Posted by: rundadrun | May 14, 2012

Sometimes you have to stop to keep going.

For the last 20+ years, I have had what can only be called a “trick ankle”.  By trick, I mean my right ankle, at times of it’s own choosing, would decide it no longer wanted to keep me upright.  This usually happened during a run.  I would be running along, minding my own business, when all of a sudden I would roll my right ankle.  I am sure this has something to do with the major sprain I submitted it to playing pick-up basketball 20+ years ago, but I think it should have forgiven me long before now. 

When it would roll, I usually hopped for a few strides, and then resumed my normal run.  The ligaments were so abused that it no longer hurt for more than a few seconds.  UNTIL…while running with the cross country team I coach, i rolled it three times on what was supposed to be a four miler.  The last roll actually went so far over that I pushed in the end of my fibula(the bone on the outside of your lower leg.  I did not “hop” this one off.  I limped the last half mile back to my car, got the kids through practice and limped home.  Fast forward through about 6 months of MRI’s, boots, and rest adn you end up with me finally getting the ankle repaired.

But I remember the words of my surgeon as we were trying to decide what to do next.  She told me that if I wanted to keep running, I was going to have to stop running and let her fix it.  Being a runner herself, she knew this wasn’t going to be easy.  She also told me that I may never be able to run like I was used to when she was done. It turns out that is true.  She had to remove almost all of the cartilage between the bones of my foot and leg, so I am now trying to rebuild SOME cartilage.  But it looks like running marathons is probably of my hobbnow. But she made it clear that I could NOT keep running on what was left of my right ankle.

In the end, it was all worth it.  My ankle is now 6 months post op and I am running 3 miles at a time with little to no pain.  But, it has been a LONG 6 months!  But when you have a goal in the future, it makes it easier to wait.  There are so many life lessons in that statement that I don’t think I could do them justice.  But, God is good and I have learned a little patience. 

I think the biggest lesson learned is sometimes we don’t get things in “our time”.  If I had kept running with the bad ankle, it would never have been right.  But to put everything on hold meant I would have to wait.  I am finally starting to see that the best things in life are worth waiting for and that God provides what is needed, even when we don’t know what that is.  And let’s face it, a bum ankle is a lot less than a whole lot of people deal with on a daily basis.

So, one of the things I have done to cope with this is to wipe the slate clean and start over as a runner.  The good news is, that means I will PR in my very first race! 

Happy running,



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