I walk up and up and up and finally reach the top. I rotate and take in the view. Familiar peaks dot the horizon. The high-country days are numbered this time of year, and since I won’t be skiing this winter, I took advantage of the first day I was able to walk up high.
My knee is doing okay, as I recover from knee surgery, if you’re wondering. Some days it’s great, then others some sharp pain suddenly strikes, and I sadly limp around. I’ve heard the healing journey isn’t linear and, well, it’s true and, dang, it’s mentally taxing. It’s kind of crazy how much my state of mind correlates with how my body feels.
But fortunately, I have friends to help occupy my time, lots of work, physical therapy, and lots of walking.
When I was coming down from the summit, it took forever! I definitely didn’t account for the extra time but made it home before it got dark, luckily.
My brain is a little lost right now, trying to juggle some difficult work projects, and not being able to plan anything fun outside. I feel like I’m swimming the opposite direction through a school of sharks.
This month will be a little different though. A friend invited me on a trip to raft the Grand Canyon and I can’t tell you how excited I am for the simple desert life and letting my stress dissipate into the river. Although, I am a wee bit nervous about the big rapids, we have a strong crew who I trust a lot.
The Grand Canyon is a special place for me. I started coming here as a way to heal my heart and so I hope this time it will help a little with healing my mind and body.
I feel pretty grateful right now despite the struggles. I’m equally excited to return home to friends and family after the river trip. I’ve been leaning on them a lot lately and I realize how all the big adventures I like to do are possible because of their ceaseless support. To be honest, one of the good things about being injured is that when I’m with them it’s solid time with them and I’m not needing to go out the door to train for whatever it is I’m doing. I can totally relax and just hang out. And maybe herein is some of the wisdom in the hardship.
Quite a while ago I let go of my idea of what I had to do to be an athlete. I used to be pretty obsessed with hitting certain miles and doing a long run every weekend, but a few years ago my GPS watch stopped working. Unwilling to spend $500 on a new one, I bought a $10 Casio on Amazon. It does what any good watch should do, tells the time. I feel like it loosened the grip on what training was for me and instead just made me run by how I feel, as opposed to looking at my pace or running around the block at the end of a run just to round up to the next mile.
In college I had a photography teacher who told us that the best camera to use is the one you have on you. So many people buy fancy, big cameras and think that’ll help them take good photos but it’s the person’s eye for aesthetics that makes a good photograph, not a $5,000 camera.
We all get wrapped up in trying to be the best we can be, but this injury has taught me that it’s okay to literally just be.
Call for Comments
- Do you take Hannah’s approach to training, running mostly by feel?
- Or do you prefer to have some metrics to guide you?