overcoming fear of injury

yin and yang, black and white shapes within a circle, representing *everything* - the continual movement of them both, an interaction of two energies
"yin" (black) dark, passive, downward, cold, contracting and weak
"yang" (white) bright, active, upward, hot, expanding and strong

yin to yang and yang to yin, causing everything to happen: just as things expand and contract, and temperature changes from hot to cold. positive and negative.

all of that is something ive believed for a very long time, for all areas of life.

exercise, any form of movement, is also, simply, yin and yang.
yin, focusing inwards, tai chi, yoga, pilates .... yang - focusing outward, increasing the heart rate, upping the intensity. both have their challenges. a combination of each are needed to give our bodies balance.

within it is the concept of everything happens for a reason right? and whats that to do with running?

i am scared to run trails again. thats the short story.

the longer story, is where i am at right now.

running a trail run? running an ultra? it is where i am happiest. it is like a combination of both yin and yang.

running, definitely a yang activity, surprisingly calms down when run through a trail. back to nature so to speak. so in the moment of the next foot fall and the tranquility and peace surrounding us, then moreso with the addition of distance. it takes patience and a steely determination, a mental strength, yin. - combine, and its like getting a double dose of that continual movement. and, THATS where i want to be - the goal.

i love all the exercise i do. i love cross training. i love i am capable.
i am comfortable at the gym, i am comfortable doing a group class - combat, boxing, step, boot camp etc, i am comfortable running out there in the middle of no-mans land on my own that so few get out and experience.
except, lately.
and all because of a fall.
isnt the saying, if you fall off a horse, get straight back on and ride?
is one of my favourite quotes 'fall 7 times, stand up 8'...? - im not following through, im not getting up.
when i fell and tore the ligaments in my ankle, it was the first time, i ever really looked around at the trail and thought how the heck do i run on this!? i hobbled my sorry ass down to the creek and put my foot in - great ice substitute, thinking about how to get back to the car, 5kms away, but did. unable to put any weight on it then it not improving very quickly was frustrating.
i attempted to run 160kms at glasshouse 2 weeks later against the doctors wishes and my trainers battle of banging her head against a brick wall yet again with me, attempts for me to pull out.
i failed at completing it, but i did at least run some.

it has now been 7 weeks, since the run though - i have followed the doctors orders to a t, every time i do any exercise i tape it and wear a brace, afterwards ice, elevate, rest. i have followed my trainers training schedule for me to a t. perfection! i have never been so good at doing what has been so right, in the attempt for the healing process to occur as quickly as possible.

i have done many *balance* classes lately (a combination class of tai chi, yoga and pilates) beautiful yin energy - my runs had been pared down to 5km and 10km flat runs to rest the ankle and some beach runs where i live, and loads of bike work, interval sessions, weights and a couple boxing classes (cos i LOVE 'em) -

the result being, i have focussed more in what my body is wanting and feeling and have done a TON more thought given yin/yang activities - i have exercised less, eaten more, and have LOST 4.6kgs!!!
was i overtraining? hindsight, maybe yes. undereating for all that i had been doing? hindsight, maybe yes.
BUT, my body, right now, is the fittest, strongest and healthiest i have probably been my entire life. so this is where it comes back to everything happens for a reason - hurting my ankle? maybe a lesson to back off a little and get better results long term from it. quality over quantity. yin yang so, all positive. i SHOULD be happy and certainly should be vey pleased with myself?

now though, i am at the point of getting back on the horse. the ankle is not 100% but it is certainly useable with care. i dont think i have a constant limp anymore

so, whats the problem? ..... fear.

last weekend i was to start with a 8km trail run to see how it went (honeyeater lookout, a beautiful trail run in the whitsundays) - very steep and because it is so dry, very very slippery with loose rock leaves and gravel at the moment but,it is one of my tried and tested 'regular' short trail runs that i can fly up and down on normally (pre ankle injury).

week beginning - my trainer did power walking with me - hills, didnt think i went too hard but ooooooh my aching butt! she must have a butt of damn steel! she asked me how the trail run had gone and how my ankle held up. i lied, i said storm (my daughter) had the day off work (she rarely gets a weekend day off) so we spent it together so i didnt get the chance to go do it. well, not a lie, it was truth for she did have the sunday off, but the truth is also, that would never stop me doing a quick and fast 8km trail in the past before she even gets out of bed!!! it was just a cover.
real truth was, i was SCARED, to go do it. scared of hurting my ankle again. scared i wouldnt be allowed to run again if i fall. - not running has been hard, frustrating to say the least despite i have exercised every single day regardless. and scared, what if i 'cant'? run anymore. (ridiculous and irrational) - but theres where im at.

anyway, the next day,- she asked what i was doing (run wise) for thursday night and this weekend (i think because she was going away for the weekend) .... my guilt over such a trivial 'lie' to her got the better of me and i burst into tears and couldnt answer her question
eventually, i calmed sufficient and told her i had lied and told her why i hadnt done honeyeater.
does she understand? apparently. she says its 'normal'. (but it doesnt feel so to me) of course im going to be scared a little, she said i am strong and am capable and i WILL be able to do that and all the runs i normally train on here, and not to be so harsh on myself. but am i?

for that now brings me to *now* - today and tomorrow. it started raining today. important, because, the wet season is about to begin here, and we have not had any rain for months. important because, it is my favourite way to run. important because - it was beautiful! i could think of nothing more exciting today than getting out there in the rain and the heat of the day and running on a muddy slippery trail! thats what makes me happiest!
i took storm to work - we did a short run together around the lagoon a couple times beforehand which was really nice. and was so happy in anticipation to go run 'honeyeater' - ... went to the gym - did weights and a combat class. then, was heading off to go run, then, fear hit again :/ then i justified (woah ME making an 'excuse' about not exercising!) it by thinking well ive already run and done a couple hours at the gym, i *should rest my body now* and i will run tomorrow. we can even lie to ourselves. -

in my head, tomorrow morning, i am going to get up, and i figure i will just go do the WHOLE of the great walk, its a 27km trail one end to the other, then a friend will give me a lift back to my car. once i start heading in, there is no turning back. it is pouring rain right now. and i am as excited as i was this morning, it IS THE BEST FUN! i do have that memory, but yet, its the 'oh ONCE - ONCE in all those hundreds and hundreds of trail kms ive logged up, i went over on my ankle'
- one time, and fear overrides the exciting thought... how do i get past it? i cant just keep breaking down with my trainer, and i know, well, she wont say 'get over it' or anything, but maybe she will think it !? - when she gets back - she is gonna be all gung ho - (very yin yang ) - and ask me how my running has gone over the weekend. i dont want to be a disappointment to her. i dont want to tell her todays failure, i want to tell her tomorrows success. i want tomorrow to BE A SUCCESS! its all just in my head.
i know she will think 27kms to far for a 'first time' back, but its the only way i can see myself making me do it with no turning back, and once done, then i wont be fearful anymore? does everyone else become scared if they hurt themselves? over cautious? or think they 'cant' anymore?

i need to utilise the mental strength of yin somehow, to create my yang.
cradle mountain is only 11 weeks away, i dont have time to be fearful. i hope i am brave at dawn.


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