So what's a girl to do when told "No running. No jumping. No high impact exercise."?
Such was the sentence delivered by my physiatrist upon examination of my post-race shin injury (and subsequent reading of an MRI of my low back...sigh). I know it could be so very much worse. On the scale of injuries, mine is a very minor one. My every day life is not affected. I am not limited from work. I am expected to recover, and soon. And yet, hearing the words "no running" still sent a wave of anxiety pulsing through my body.
Here's how I've been coping these past few weeks:
1. Relax and take a few deep breaths.
This is easier said than done. Running and exercise make me feel good, and I take a lot of pleasure and pride in tackling physical challenges. But restoration and balance are of even greater importance. This injury served as a wake up call that longevity outweighs intensity when it comes to my goals for health and well-being. Training smart and training hard are not necessarily synonymous. This, too, shall pass, but in the meantime I can enjoy some R&R. I've read two books for pleasure and even took a nap.
2. Explore new and different modes of exercise.
As a creature of habit, it was easy to get settled into a rigid exercise routine. It's been nice to step outside my comfort zone.
I've reconnected with yoga practice and have found it to be both challenging and refreshing. I still suck at headstands and all balance poses, but hey, something to work toward!
I tried out a cycle class at a trendy high-end cultish local studio. Have you seen Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? It's a hilarious Netflix series and you should go watch it if you haven't already. They parodied SoulCycle. This is exactly what my class was like:
Barred from hiking my favorite trail with friends on a camping trip, I turned instead to the Saco River, where Chris, Duncan and I spent a lovely day in a canoe.
3. Get distracted by the Women's World Cup.
It was fortuitous that my injury was timed to occur after my marathon and perfectly aligned with the Women's World Cup schedule. I've had a legitimate excuse to spend my afternoons/evenings crowded into a bar screaming at the TV instead of working out. I have developed a tremendous crush on USWNT center back Julie Johnston. She's a badass.
4. Clean my house.
Nothing relieves stress quite like mopping floors and organizing cabinets. My house has never looked better.
5. Cook food.
I've done lots of grilling and experimenting these past few weeks! Here are some highlights.
Grilled Cobb Salad a la Bon Appetit magazine's June issue.
Grilled barbecue tofu for a Revs tailgate.
And pineapple strawberry skewers for dessert.
I tried my hand at homemade veggie dogs. Believe it or not, they tasted delicious (says the vegetarian who has not tasted a real hot dog in 8 years). Recipe coming soon.