I love running, but it has never really loved me back. I started training competitively my junior year of high school, my senior year I had a stress fracture in my foot that put me out for over a month. My transition to Colby was pretty smooth and I had a year without any major injuries. My sophomore year, I had shin problems that I lost the end of my cross country season to and a knee problem that ate my outdoor season. I’m a junior now, and during a 21 mile tempo run I managed to screw up something in my foot. I’m still not sure exactly what I did, but the end result was that I couldn’t run for 17 weeks and I had to see 4 doctors before I found one who was strong enough in the ways of the force to help me. I just started running again late this December, where I had a couple weeks of glorious pain-free training, but 5 days ago a problem with my shin resurfaced and currently I am temporarily out of action again.
That’s about the extent of my training sob story. I’ve never really understood why certain people are more predisposed to injury. I eat healthy, do my best to stretch and recover, have a solid training plan, get enough sleep, have fairly good overall form, and I like to think that I train pretty smart (at least since I got to college). For whatever reason, I seem to be afflicted with a variety of setbacks. My dad always makes the joke that I’m like a Ferrari, speedy when I get going, but always in the shop. Strangely, the vast majority of my injuries have been on the right side of my body. In the words of my physiotherapist, “that probably means something, I just don’t know what.”
Injury and recovery are key parts of almost every sport. I think that an individual’s resistance to injury and their ability to train hard without breaking themselves is one of the most important sport-specific pieces of talent one can have. I remember talking to a friend right after I hurt my foot who had a similar foot injury awhile ago and was out for 6 weeks. I thought about how awful being away from running that long would be, which I found kind of funny after the fact, when I had waited almost three times that long. It’s definitely one of those things that seems incredibly unfair, but when you’re finished shaking your fist at the running gods and screaming “WHY ME!?,” the only thing left to do is buckle down and try to get better.