Friday, November 30, 2012

Lament of an Injured Runner

The below poem was written by one of my high school cross country runners who was out in the beginning of our season due to an injury.  Being told not to run when it's all you want to do is truly one of the hardest things to hear.  So many of us have been there.  This is her story but as I read it, I thought back to all of the many injuries I've dealt with and how hard I fought to get through them.  Those of us who share this same passion and drive to run will likely do whatever it takes to get back on the road.  Just as Sonia did.  Here it is in her own words.

Lament of an Injured Runner
by Sonia Rowley

A dream-like trance, raw thoughts, my real self
Coaxed from the depths by the rhythm of my Nikes pounding pavement
The musical beat of breath.
As each mile passes, I push myself
A little farther.

Then - ouch.
Something’s gone wrong.
I try to ignore. Forget. Run it off.
But the pain persists.

First a phone call.
An appointment. Another.
“You’d better lay off for a few weeks.”
An eternity.
My breath catches in my throat.

From freedom to blue elastic bands
Like shackles around my ankles.
One, two, three, four... repeat
With closed eyes, I remember what I’m working toward -
My sport. My passion.

From fresh air to man-made machines.
Or the tedium of a pool.
I force myself into the water with the reluctance of a cat.
“I will stay strong,” I say.
Motivated. Passionate.

Weeks pass. Then months.
Self-restraint wears thin.
A feeling of betrayal sets in.
Why does my body fail me?
Hope is only a flicker,
replaced by an all-consuming impatience.
Always looking forward...

To feel the ground passing swiftly beneath my feet.
A memory?
A sweet breeze filling my gasping lungs.
A dream?
Sweaty, pain-free miles behind me.
A goal.
I will do whatever it takes.

Listen to this:
Odessa - Caribou Odessa - Swim (Bonus Track Version)

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