Months ago, sometime over the summer I think, I noticed that my injured Achilles, which had become my re-injured Achilles, had a notable bulge to it when my foot was in a flexed position. This was ... un-nerving. I hadn't noticed this bulge during the previous 5 months of injury. Last year when my other Achilles was injured, it never featured a tell-tale bulge. What could this mean? Why the bulge? I promptly did the smart thing. I went online to self diagnose.
Mission 1 was to find out if this meant a partial rupture. Mission 2 was to find out if this was a symptom of some other problem. Perhaps there was a condition called "Bulging Achilles." Maybe I would discover that this was actually a sign of healing. Maybe bulging is good, although it looked like a deformity. There was not much information to be found, but the sum of what I did discover was: It was a symptom of Achilles Tendinitis (wow, a revelation), and, it indicated ankle instability. What? This was ... not helpful. So there was a bulge and I didn't know what it meant, if it would ever go away, or if it would get worse.
During today's church service, we were singing one of my favorite songs, "Blessed Be Your Name." The lyrics explain that God is to be praised during the good times and the bad. Whether we are walking through a desert or basking in a land of plenty, praise God. This song always causes me to be immediately introspective, so when I was singing, "Blessed be Your name, when I'm found in the desert place, though I walk through the wilderness, Blessed by Your name" I looked down at my injured foot. Yes, in running, it has been a desert and a wilderness. A battle of the bulge. It was dark in the auditorium but in the illumination which remained, I flexed my foot and looked at the bulge. I despised it so I rarely flexed and looked. But you know, the lyrics and movement of the song compelled me.
Here's what I saw. Almost NO bulge. I was looking at an almost fully healthy Achilles tendon. I flexed harder. Where's the bulge? All I saw was a slight bump that indicated one thing: the desert was healing me. The wilderness toughened me, and I was headed back to the land of plenty with the sun shining down on me. I even snapped a photo when we got home.
I don't mean to be over dramatic about it, and I don't want to belittle the power of that worship song. Life, as in running, is comprised of journeys into and out of deserts and streams of abundance. And when I go introspective, running is not the only thing I ponder, but today the bulge, and lack there of, captured my attention.
Thank you for reading.