Exciting news! My goal of being a superhero is one step closer.
After a year of multiple doctor appointments, transporting documents from one office to another, and snapping photos of my cracked prosthesis, insurance decided in October 2016 that I was worthy of a new prosthetic leg.
This fancy leg is made of carbon fiber, which makes it incredibly light. In fact, there’s about a six-pound difference between the old leg and this new leg. A lighter leg may not seem like a big deal, but when you have to depend on your hips to propel your leg, it makes a huge difference.
Another new feature is my athletic foot. The Rush87 foot gives me a spring in my step (slight pun intended) and is built for varying terrain and activities. It’s hard to explain the physical difference other than I now have a full step without dead spots (areas where the motion stops and doesn’t continue like normal heel-to-toe movement). To further improve my mobility, I decided to change some alignment and height with this leg. In other words, I look less like a limping zombie and more like a fine, upstanding citizen. I feel invincible with all these adjustments!
Now that I can walk, why not fly?
I’ve watched my hubby run for several years now and, I admit, I’ve always been a wee bit jealous of his drive and athletic abilities. Running has never been my forte. I remember running a lot in middle school when I played county basketball or when I had gym class. As a kid, you just plow forward and I certainly didn’t want to be held back, even though basketball brought tears to my eyes on the few occasions when my patella would pop out of joint. I’m older now and pain sucks, so I try to avoid it. However, the more I fought it, the more I realized that my leg issues were just an excuse I allowed myself to use instead of making an attempt. So, I vowed that with this new foot and leg, I would train and run a 5K in 2017. I wanted to fly like Gandalf instructed.
I started out running with Justin in November, gasping and making claims that “I’m going to die” before I finished each run interval. I felt like giving up so many times. Yet, I loved the feeling after I completed a day in the Couch-to-5K app. Now I’m starting the last week of my Couch-to-5K training and I’m running a solid 25 minutes!
Learning to fly with my feet on the ground has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. If you had given me a choice between 100 pages to write and running for 30 minutes, I would have gladly plopped down at the computer and exercised my brain instead. Running, however, has surprised me in many ways.
- It has helped me focus and drown out the noise in my head. 2016 was a rough year in comparison to previous ones. A lot of sickness, loss, anger, and overall sadness. Running has allowed me time to reflect and meditate on important people and things in my life instead of all the junk. Plus, science backs me on this.
- It has shown me that I’m stronger than I thought. The progress I’ve made physically and mentally has proven that I’m capable of more than I give myself credit for. I’ve lost inches on my waist, shed a few pounds, and gained a confidence boost through this transformation.
- It has made me realize that I can’t control everything. Some days I feel incredible but run horribly. Other days, I feel terrible and somehow manage better times. It really got me down a few times, but Justin encouraged me and reminded me that “sometimes you have good runs and sometimes you have bad ones. Just don’t give up.”
Last week, I signed up for my first 5K – The Super Run: Heroes vs. Villains. Make no mistake, I’m going to wear a cape and fly across that finish line on April 8 with a bunch of other people who cried, sweated, and busted tail too.
OK GO sings, “When they finally come to destroy the earth, they’ll have to go through you first. I bet they won’t be expecting that.” That’s been my motivation through all of this. Superheroes are constantly working on their skills and improving their weak areas. I’m doing just that.