After a rest day, I set off on my second run after plantar fasciitis recovery.
I ran 3 miles without pain before or after. Good run, right?
I pride myself on my stoicism, my even-keel. I’m slow to anger, and often smiling.
Within the first few steps, anger overwhelmed me.
My feet felt fine.
Instead of rejoicing, I was mad at myself. Could I have started running sooner? Should I have stopped running at all?
I was so angry. And I didn’t know why.
I was angry that the park was still dismantled for track construction. I took off into the neighborhoods.
I passed other runners, a month into their long-distance training. Running further than me, better than me, sweating less than me, wearing expensive gear and clothes. And here I am so far behind, dragging a senior dog, near unexplainable tears.
If only I knew more. If only I could get healthcare when I needed it. If only I was a better runner.
If only I pushed myself more.
At this point, everything was setting me off. The perfectly manicured yards with color-coordinated decor on their front porch. People with their lives, time, and money under control. I thought of my dying lawn, tall weeds, and the damn bush that threatens to take over the front yard. If only there were more hours in the day. If I did more, worked harder, I too could have a perfect life like them.
For 21 minutes, 2 miles, I had a barrage of feelings of inadequacy and anger.
And underneath it all, I was scared out of my mind.
I was afraid that any moment, my feet were going to wrench and I would be back where I started.
Unable to do the thing I love.
There it was. I took a deep breath. I pushed away those thoughts of things I could not control.
Running is a release valve.
Feet pounding on the ground in the scorching heat churns up feelings that stoic, even-keeled people have yet to acknowledge.
Anger. Sadness. Inadequacy. Fear.
And it’s okay to feel these things.
At the end of the third mile, I still felt a bit upturned but I understood what happened. Like tilling soil, raw feelings had come to the surface and boiled over.
I felt fresher. I felt ready for renewal.
Maybe that will come next run.