Sidelined.



Slice of Life Challenge: Day 9



What are your passions? The things you love to do? Your reflective or creative outlets? Your “must-do’s” so you can keep centered; in touch with the real “you”?


What it one of them was taken away?


For me, some of my greatest outlets include reading, running and writing. 


These each help me reflect on big questions. Who I am. What I believe. Where I’ve been; where I am; and where I’m going.


Sometimes, I let these passions fade. I allow myself to get distracted by lesser pursuits. Usually these are passive meanderings, often involving screens (like television or the tablet), that relax my brain for awhile, and eventually turn me into mush. 


But when the reflective outlet of running is removed or restricted, I can feel lost. Discarded. As if the world story continues to unfold, but I no longer have a verse to contribute. That I’ve been benched. Relegated to the injured list. No longer in the box score. Off the team.


For the past two weeks, I’ve been sidelined with a mild leg injury, likely induced by over-training. I put up more than 200 miles running in the first six weeks of the year, mostly in horrid conditions, and my body finally demanded HALT!


So these past couple of weeks I’ve been stretching, recovering, and eating more sweets than is warranted. I’m not sure I could chase down a Girl Scout, even if she was holding out a box of Thin Mints to tease me. I see runners in the streets and I feel compelled to roll down my window and tell them, “I’ll be out there soon! I’m really a runner, too!”


And then it hits me.


I’ve been feeling a little unworthy to wear that title. Runner.


Now, I know this is silly. I realize it is just a minor setback, and that I will be plodding my miles again soon. But I’ve been less encouraging of my runner friends online, mostly because it is hard to say “Great run” or “Nice job”, when they’re lacing up their Nikes and running laps through the neighborhood, while I’m trekking back and forth to the kitchen for my next stash of Samoas or Do-si-do’s. 


All of which reminds me how grateful I am when I am able to run.


So many people don’t have the physical capability to run. Whether disability, injury, or other obstacles, some people just aren’t as blessed as I am. They’ll never experience the thrill of crossing a finish line, no matter what the clock reads. They can’t just lace up their shoes and head out for a 5 mile jog through the forest. They’ll never complete a 5K. 


So right now, I’m sidelined. Temporarily.


But when I run, I remember that the biggest reason I run, 

is because I can.


I run for my little buddy, Orion, who cannot see or hear.

I run for Eric, who passed last year.

I run for orphans in Kenya, because my running can help provide them with an education.

I run for my mom, who has been gone for quite some time.

I run, because they can’t.

I run, because I can.

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22 thoughts on “Sidelined.

  1. Get better soon, so that you pursue your passion. I wish I could run – but walking I can do. Should just do it more often and longer. Again a special post. may we all pursue our passions, and not be sidelined for any reason.

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  2. Greg, I usually read your posts early and think about them all day long. I can truly understand your feelings. I was out for six was out for six months in 2013. Running was not an option. Truthfully, walking was extremely painful. When people ask why I run I tell them the same thing. I run for life and I run because I can. Perhaps I was even being taught the lesson of patience too. Small steps and patience. I’ll be cheering for your return.

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    • I’ve been fortunate to get in my first attempts at running since the injury a couple weeks ago. So far, so good.

      Loved your post today!

      I’m throwing out a little writing challenge (or invitation) in tomorrow’s post. See if it intrigues you!

      Peace!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am not a runner and never will be, but my husband is and a few years ago he and two of my three daughters ran a Rock-n-Roll half in Chicago together, the Simon family team. We’ve talked about doing it again, but haven’t made any plans. My family runs for many of the reasons you run.
    I have not touched a GS Thin Mint this year. I am determined. Saying no to doughnuts in the lounge is tough too. Gotta do it. Just do it.

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    • If your family makes their way up to Chicago, feel free to let me know! If I am out by the race, I’ll say hi and cheer the Simon contingent on!

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  4. Thanks for the post Greg. It actually made me want to run (and that’s saying a lot, because I’m not a runner!). Good reminder to hold precious the things and activities that keep us focused.

