Pain and Smiles

My brother Brian and I are planning to run together at the Midsummer Night’s Run in downtown Lexington this coming Saturday. If the Facebook pictures are any indication, it’s an evening race with a festival-like atmosphere. Ryan is also signed up, but he’ll probably be halfway through his funnel cake by the time Brian and I cross the finish line.

Brian is just getting into running, and I’m just getting back into running, which means we are at similar levels of enthusiasm. We take daily selfies after our runs and send them to each other and talk about how excited we are to be seeing progress. Our current level of fitness vs. our current level of excitement also put us at increased risk for injury.

Mine happened during my long run on Friday through gorgeous Centennial Park. Heel pain. It progressively got worse through the night, then during a 2 a.m. trip from my bed to Finn’s crib, I nearly fell over.

I’ve never had much understanding or patience for my own injuries. I’ve always trained right through them, not wanting to talk or think about them for fear they’d get worse. But now that I’ve seen what my body is capable of, the new respect I have for it requires me to be a better steward. Instead of going backwards and stopping altogether, I’m focusing on cross training this week: think rowing machine, stationary bike, and weight training. I’ll still keep my fingers crossed so I’m able to run on Saturday, but my body’s needs come first, then any external goals come after that.

And now for something completely different.

Last week, Finn had just finished nursing when Ryan walked in the room and said hello. Finn looked in his direction and stared when he caught sight of Ryan’s face. Holding the focus of daddy’s eyes, the corners of his mouth twitched and…he smiled! It was his first one.

My three thoughts were:

1.) AWWWWWWWW!!!

2.) Hey. I’m the one who is up all night with you. I’m the one who went through hell to get you here. My body is the one that’s making food for you. What’s up with that?

3.) But…awwwwwwww!!!

What can I say? The baby loves his dad. Since then, he’s been smiling up a storm at the whole family, including the cat. And it’s made for a very happy week, injured or not.

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