Chelle Summer

Learning to Run Again

Michelle Rusk

I couldn't blame Lilly. I'm sure she didn't see me coming when she bounded down the stairs– probably because she heard the door or Hattie stir. But when she ran her head right into the inside of my right knee as I trekked up the stairs, well, as I said to Greg, "That didn't sound good." But was it Lilly's head or my knee that incurred the damage?

For a week I felt something a little weird but nothing that kept me from running, or running and walking the dogs.

Until the next week when I couldn't run at all.

I've gone through phases where I hurt, I ache. I'm getting old, I'm trying to accept that. But this, this was different. I went for acupuncture and besides the usual moxa and needles, she cupped my knee, trying to pull the pain out. Then there was the day where I stepped on uneven ground trying to pick up a zucchini and could barely walk at all.

"It looks like you're dancing," My Chinese doctor's husband said when I showed up hobbling for acupuncture an hour later.

I could barely walk, I tore into my stash of heavy duty ibuprofen so I could walk. I took two days off from walking the dogs but I couldn't stand being away from my community in the early morning hours at the park. 

I walked, I swam, I was cupped and needled to stop the pain and help the injury heal. Weeks went by and suddenly I realized I hadn't gone that long without running since I was in high school. I missed my route, seeing my friend Jennifer and giving her the morning temperature as I do every day when we pass each other.

I kept busy with work, writing, making bags, dreaming about where I'm going to take Chelle Summer.

I won't deny it, it was a big challenge for me. I begged God to let me learn whatever lesson I needed so I could go forward and get back to my routine. 

It was a severe bone bruise, easily possible from the force of a strong German Shepherd on her way down the stairs. And slowly it would heal. I worried I might never run again, and when  did run I felt as if my body were all over the place. And then I rammed my knee into the metal bleachers at a soccer game, Lilly hit her head on my knee again. It felt never ending.

But two weeks ago, slowly it really began to get back. Finally I could run-walk my nearly three-mile route. 

Patience. Patience. All is well. Everything is passing.