After 50 days of “rest”, a dozen Tecar therapy sessions, 10 electromagnetic therapy sessions, a cycle of Reiki treatments, daily doses of vitamin D, daily glasses of water mixed with foul tasting purple powder to strengthen my tendons and intramuscular injections every five days to reinforce my bones, today the orthopedist played around with my foot and ankle, asked what hurt, and then said: “Run. Slowly. It will probably bother you for awhile, but see how it feels, and don’t overdo it. Try to take it easy for another month. Try cycling, or something like that.”
Leaving the sports medicine place where I have been going almost every day for physical therapy, I said goodbye to the receptionist, who is also my physical therapist’s wife. “So?” she asked.
“This is it.” I said. “I’m done. I can hardly believe I won’t be seeing you guys anymore. I am going to miss you!” She came around from behind the counter to kiss me goodbye.
I called my trainer from the parking lot. “Run. Slowly.” he said. “And no more than half an hour. I mean it.”
I went straight home to change and right back out to run as slowly as I could for half an hour, and it was exhilarating. My heel and ankle bothered me a little, but the only painful part of it was when the half hour was up and it was time to walk home. (And I may have stayed out slightly longer than my allotted 30 minutes.)
My biggest fear in all these 50 days was not that I would be completely out of shape by the time I could finally run again, but that it wouldn’t be the same. As the days turned into weeks and the weeks stretched out, I was afraid it would lose its magic. But it didn’t. As soon as I got going (slowly) it was there again, that whole, simple feeling of self recognition. How do I explain it? The only way that comes to mind is that when I run I feel myself inside my body. I am me. And it is still has that magic.