Well it has been several weeks since I started working out. Ever since the surgery, the biggest thing I have wanted to know is when I’d be able to run again. Sure it’s nice to start hitting the iron again, but I had the surgery expressly because I wanted to run. While I have been cleared to run by my therapist for about a month, I have not felt like I was really ready to start.
Last night I watched the movie Men of Honor, in which the first Black Navy diver, Carl Brashear (played by Cuba Gooding Jr) after suffering massive damage to his leg, opts to have his leg amputated in order to continue his career as a diver. He was fitted with a prosthesis, and he trained himself to walk, run and get strong again. There were lots of obstacles, both internal and external, but he still persevered and prevailed in the end. As I watched, I identified with Brashear. His passion for his career led him to make a choice for surgery, without which, would leave him unable to pursue his career. My desire to continue running at 53, led to the decision to have a surgical procedure without which I would not be able to continue running. I figured that if the surgery was successful, I could get ten to fifteen more good years of running barring any other health catastrophes.
So tonight I did some weights and hopped on the treadmill. It just crossed my mind that I am not going to wake up one day and just rattle off five miles. I was going to have to start off small. So after the first half-mile at about an eighteen minute mile pace, I cranked the speed up to faster than a fifteen minute mile pace. I could not walk, I had to begin running. Wasn’t so pretty though: my post-surgical foot has very little spring. I was able to do about one tenth of a mile. No severe pain, but much discomfort. I dropped back to my walking pace for another tenth of a mile. Then I pushed it back up and ran again for another tenth. Then I completed my walk at the original speed. I wasn’t in pain after the one and a quarter mile , but I knew for now that was all I needed to do. It was my first steps, which are usually the hardest.