Step, slide, crack. Step, slide, crack. Step. Slide. Crack.
I grab my ankle, feeling the pain. Declaring to myself “You’re ok! You’re ok!”
I know it’s broken. I’m familiar with the feeling. I’ve been through this before – breaking a bone for the first time (make that 14 bones). The trauma from my previous accident is fresh. The sound of my ankle cracking immediately brings memories of my rescue – helicopters, doctors, panic. Then memories of my recovery – an inability to move, or cook, or bathe, or take care of myself.
I start crying in panic. Repeating to myself “I don’t know if I can do this again. How can I do this again?!”
This is my reality. After 18 months of clawing my way back from a nearly fatal accident, rediscovering my strength as a human and athlete, I’m here again. Injured. Broken.
The emotions that are going through my head are numerous. But one that’s louder than the rest, is anger. Why did this happen again? Did I deserve it? Is there still something more to learn?
I want to scream!
I don’t know if I have the strength to do this. Again.
I read the influx of encouragement and support from my friends and the running community.
It’s ok to be angry. For now, anyways.
I’m reminded that I’m enough. The words of my dear friend David Steele, repeat in my head.
The portions of your self worth that are all bound up in being an athlete, on being able to perform —this is a chance to remember the other parts of yourself.
This is a reminder to be a whole person. Finding joy and success and personal, internal stability in the web of all those aspects and complexities of what makes you, you – that’s the goal.
Things happen for a reason – if you chose to let them. I’m reminded to take a deep breath, feel what I’m feeling and believe. BELIEVE. That this too, will create, reignite and provide an opportunity for growth.
Do you need more stories of perseverance? Check out the new podcast, Athletes Unfiltered, it will inspire you to keep digging deep when times get hard.