Next week I turn 50, and over the past several months, God and I have had a few conversations about life, about what has happened, what hasn’t happened and I’ve most recently been praying for a blessing. I feel a little like Jacob in Genesis, where he wrestles with God and asks for a blessing, and as he receives a blessing, also walks away with a limp.
I’m still searching and waiting for the blessing, and could do without the limp.
Six months ago, January 22 to be exact, when I made the decision to sign up and walk in the Susan G Komen 3-day Breast Cancer walk, (60 miles in 3 days) I knew it would be a challenge, but I was up for the challenge and ready to try, it has been at least 8 years since my last walk, and even then, it was only 39 miles in 2 days!
Over the past six months I started training, eating healthier, even losing a couple pounds and inches, and being mindful of self-care and preparing not only for the walk, but also a milestone of a birthday!
Next week I turn 50! I’ve been trying to embrace it and thought I was doing a decent job of it … until this week.
I thought training was going ok, I wasn’t following the schedule to the letter of the law, but I was walking and getting mileage as I was able…it was going ok, until this week.
Two weeks ago, my distant walking increased, where I aimed to walk 40 miles in one week, walking 5 miles a couple days, and getting ready for a big weekend of training where I would walk 17 miles one day and 13 the next. This was right on schedule!
Zeke was loving all the walking and being outdoors, and I was feeling good! (Well, Zeke did enjoy some recovery as he had a red spot from where his harness was apparently rubbing, but he’s much better now).
All seemed to be going smoothly, I had this great plan for some vacation time with friends and family, a big ‘ole birthday party, and lots of walking and training for the 3 day event that is taking place in just four weeks. All on track, until this week.
Enter stress fracture in the left foot. Now I like to wear boots…in the winter though, not in the heat of summer.
During the church Bible school last week, I would go home and wonder why my feet hurt, deciding that I was simply aging, decided to switch up my shoes for the next day thinking it was the shoes I wore while leading the singing and motions, jumping and dancing like all ministers do during vbs. However, by Friday afternoon I could hardly walk on it and knew something was wrong. After consulting with my PT friend, we decided that ice, complete rest, (except for Sunday morning during worship), and wearing the boot at home (from a previous foot injury) was the best option, and then if Monday brough relief, great! Otherwise, it would be time for an X-ray.
Monday morning after faking my way through the morning, I wrapped up my responsibilities at church after a funeral and headed over to the orthopedic express for a walk-in evaluation and X-ray. While a fracture did NOT showed up on the X-ray (stress fracture normally do not) the doc agreed with me that the description of the pain, my explanation of increased activity and training were the culprits of the injury and he benched me for the next four weeks from training, any sort of impact, or extensive exercise.
Yeah… if you have now done the math and realized my training has been shelved for four weeks and the walk is in four weeks; what next?!
Well, rest, vacation, stationary biking, swimming, celebrating my birthday, enjoying time with family and friends, and of course listening to jokes about turning 50 and having an injury (which I will try to politely smile at and humor them).
I’m also in the process of connecting with my 3-day walking coach that’s been assigned to me to explore my options and will most likely be pivoting (figuratively) to crew and support team as I’m not willing to risk causing further or re-injuring (See? I’m learning in my old age!). if this works out, it means that instead of walking, I will be offering support and cheering on the nearly 700 walkers participating, a different role, but one that is so important for the walkers to be safe and encouraged as they walk each mile.
How’s my foot? It’s ok. It still hurts if I overdo it, but then I sit and rest for a bit, and I need to remind myself that it’s only been a few days since the diagnosis of the fracture. I can still walk, do yard work, go grocery shopping, and all the things, just no impact, distance, aerobics or active activity for the next month. But it has also changed the last few days of work prior to vacation when I had hoped to make all the visits with folks, and get everything wrapped up before being away for two weeks, I’m hoping grace abounds.
How am I? I’m ok. Seriously disappointed, but I’ve also had a couple days to sit with the disappointment and sulk in the corner; and am now ready to reengage with the event. Fellow walkers have encouraged me and helped me think of some creative solutions. My mind and heart are beginning to absorb that maybe my body and mind needed a vacation that would be restful and not filled with long walks.
Truth be told, because I’m soon on vacation, I thought maybe I could get away with not even sharing this update, but so many of you have been so kind, generous, and supportive of my walking and training, that because of this shift in how I’ll be showing up in Boston next month, I knew I needed to be transparent and share this with you.
I will still be showing up in Boston next month to participate, to honor and celebrate the survivors, to remember the ones taken too soon from this dreaded disease, and to support and walk alongside the warriors who are fighting and going through treatments. Now, instead of literally walking alongside, with and for … I’ll be literally cheering, encouraging, and supporting the walkers.
Here’s my final thought: yes, it is a major bummer that I won’t be able to walk the 60 miles; however! Two weeks ago, after a particularly abundant week, I muttered under my breath how exhausted I was, and how I just couldn’t figure out how I would get everything done – and while I still don’t know how everything will get done, there is less pressure for training, and as a wise elder from the church reminded me yesterday ‘maybe this is God’s way to slow you down, so you actually rest.’ She’s not wrong. My body does need rest, and if I am going to listen to my own sermons, and listen to scripture, then these next two weeks will be opportunity to rest and enjoy the summer and enjoy this life God has given me – gimpy foot and all! As I think about these trees by the road, that were trimmed back yesterday, getting rid of all the dead limbs … it has provided better visibility of the road. Maybe in order for rest and fun to take place, a few things had to be trimmed and pruned back. Maybe this is my blessing. (eh hem… that’s a BIG maybe, like I said, I’m still working it out).
Oh, and if you have read this far, I do hope that you will stop by on July 29 to help me celebrate turning 50! July 29, from 2-4pm, at my home…there will be yard games, birthday treats, and just relaxing time to hang out and visit. No gifts please, the church is working to fill 50 backpacks with school supplies for refugee children, so if you must bring a gift … bring school supplies.
I hope to see you on the 29th to celebrate!