Recovery with a Little Help from My Friends

This is my training journal, so I try to keep my entries less diary-like and really focused on those things that are running/workout related. Since I’ve been injured, it’s been about the recovery process, which I consider part of training. And I’ve come to a very real realization over the last year:  My friends are a huge part of my recovery. So I have to write this week about the huge impact friends have had on my recovery, specifically since my last entry.

The last time I wrote, I was reeling from the talk with my PT. She’d just broken the news that there was more physical therapy in my future than originally anticipated and that my injuries were more involved than I had believed. Sobering. While I hate to write about the down times, I hit a very low point that night…so low that I needed to talk to someone. I called my long-time Thursday morning workout friend (actually, my since-college close friend), Dr. Stephanie. Yeah, it was that call, the call where your friend is crying and your role is to sit there, listen, and offer the verbal pats on the back. Not only did I get that but I had an immediate offer to come walk with her on Saturday morning (the next day); she said she had not realized how much of my social life was tied up with workouts and physical activity, and she wanted me to know that I was always welcome to walk with and spend time with her.

On Saturday, I had the double pleasure of reassurance from my friend with a physical activity I could do and enjoy. That afternoon, my hubby and I went to a get-together with a large group of trail running buddies. Just being among the talk and the people made me feel like I was back, doing what I love to do.

The next day, I met my friend, Stacey, at Barton Springs for my first aqua jogging workout. We’d gone once before, but I wasn’t quite ready, so I had soaked in the cool water while she tried it out. This was our first combined workout. It was a total blast! It was just like a run out on the trail with a buddy, the kind where the running is slow enough for chatting and you get everything in your system talked out. We did an hour, and it was the first time since January where I felt like I’d actually worked out. Yep, the heart rate got up, my legs got a bit noodley, and, as Stacey said, everything about the day afterward just felt a little brighter and crisper and more wonderful. We made a standing date (I have a regular workout!!). My soul felt refreshed.

I got a note out of the blue from trail-friend Stephanie asking if I was up for a walk, and we set a date for Tuesday evening at the Quarry. It had been a month since we’d seen each other; in fact, the last time had been one of the first days I was completely out of my boot. Stephanie made me feel so good about my progress since then and, as usual, she was all about the future and goals and fun things to do. She pointed out that I could sign up for the Frankenthon Marathon in October and walk whatever I wanted, to just be there to enjoy the company and the event, one I’ve run before and truly loved. Simultaneously, I felt better about where I was and excited about where I could be.

So coming off of that downer Friday wound up being one of the best weeks of my recovery. I had my highest activity rate, saw the most pain-free walking, experienced challenging changes in my PT that really highlight my progress in new ways, and had my mood boosted…all through the love and care of my friends, whether they knew it or not.

Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at www.leahruns100.com, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

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