Last week, my plastic surgeon gave me the great and glorious news that I (finally!) could start jogging again – slowly. That was absolute music to my ears and a big, fat Silver Lining of the week!
Because we’ve had some rain this week (which is absolutely wonderful news!), I decided that my first jog post-surgery would be on a treadmill in a gym. I joyously hopped on the treadmill with my usual accoutrements (an iPad to watch Jack Bauer defeat terrorists in 24 and a cup of tea) and set the speed to 5.5 (my usual is 6.5). Nice and slow…for me.
It has been about 8 weeks since my last run on a treadmill (an eternity for me!). I figured that running on a treadmill was quite like riding a bike…hop back on and resume where I left off. W-R-O-N-G.
About 3 minutes into the run, I lost my balance. First, my right knee went down…then my left. I held onto the railing with my left hand, knees and feet dragging behind…
And then-oh this was the worst part- I tried to get up – while the treadmill was still moving. Can you imagine? Trying to stand up on a moving treadmill (at jog pace speed)? Disaster! What a mess. After about 2 seconds of calamitously trying to get up, my left hand couldn’t hold on any longer and went down to brace myself and got tangled under my discombobulated feed. Finally, the treadmill sent my whole mangled body shooting off the back end, ripping the headphones from my ears in the process. All of this happened in about a minute or less.
Did I mention that I was at a gym? And that it was crowded? There was a wave of gasps, a couple of screeches and one very, very loud f-bomb (from me).
I did the only thing I knew how to do. I got up, brushed myself off and got back on the f-bomb treadmill.
As I started jogging again, ridden with scrapes, bruises and knots (no bare legs for a while!) and an equally damaged ego, I wondered: What is the Silver Lining of being spit off the back end of a treadmill on this first day of running in 2 months?
The first thing that came to mind (almost immediately) is that this calamitous mishap was analogous to my experience with FBC (f-bomb breast cancer for new readers).
In the last year, my body, mind and spirit were mangled by disease. I was physically and emotionally bruised and beaten….just as I was when I was spewed off of the treadmill. However, just as I did on the floor of the gym, post FBC, I am picking myself up, brushing myself off and getting back on the treadmill of life (that I love so much).
The other Silver Lining lesson that I learned is that just as I was unable to resume running on the treadmill as I had done before (no, not quite like riding a bike), I am unable to resume my life where I left it off when I was diagnosed. No, that’s not how things work. Things are different now. I am forever changed. I’d like to think for the better (Silver Lining).
I’ll continue to run both on the treadmill and in life, but just a little more slowly…at least for the time being.
The other two Silver Linings of this event: The Girls neither popped nor fell off. Phew!