I always say, you really don’t know what you have until you don’t have it anymore. It sounds so cheesy, but it is so true. After my first week being here in Austin, I hurt my foot that ended up showing an effect on various different outlets of my life without even thinking about it. Over this three month process, I have come up with 6 important lessons of what I learned from hurting my foot.
Here’s the backstory of this whole adventure – initially moving to Austin, I was wanting to take my love for fitness outdoors to save a couple of pennies and to soak up all the beautiful sun rays Austin has to offer. That first weekend I decided to take a run around Lady Bird Lake, which is a lake right on the outskirts of downtown Austin.
I put on my white Nike running shoes, Lululemon shorts, and threw on a tank top. I found a parking spot and hit the ground running — literally. I only made it two miles before I thought I was going to have a heat stroke. I was drenched from the 90-degree heat and humidity that had already hit by 9 am that Saturday morning.
After calling it quits, I made my way home. Walking in the door to our apartment, I started to joke with my roommates saying I may have gone weak considering I only made it two miles before thinking I was going to hyperventilate from the lack of fresh air. The day carried on as normal, until the next morning where I found myself not able to walk normally. I thought my foot was just sore from running, so I ended up avoiding the doctor for two weeks before coming to the conclusion something more serious was happening.
Later zooming to the doctor’s office down the hill one Sunday morning after going out with my friends and stupidly dancing on my sore foot — I ended up in a boot for two weeks.
Three weeks later, it still hurt so I got put in another boot for 3 more weeks.
Then I got an MRI to see what was happening, stuck in the boot for another week.
What ended up happening was I got a stress fracture from wearing the wrong running shoes in the heat that Austin fosters. Then I got tendonitis from walking on my left foot sideways for the two weeks I tried to avoid the doctor. Now I am dealing with the build-up of scar tissue from the event.
After the 9 weeks passed, I was offered normal physical therapy (that could easily be done at home by myself), laser therapy, or get a cortisone shot in my tendon and near the bone that was causing the pain.
With my journey with SIBO, I didn’t really take this lightly. I wanted to try everything I could possibly do to heal my foot naturally. Sadly enough, I don’t really know if my foot will ever feel the same or if I will ever be able to run long distances again, but I sure as heck am doing everything in my power to make it feel as good as possible.
Aside from how I got to where I am with my foot, and what choices I made to make the best of it, I have learned SO much through this little bump in the road — 6 to be exact.
1. All things take time
This is something I have always struggled with — I want everything to happen right away. But guess what, those first two weeks of hurting my foot, I was in complete denial. I thought if I didn’t think about the pain, it would just go away, absolutely freaking not. Listen to your body and know when you need to take a break, even when you really don’t want to.
Remember: when something isn’t right, take the time to fix it.
Along with taking the time, having patience through this journey is easier said than done, but so crucial. I was constantly pushing myself to go on a walk in my boot, or break out my foot for a couple of hours to get in a sweaty workout — but that ended up destroying any progress I could have made
Remember: patience and fortitude conquer all things.
3. Health is Wealth
This is a given, and something I have believed especially since having SIBO for as long as I did. Throughout this little hiccup, I have never been so thankful to be able to start working out again and feed my soul with all the right endorphins. During these 9 weeks, I couldn’t tell you how many mental breakdowns I had from not being able to take care of my body the way I wanted to — value that.
Remember: the more energy your body has, the more efficient it is, and the better you feel mentally and physically.
4. Value Your Time With Loved Ones
During my first two weeks in my boot I would try and go out with my friends, but absolutely hated having to lug around a boot and not be able to do everything else that others were able to do. From weeks 4-6, I ended up cutting off extra time with my friends entirely. I thought I needed to just sit there until my foot would finally heal on its own. I missed out on opportunities that all sounded like a great time, but this proved what I truly value, the fun memories with friends and family.
Remember: don’t sit in your misery, get out and create memories with your friends and family.
It sucks to be in a boot, everyone stares and wonders what you did, even if it was just a mishap out running one morning. Don’t get me wrong this is so sweet of people to be so concerned and show their empathy, but it got to the point that I didn’t even want to go to the grocery store considering the stares, wobbling around everywhere, and the constant struggle of slinging my heavy bags around. Even though it seemed like a hassle, I should be strutting my stuff even when shuffling around with a heavy boot.
Remember: like Sarah’s Day puts it; “act confident and nobody will question you.”
6. I missed normality
Seriously, I was begging for the life I thought was so boring or vanilla from before. Even something so little as being in a boot can make you wish you could walk around or run like a healthy human being again. Think about it, what if you wouldn’t be able to get up from your chair comfortably, or even worse, get out of your chair at all? You’ll miss it more than anything. Especially if that view of normality may not be able to be reached again.
Remember: you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
Must I add, hurting my foot for 9 weeks isn’t bad AT ALL compared to the various other health setbacks people deal with like cancer, disease, and long term surgery recoveries. No matter what that situation means for someone, I think it is important to take in what all the feeling and be grateful for everything you may have taken for granted in the past.
Be thankful for your amazing powerhouse — your body.
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