand back and watch. It is hard not to go out and push yourself. I was bored to death of the exercises my physio recommended, but swallowed them like a bitter pill. From week four I could feel the change though progress was excruciatingly slow. As I would have it, the most exciting outdoor events happened all during the time I was asked to stand aside and watch. For someone who hears the call of the outdoors more often than it is sane, this was a testing time indeed.

Sometimes impatience would get the better of me. I attempted a short run managing to put one foot in front of the other for about 1 km before my back gave way. Clearly, I had missed the bus when it came to recovery. Numerous such starts and stops ensued. More frustration.

So then what was the difference between the first back break episode and this one? I did not take lesser time to recover, my frustration was no less than it was in 2010, nor was I any less impatient.

What was it then that kept me at it? I have 5 HMs and numerous short runs behind me. I have friends who run, who encourage and motivate. I have gym mates who advice well. I was not roughing it alone.

It is as simple or as complicated as that.

Experience is a good teacher. Perhaps I am not a good enough learner. A lot of us depend on collective knowledge to guide us through. Not only that, it is worthwhile to have someone to turn to when there is a question, a doubt. Right there and then. Someone who shares your experience of injury & recovery, of wanting to break a plateau or of starting out new. Someone who’s been there, done that. Our tendency is to look for answers we like to hear but more so for answers that come from someone we trust.

As I am back on the road once more, after a long time…..waiting to feel my heart beat in rhythm with my pace, the wind in my hair…I remember all those words and actions that kept me going.

I run. Therefore I am.

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