    Jon

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  5. Greg, this is a beautiful post – blend of humor and raw honesty regarding our self-image. Loved oh so many lines, but this one in particular…”As if the world story continues to unfold, but I no longer have a verse to contribute.” Poignant. Thanks for sharing. I wish I shared a passion for exercise, but sadly, my alliance rests with the Girl Scout Cookies.

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  6. You’ve infused a difficult post with lots of humor: “I’m not sure I could chase down a Girl Scout, even if she was holding out a box of Thin Mints to tease me” made me laugh aloud. Your few weeks sidelined will prepare you for a spring of lots of running. It’s God’s way of helping you appreciate what you’ve got and resting your body for even more strength to work for Him. You’ll come back stronger than ever, I know.

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    • Tomorrow I’ll be posting an idea for a innovative, collaborative posts. I hope it intrigues you! I’m looking for a few people that might be interested in writing a collaborative piece, either with me, or with another writing friend.

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  7. I hear your struggling with identity. In many different ways you argue with yourself, should you call yourself a runner if you are not running? Your words put the reader right beside you fighting through this – knowing you feel disconnected because you are not achieving your self determined goals.

    I want to put my 2 cents in. I see you as a runner.

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  8. Greg, I love the honesty of your posts. Your line, “I am feeling a little unworthy to wear the title, Runner.” struck a chord within me–as honesty from someone else always does. thank you. I hope your injury heals soon.

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  9. Let your self rest. (That was bossy…but do it.) 200 miles in these first two months is amazing! February was a bust for me, simply because I’m lazy at times. But I read somewhere, you are supposed to have an off season. That’s what I’m hanging onto at this time. I love that your running has a greater purpose, my 10 year old and I have been discussing the project for orphans in Kenya. On a lighter note, thanks for the cookie reference. We could totally catch a Girl Scout for cookies right now if we needed to. Blessings on your healing, take care, and eat a cookie today! Again, I’m really enjoying your writing. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Tomorrow I’ll be posting an idea for a innovative, collaborative posts. I hope it intrigues you! I’m looking for a few people that might be interested in writing a collaborative piece, either with me, or with another writing friend.

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  10. Your first sentence had me hooked? My passions? Not running for sure, but reading and writing are definite. What others I have? Your reasons for running are deep. I feel like I need to come and red your post again this evening.

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  11. I feel the same way when I become untethered to words. When fr whatever reason, reading or writing has been squeezed out of my life. Here’s hoping you’re on the road again very soon.

    BTW, love the specificity of this piece. Looking forward to your next post.

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    • Tomorrow I’ll be posting an idea for a innovative, collaborative posts. I hope it intrigues you! I’m looking for a few people that might be interested in writing a collaborative piece, either with me, or with another writing friend.

      Like

  12. This post speaks directly to me today. I have been lamenting not being able to run for a few months, largely because of weather and having to figure out the logistics of pushing a jogging stroller in the snow. I miss how I feel when I run and how it’s MY time and my time alone. I have simply decided that I’m going to carve out the time to run because it’s my best form of self-care. Upshot: I’ve realized how running really is something I love to do and must do. A passion, I guess, and I’m not even that fast! It’s just what I need to do. You’ll be back out there soon; I just know it.

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    • Thanks for the reply. I’m also in the “not fast” category. I wish you all the best in carving out your running time, stroller or not. I do some of my best “writing” while running, often generating revisions for pieces I’m drafting, or coming up with whole new story ideas. I look forward to reading some of your own creations that begin when you’re out putting down miles. Best wishes!

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    • Tomorrow I’ll be posting an idea for a innovative, collaborative posts. I hope it intrigues you! I’m looking for a few people that might be interested in writing a collaborative piece, either with me, or with another writing friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. It is strange the space running creates. I’ve had a long running life. It has meant different things, but I’ve always felt it was a privilege to be able to run. Take it easy coming back. You’ll be out there soon.

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