Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Run With a Smile....

Ask any athlete after reconstructive surgery if they truly believe they can perform like they did pre-surgery. Chances are many athletes will put on the smile, puff out their chest, and proclaim that they will be even better. Chances are, behind that brave face is a frightened, beat down, lonely version of the athlete prior to going under the knife.  No matter the athlete’s age, surgery will change them.  Whether they accept it or not…whether they admit it out loud or not, they are now a different person physically.  Things have been moved or removed from their original location.  The body is not the one they once knew.  Yes, behind that brave face is a much different athlete. 
Last Saturday morning I went for my first ever 5 mile run.  The roads were covered in ice.  The wind was brutal.  I had a nasty cold that allowed me to breathe out of one nostril.  I wanted nothing more than to sleep in.  But, I went.  During the last half mile of what was by far my hardest run to date, I started to smile.  I realized that the younger, stronger, and much more physically “able” version of me from 11 years ago (before my final knee surgery) would never have done what I just did.  I began to laugh as I realized that I am in fact a much different athlete.  Behind my frozen nose and chapped lips, lives an athlete that has learned how to drive this amazing “somewhat altered” machine to places that frightened, beat down, lonely girl never imagined she’d go.