In July I was running 7 miles a day, through the bavarian forest. I was 3 weeks into a Euro trip that still puzzles me. Continuing to process that journey. Running in the past year and a half has become a source of great comfort and joy. The chemicals released in my brain, the beauty I felt a part of, the pride in my growing strength, all felt very healing. Gradually though I now realize I began to rely too much on this one activity to bring me a sense of accomplishment. The need for the chemical release began to change my priorities. It became a singular thing I could do to feel good. Nothing else worked as well. And I started to over train. I know it sounds strange, silly even... but in truth I now realize I was not just running... I was running away from something, everything. Until I couldn't run any more. And that's basically where I am today. I can't run from the things that haunt me. I can't run to Germany or Prague to get away from my missteps. I can't run 6 - 7 - 9 miles a day to feel temporary freedom from my anxieties. Today... I can't run period.
I done run my feet out. It was the last weekend of September and I was stressing about an upcoming performance, not working on the video, running away from it until out on a run after dusk I remember thinking "my I am running fast and it's getting so dark....FUCK!" I rolled my ankle hard and heard and felt a distinct 'POP.' Not good. I slowed, I stopped, I tried to keep running, I walked and cried, then forced myself to keep going the 3 miles back to the car. This felt different. This time I thought I think I fucked up.
Since that day I've only tried to run 3x and while the first time felt okay, the second better, the third was excruciating and sad. I've had X-rays, an MRI, a doctors and podiatrist visit. They want me in a boot. They tell me I have Accessory Navicular Syndrome - ACFAS and most people wear the boot for 4 - 6 weeks and are back to normal mobility. Or they have surgery. I tried the boot but could only bare it for 2 weeks at a time. Like I'm not MOST PEOPLE!!!!!
But to be honest, what's made it worse is that in the midst of it all I had to move my wood shop from Berkeley to Watsonville up and down flights of stairs, up and own, up and down. I'm still not done. My injury has slowed my progress. Somedays I move a few things and then I know I have to wait for the swelling to go down... It's not how I expected things to go.
But I'm thrilled with my new studio, it's huge and raw and full of potential... But I'm not running on all cylinders. It really feels as though I'm walking around on eggshells. I am so unsure of each step. I've put away the boot as it was unsafe and aggravating and replaced it with my fluffiest pair of HOKA running shoes and some Superfeet insoles and yesterday I bought an arch specific compression sleeve. Feet feel okay this morning....
Can I have more metaphors please? I can't run anymore. For real. I hope that someday I can but I need to look around me now and realize what it is I am running from. I live in a beautiful place, I have work that I love, a new studio, time and not much money but as long as I'm clinging to a rock hurtling through space, money funny.....
So it's personal. I know. And I'll not go into it in depth here. But now that I can't run it's time to unpack (another metaphor!) what I've been carrying with me the last few years. But it's also time to take stock of what I have achieved despite my detours and digressions. I mean, I am only human and accidents happen. I placed too much value on one small part of me and it finally gave out. My lovely feet that have carried me so many beautiful places finally said PLEASE, REST! Hmmmm. Define rest.
2a : freedom from activity or labor
b : a state of motionlessness or inactivity
c : the repose of death
3: a place for resting or lodging
4: peace of mind or spirit
5a (1) : a rhythmic silence in music
(2) : a character representing such a silence
b : a brief pause in reading
6: something used for support
I do live a great deal through my body. Like a dancer, athlete, artist and musician I experience and respond to the world somatically. I am my body. But I am also my mind. That is why I am not strictly and athlete or a dancer (though on second read, those pursuits are highly mental and I'd even venture to claim the difference between a great athlete or dancer and an a good one is mental)... but an artist and a teacher, a scholar and a writer. This time has made me face the truth that I almost abandoned the intellectual part of me to be soothed by the immediate beauty and freedom found in and around the body. Our body connects us to nature in a way that is not complicated by human intellect. It's visceral and complex and mysterious, but it is not guilty or greedy... like the human mind. The human mind is harder to grasp... or maybe not. The body is a universe unto itself. To think I could know it.... I can only try to heal and be a better steward to my little slip of the universe that carries my through my existence. My body, my vehicle, my partner, my machine, my lover, my captain, my friend. Or I should say my friends given all the critters and bacteria that ride along inside and on top of me. Never alone.