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Acceptance

I went to the gym this morning and as I was swimming, I had a lot of time alone with my thoughts. I am so used to listening to music while I run, bike or elliptical, that I don’t have a chance to really think. Yes, I can think while doing those other things, but not like I can when I swim. They have waterproof MP3 players, but do I really need to fork over more $$? No. In fact, this time spent alone with my thoughts may actually be turning out to be just what I needed.

As I was swimming I realized that I was motivated to compete against myself and swim faster than I had the previous time in the pool. I realized that while my body seemed to be working against me with my injury, I can fight back and still perform. I will adapt & make changes. I know that I said these things earlier this month, but I don’t think I truly accepted it until this morning. Then I recalled hearing something about the stages of grief and acceptance. Sure enough, I looked up stages of grief online and this is what I found:

The stages Kubler-Ross identified are:

Denial (this isn’t happening to me!)
Anger (why is this happening to me?)
Bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better person if…)
Depression (I don’t care anymore)
Acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes)

While I didn’t lose a loved one, as in a person, I did temporarily lose my life as I knew it and was comfortable in. I lost my beloved pal – running. I truly think that I have now moved through those stages and am on the final stage – acceptance. I can think back over these past few weeks since I have become “Bootsie” and see myself in each of those earlier stages.

At my doctor’s appointment the other day I was told that I would not be able to run the marathon I was planning on running this fall. I had a suspicion that was coming, so it wasn’t a huge shock. However, I thought that I would still be able to run the half on 10/17, but that is up in the air. It really depends on how the rest of my recovery goes. I am still in the boot, though I am weaning out of it. I should be done with it by Monday or Tuesday of next week. That being said, I am still only allowed to swim or bike with no resistance. I see Dr. B again on 7/15 and he told me that if I was feeling fantastic the week before, I could try the elliptical with no resistance, but otherwise, status quo until I see him. When I see him in July, he will have a “return to running” program designed just for me. Basically it will be like starting over. These are the words that I think I have been afraid of this whole time. Starting over. The fact that I worked so hard to get to the point I was at. I ran a marathon! It just devastated me. However, it also hurt me. Physically. Obviously I am not going to be able to go right back out there & run 10 miles. That is just plain silly. So, now that I have all the facts, I can from a plan. Or, my doctor can since the plan I had landed me in a boot. ;) I am now hoping that things go well & I can run that half marathon on 10/17, but if I can’t, that is okay. I will have even more time to heal & train for my next marathon in the spring.

Now that I have accepted my situation and I am not fighting it anymore, I feel so much better. I am not counting down the days. I am embracing each day and the activities that are kind to my body right now. I can’t run. I can swim. I didn’t like swimming at first, but you know what? It is growing on me. Shhhh….don’t tell swimming yet. Swimming & I are like 2 strangers who are really shy and hesitant to interact with each other. We start to get to know each other. We don’t really know what to think of the other, but are forced to spend more time together. Slowly, a relationship is forming and the feelings towards each other are much more positive than negative. But remember, don’t tell swimming yet.

11 comments to Acceptance

  • Love it Kim! That's my girl :)

    Let's set some new fun goals. This could be a fork to a whole new set of things you love.

    So glad you've found a comfortable spot.

  • Kim

    Yes, I love having a goal!! I ordered goggles, nose plugs & a swim cap, so my mini-goal is to learn how to get that breathing down so that I can be more efficient. I hope to get those by Weds. After that, I don't know. Have any thoughts?

  • Candice

    Hey, what about a completely new goal. Sure marathons are tough, but what about a triathlon? You could work on training for the swimming and biking now, and then when you get the okay from your doctor, start in on the running (which is a shorter distance than a marathon!). And, there are shorter ones to start in on (try-a-tris, 1/2 tris and such). And, the swimming comes first, so you can get it out of the way. . .

  • Yes my dear, I'm thinking strength goals. Working on some ideas :)

  • Oh girl I totally understand what you are going through. Last year after I got injured during the half and was off running, it killed me. Then when I started running again I wasn't allowed to go any further than 2 miles. I had just run 13, so 2 miles being my longest run felt ridiculous. Eventually I got to a point where I was just happy to be running again but you're right, it does take some time to get to the acceptance point. I'm so glad to hear that you have reached that and are doing better emotionally and spiritually with the situation. :)

  • Kim

    Candice – Thank you!! I was thinking along those lines yesterday. Jon, my son, said the same thing. Definitely something to keep in mind.

    Andrea – I remember that. Thanks for your support. :)

  • Wow Kim, that is amazing. I'm not a runner but live with one. It seems that people that run identify themselves that way and now you are making the shift to a new identification. I'm sure you went through something similar when you had to give up gluten. I hope you have the opportunity to run again, but if not I hope you continue to accept new things. That is so much easier to say than do. Kudos.

  • [...] and came across an article titled “Good Grief“. This article is much like my “Acceptance” post I wrote back in June. That seems like such a long time ago! My foot is still feeling [...]

  • Marissa

    Kim-

    I believe I am in the anxious/worried stage of the whole process. I am in college, I did cross country and indoor track. When we made the switch to outdoor track training (where I would be running the 10k) I had to up my mileage. My hips began to ache and hurt really bad after simple runs and then my foot started getting this sharp sharp pain. I saw the trainer on Monday and they believe I may have a stress fracture in my foot. I am freaking out. If I have a stress fracture I can't run for 6-8 weeks.I feel like I am going to go nuts. What did you do to stay fit? Just swim? Have you lost a lot of muscle mass?

  • @Marissa – First, I am sorry to hear about your injury. I did a lot of swimming. Surprisingly I did not gain any weight or seem to lose any endurance or obvious muscle mass. It was really hard mentally, but I made my way through it. It is now about 10 months since my injury and I am getting ready to run another marathon in 31 days.

    Kim

  • [...] Time to get in some cross-training.  Swimming has been doing wonders for me lately and I am really glad that I took the time to work on it last summer, grouchy as I was about it at the time.  May 29th, 2011 | Tags: Kimberly Bouldin, weekly [...]

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