Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hi. My Name is Cindy. I'm a Runnaholic

So a man walks into Starbucks and asks, "So ... how's your leg?"  "Hmmm," I replied, "It's improving but still not quite there."  I went on to explain that I have been able to run more with less pain but the pain is still there.  Keeping in mind that this gentleman, a regular at the Starbucks I worked at, had already informed me multiple times that "You can't run through that injury," he then looked at me starkly and said ... "You are addicted to running."

A keen observation but yet a statement that can only come from the lips of a non-runner.  Should I be offended?  Was his comment derogatory?  Was he jealous or did he think me a fool?  I found the comment out of place.  After all, clearly I have not been "running" through this injury (I took 6 full weeks off and have only run intermittently since), but at this point in the recovery I find that running helps in the healing.  My explanation to this phenomenon is that use of the tendon helps with blood flow which otherwise is almost impossible to come by. 

So I said (to myself), "Thanks for the enlightenment.  Because of you I am inspired to reform my wicked ways.  From now on I will refrain from my obsession of running, become part of the middle aged junk food packing, sedentary status quo ... like you.  Today, instead of a healing run, I will attend a 12 step meeting and begin my life anew."  In reality I simply smiled and refrained from speaking my mind.

With certain injuries, the greatest value gained is patience.  In the meantime I am enjoying every one of the opportunities I have to cross-train and am thankful that I can at least do this.

My obsession, addiction and love of running was renewed as I attended the Semana Nautica 15K as a spectator.  My husband John, as well as the Moms in Motion team, which I have been working with, competed alongside many other special runners from our community and communities from afar.  It was a brilliant day and everyone participating in the race seemed so happy in their addictions.  It was a wonderful event from all vantage points and I yearned to partake of the painful pace.  It allowed me to feel close to what I love to do.

The term "addiction" has such a negative connotation.  It implies an unhealthy attachment to something.  It's funny how that term is rarely applied to things such as ... sugar, or caffeine, or bananas, or American Idol.  The truth is I have an attachment to running, but it is not unhealthy.  Do I need it?  Yes, but I also need sleep, water, air, food.  Running is healthy in 100 different ways and not all of them are physical benefits.  I also benefit spiritually, emotionally and mentally.  Running has given me a way to avoid the vices that otherwise would have filled that void, and my chances of escaping the fates of my mother and father who both died in their forties of lung and heart disease respectively, is multiplied exponentially.  And I enjoy it.  I truly enjoy all that running is.

So as I continue to heal, I am able to run up to four times per week now, and although I still land heavily on my right heel and do not yet have the mid-foot strike and airy lift that I am used to, I can still labor through it.  The pain is still there but it is less and it resolves more quickly afterwards.  I continue to mix it up with other activities, including stadium steps at the city college, but soon I will be back on the track and back on track.  Take that and stuff it in your coffee cup "Mr. Addicted to Starbucks."

Hi, my name is Cindy.  I am a runnaholic.


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  2. I think I speak for the whole runnaholic community when I say...Hiiii Cindy! :)

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  4. Running is profitable in lots of ways... as is running the race spiritually. I remember the talk you gave on this one time years ago. It was inspiring.

  5. Glad to hear you're running again. Stupid comments about being "addicted" to running won't phase you one bit once you're back out winning races again. Use the ignore button.