May 3, 2012

what ails you

the thing I am most often fantasizing about lately is movement: dancing, crouching, spinning, leaping. I imagine so many things I have never done -- capoiera, breakdancing, rock climbing. when I say this, I really mean fantasizing. I can't tell you how often I imagine, in great detail, what it would feel like to crouch into a deep squat -- like the kind you would do to pull weeds in your garden, or to peer into a low basement window -- without pain. limber, lithe, flexible.

when I dream, I dream primarily of three things: running, riding Cookie bareback, and ponytails. three things I can't do, don't have. the most prevalent of these are the bareback dreams. there are periods where I have them nearly every night. in the dreams I hop onto her back, grab hold of her mane, and go. in every dream I marvel at how easy it is. even sitting here now, I can feel how it feels in the dream. in real life it's very hard.

the ponytail appears sporadically. just enough to taunt me.

chronic pain is hard. it's harder than most things I've known. it's taken from me the two things I love most -- running and riding -- and what's worse, it's robbed me of my faith in ever fully getting those things back. I can ride now, but not without a sneaking suspicion that it's hurting me. running comes and goes. I've become very reluctant to talk about running at all. when anyone asks me, "how are you doing?" I gloss over my answer and change the subject.

yesterday I ran two miles and today my calf is literally throbbing. having this experience at all is humbling. having it for nearly two years is crippling. 

I am trying. I'm trying so, so hard. I get on my horse four days a week and I withstand rides that feel horrible, because there's no other way to get stronger other than to ride, but there's no way to be a good rider without leg strength. I run slowly around my neighborhood, stop and stretch my calf six times, alter my stride, alter my posture, tuck my pelvis, toe-strike, heel-strike. the magic solution hasn't presented itself.

I missed eugene again this year, and even though I'd been resigned to missing it since february, it was still really hard. I was excited for my friends who ran it, but also really bummed out the entire day. I compensated by spending a large part of the day crafting a post-run care package for one of my best people. it helped some, but mostly I was -- and am -- still sad. I missed eugene, and shamrock, and race for the roses, and I'm going to miss the portland rock & roll half. will I be able to play softball? I don't know. I just don't know.


  1. I'm sorry. :( I really feel like you're going to get there but I know that doesn't help at all. Not having full control over your body is the worst.