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The Wait | Edwina Sutton

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The Wait

I cried in the doctors surgery last week. Frustrated that after 4 weeks of limping around I am still yet to have any proper diagnosis of my injury. I am very lucky to have some financial support so have been able to fund some physio work, but after fainting when she tried to manipulate my foot the physio did the right thing and said I think you need a scan and an x ray now. I have seen three physios in the past month, each one prescribing something different, everyone has their own opinion and ideas. So I went to the doctor to get a GP referral letter for an MRI scan. How long will this take I ask? 6-8 weeks she said. But I can’t carry on like this for another 2 months! I need to move for my job, I have two children under 3. I am a serious runner which is also partly my livelihood and I am in pain 24/7. I am having to get up at night to ice it or take pain killers. I am worried I am doing myself long term damage. Yes she replied, continuing to type in her computer, that’s tough. I left in tears. This seemed so unfair here I am an athlete, a personal trainer, a mum, I spend everyday helping cut costs for the NHS by encouraging people to bring activity into their daily lives and no one will help me!

The last month has been so hard knowing my fitness has been creeping away, missing that feeling of running, moving, seeing the summer season and the harvest on late evening runs and  misty fresh mornings,with the promise of a glorious day ahead. No running means very little break from the kids, there are on me and at me from dawn to dusk. Some days I just want to hide behind the sofa. But slowly and almost noticeably I have come to turns with no running, and I think this is the first stage of healing. I can’t run and I won’t run till I can walk around for at least 10 days pain free.And so I realised as I walked out of doctors surgery nobody is going to heal this injury apart from me.

There is no quick fix, no wonder physio or amazing pill to take. I need time, patience and rest to get moving again.

So I have thrown myself at other projects that always get pushed aside when running takes over my being. I have finally got my web page up and running. (www.edwinasutton.com). I am building my personal training client base and have about 16 online athletes, who I love coaching, though am getting a little bitter that some are now faster than me! I am spending more time with the kids, not exhausted, but able to be a little more patient, a little more fun and a little more understanding to their needs. I have been riding my bike and swimming as much as I can plus spending the time I would be running in the gym, working on what was my epic weakness my core. After two babies in close succession I suffered from diastasis rectus, separated abdominals. At its worst I could almost fit a fist straight through the separation. I knew I was running on borrowed time with a weak core, but wanted to spend all my time getting the miles and quality sessions done not doing gym work and I am absolutely sure that is a large part of my injury. 

So, I have embraced my ‘kids free’ time in the gym. Not being able to put much weight through my foot means adapting and adopting some strange exercise techniques, but in a strange, cave woman sort of way I am starting to enjoy seeing the strength appear. Seeing a strong foundation being built, knowing this will half the time it takes me to get back to running fitness.

So whilst other things have been occupying my time I have found that I can live without running. As long as I get my shell sweating at least once a day I can feel ‘exercised’ and less like kicking the wall in. Running is an obsession of mine, but in order for me to come back and stay injury free I can see I mustn’t let the mental side dictate what is sensible and reasonable to demand of my body. I can now see I don’t need to run miles and miles to be strong,  actually by cutting out the running I have become stronger. Now for the tricky next few weeks whilst the injury plays less and less on my mind and I start to feel the itch to run again. But I wont. Who wants to talk to  a moaning injured runner, its so boring and its too tough on my poor husband who has to witness my epic tantrums and finally its no good for business no one wants to hire a limping, grumpy personal trainer.

Morale of this tale of woe so far is, listen to your body, feel a niggle, back off, rest, go to the gym, jump on your bike, lie on the sofa. Don’t take it out on your loved ones when you are injured, they are your crew and your support without them you wont be running again they are the ones you need most now embrace the rest and the time with family, come back with new dreams, a fresh approach and maybe even a little idea of a new distance to tackle!

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