Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Just a Little Retrospective

I opened Facebook the other morning to see this memory:
How has it actually been two years since I finished physical therapy and ran my first race since my diagnosis with compartment syndrome? Like with most major life events, this both feels like too much and too little time.

It feels like just yesterday that I was getting ready for surgery, filled with despair and hope all at once. It feels like eons ago that I was testing my "new legs" and crying from sheer relief and joy over being able to run more than two miles without experiencing crippling pain.

These days, I live in a weird headspace where I think about my compartment syndrome daily, but always in passing. Sometimes I'll check in on my scars or consider my calves when they feel a bit tired on a run, but it's all become an afterthought. I rarely worry I feel symptoms coming back - that paranoia has gone.

Actually, the thing I think about most is how my legs have changed shape since surgery. My ankles are less defined because the fascia that once gave my calves and ankles clear separation has been released; one leg has a small lump where the muscle seems to "pool" and the other just seems a little more stocky than it once was.

I actually hope that starting calf-targeted exercises (which I finally feel I can do without throwing myself into a mental storm over whether I'm going to relapse) will help diminish these effects. And anyway, I'm probably the only one who notices anything different.

In short, I am still so grateful for an accurate diagnosis, a surgeon who believed me, and the ability to keep doing what I love. At this point I thought I'd be more interested in training for big races again, but I've realized that what drove me to many of my racing accomplishments was a bit of Keeping Up with the Joneses, and for now I'm just happy to do what I want to do, run when I want to run, and appreciate every moment I can get out of it.


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