Saturday, July 2, 2011

One Among Many

After posting the excerpt, I realize that I have grown a little bit as a writer. I'm no David Foster Wallace and probably never will be, but I see how I could have written my memoirs a little differently. Then again, it was my first attempt at writing, and that was 6 years ago. Hopefully I'm a bit better as a writer now. However, the story is one that I feel needs to be out there, and there are a few passages that still move me deeply.

Yes, my story is not unique. I've read bits and pieces of another blog that seems to be gathering quite a lot of attention lately called She Was Once A Runner. In my own case, I would have to say that there are a few things that make my book different:
1. the severity of my illness.
2. the fact that I'm running again.
3. my recovery.
4. my global approach to the book, interviewing as many people as I could both in the sport and those who had never run.
5 Rather than write a diary, which is interesting but not always informative, I made an attempt to uncover what caused  my eating disorder, looked at the physiology and psychological aspects behind eating disorders, and addressed strategies that worked not just for me, but for others as well.

People often ask me if I would I do things differently if I could go back. Of course I would! On the other hand, I had my moment, and I wouldn't change that. Maybe mountain running isn't as respected a sport as road racing, cross country and track, but how many people can say they were among the top in the world in anything at all, really? I gave it a shot. I 'm glad I did, despite the trouble I had down the road. I suppose I wouldn't change too much if I had a time machine, though I'd attempt a little sanity along the way if it were possible.

6. My book is true. Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction, and I didn't embellish anything or change the facts. I didn't need to. An occasional name has been changed, but everything else can be verified by at least one other person. I saw and went through some messed up shit in the past.

In the sense that I was a stand out runner, lost my running career to an eating disorder and injuries and eventually disappeared in a sea of mediocrity, yeah, I'm one among many. In how I came back from the near dead? I'm among the very few and know exactly how lucky I am.

In unrelated news, this week I'll be getting some farm fresh eggs in exchange for taking care of a friend's organic garden. I can also help myself to all kinds of lovely vegetables. I'm very excited, because I love eggs. I splurged to relieve some guilt about mistreated hens and bought some from Vital Farms. Apparently the hens at Vital farms get to run around in a real pasture, and come home to sleep in plush hen condos furnished with fancy hay beds. It was worth the extra two dollars to feel better about eating eggs. It must have been a sign that it's the right thing to do, because when I cracked one open, I got a lucky two yolk surprise! And wow- these things are good. I swear there's a difference in taste with quality eggs.

Happy Hens

I've noticed a few other bloggers and friends who are struggling with injuries. Any runner can relate. It's one of those things that happens to everyone, and when you're healthy, you continually knock on wood that it's not you. I remember in college, I was coming off one of many injuries, and some lady had posted a poem about a bird with a broken wing right on the track office door for all to see. It's was a very accurate analogy, but I wasn't in the mood to read about a fucking lame bird. I wanted to run. And yet before our meeting, we had to comment about how great this poem was. I'm not sure why I was so perturbed. I guess being injured takes away that stress outlet. Probably if I had been running well, I would have been more open and accepting of the poem, and it wouldn't have been an issue at all. As it was, it felt like she was rubbing my nose in the fact that I was injured, even though I know she wasn't. I don't even know why I bring this up, but it relates to injuries and how much easier it is to feel happy when running is in the picture, though I have made some progress in feeling OK during times of injury.

Speaking of injuries, the other day I was running after the Dr. told me to go back in the foot brace for a little while again, and I noticed a sharp pain in the 2nd toe on my RIGHT foot! I was thinking, "oh shit, now what??" It dissipated, but occasionally it would flare up. At one point, I yelped, limping a few steps. It felt like glass stabbing into my toe, so I was forced to stop. I thought I could massage it out or something, so I took off my shoe and sock. Guess what I found? Yup- a tiny piece of glass embedded into my toe! I've never been so relieved to see glass in my foot! But at least it wasn't another injury, right? Fortunately, when I pulled it out, all was fine. It didn't even bleed that much, unlike my finger that was munched on by a cat recently. God, I feel like I'm falling apart! 

This is how I feel lately.
I suppose that's supposed to be shocked, but I look at it and think...Oof. Everything seems hard. I'm tired. I'm in pain. It's funny how much I forget about the pain I'm in until I give in and take something to relieve it. I then have a palm to the forehead moment after popping something that floods me with relief and makes me say, "Ahhh, why didn't I do this sooner?" I'm not sure why I'm so stubborn when it comes to pain relief. I guess it has to do with wanting to be both in control and also to know the reality of where things stand.

Well, despite feeling tired today, things are somehow looking up.It's getting late though, so I better head out the door soon. As much as I love the heat, running when it's close to 90 is a bit much. 

Everyone is going to be running races on the 4th. I'll be happy if I can get out the door with less pain. Grrr.

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