Time. Elusive time. Chased by the athlete and always just out of reach. It weighs heavier when you’re stuck and flies away in a wink when you’re happy. Like a run. Sometimes there are forgettable runs where even a mile takes forever and then there are those delicious flying ones on a breeze.
I’ve been mostly patient and not as sad as I thought I might be. The physio exercises have been good and I also use a little weight on the legs to add challenge. So far, so good. Next steps would be to bring back some flexibility in the knee joint before I start running. I’m also working on correcting some alignment issues which led to this in the first place but that’s going to be an ongoing process. I’ve been using a brick between the knees while standing or even going about my chores at times. It makes for a more aligned, neutral movement and the imprint of that prop stays for a bit. Risky though because a single distracted moment can mean fractured toes. That brick weighs close to 2kgs.
Injury brings perspective and also a keen sense of body awareness. It’s easy to get a prescription or have a doctor tell you what’s wrong and what to do. That helps but I find exploring how to heal myself opens a whole new vista. It’s been gratifying to discover that my efforts have been in the right direction. Some of the instinctive actions that I have been doing are actually suggested as I found later.
This break has given me a taste of how other activities can be satisfying as well. I guess one just needs to keep a spirit of curiosity alive. It’s easy for me to get immersed in how the recommended exercises are similar to yoga poses. An example would be stretching the heel and pulling the toes inwards. As an Iyengar yoga student, it’s instinctive to create resistance in the body and think alignment. An example would be the position of the calf muscles, the thigh muscles, knee, hip, abdomen, back and shoulders just to stretch one leg out straight. That in itself makes it a full body engagement. It seems obsessive, the attention to the tiniest detail but the experience is something that makes me go back as I realise how vast and complex our bodies and minds are.
Working with constraints and the unknown keeps me active mentally and that’s also a training. The ‘me’ of two years ago would have just given up completely. Not now, I take what I have and work with it. Some days are hard but most days are good. The weekends have more time without the long runs and we spend quite a few of them out of the city. Infact, I saw a beautiful stretch of road over there, nestled between two hills and just begging to be run. That’s my goal now. Not a long run, not a fast one, just one run on that hidden hill.