Just finished at the doctor’s office, where she read my MRI. Now facing the reality of not running for (at least) four more weeks. I knew it was coming. I have been preparing myself with all the writing on this site. Still, a small part of my mind was in denial, expecting the impossible. Perhaps it was just some mild inflammation, cured with a diligent round of anti-inflammatories and perhaps some hot baths. Perhaps it was just in my mind (my greatest fear because it connotes craziness, but also my secret hope because it allows for a quicker return to running).
But no. I am not crazy. I am in pain. And I cannot run for four more weeks.
Time to live up to the new reality I have created in previous posts. One in which running is only one facet in a dynamic, varied, fulfilled sense of identity. Insert exasperated sighing here.
In keeping with this theme of making the best out of uncomfortable circumstances, below is an essay written in 2010, when I was living in Los Angles. As a bit of context, I had moved here (my home city) after ten years of living and going to school in the Boston area. I was newly divorced, broke, lonely and trying with all of my power to make a shitty situation work. The following a small snapshot of this attempt.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well, folks, get in line because it looks like I will be making lemonade for the masses. Oh, it can’t be as bad as that, you might think. Well, it isn’t much better.
It seems as though every time I solve one problem, another quickly jumps up to take its place. I have no peace. Now, a mere two weeks after crashing my car to bits and then vainly trying to manage an 80 mile a day commute, carless, my cell phone has mysteriously disappeared. I say the phone has disappeared (and not been lost, stolen, or haphazardly dropped in a puddle) because it was in my purse when I arrived at work, it was stowed in a locker while I was at work, and it was nowhere to be found when I was through with work. I looked high and low, in places where no phone would ever have occasion to be. I prayed, I hoped, I exercised good karma. All efforts proved futile. My phone remains, stubbornly, a fugitive.
Being phoneless, as I have discovered in the last twelve hours, is a horrible thing to be. Without my phone, I cannot (brace yourself) make phone calls in the grocery store. This morning, I actually had to buy my milk without having a meaningless conversation with my mother (who, herself, had to buy milk without having a meaningless conversation with me). The experience was -quiet. Eerily, cloyingly quiet. Add to this bizarre silence the looks of shocked disbelief I elicited as I made my muted way to the dairy case, and you can understand why I will not be rushing back to repeat the ordeal.
The hardship of being without phone extends beyond the boundaries of the grocery. I addition to being forced to purchase food without distraction, I also cannot check my email on the highway, cannot update my Facebook status at a stoplight, and cannot look up the weather while sitting in the park.
To this list of handicaps, I would ordinarily add that I cannot text, tweet, or poke at work but, alas, I have no job. Or, more correctly, I have a job at which I work about twelve hours a week, for which I commute about thirteen, and with which my term of employment will soon end. My lack of phone, therefore, will affect my work life very little (see –a silver lining!).
Being poor, I will probably not be able to replace my phone for some time. It will take some research back into the days of yore when people had to rely on landlines and payphones, but somehow I will overcome this disquieting hardship. Until then, I will talk loudly to myself in public places, bluetooth prominently displayed on my ear, and will trick the world into believing that I, too, am normal.