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Accepting Limits

Happy anniversary to my hamstring injury! August 5th marked one year since the day I tore my hamstring doing the splits after a dance class at the gym. In that split second of blinding pain and squelched panic, I never would have imagined the long journey here. I remember thinking that a 6-week recovery would have been unbearably long.

How I have been humbled in this year.

I am not patient. Not in any way in life. In fact, impatience could be considered one of my defining attributes. Yet this injury, with its stubborn and unrelenting control, has tamed me. As much as I imagine I can be. I have learned about myself, my body, my mental strengths and weaknesses. I have been trapped in physical and emotional discomfort and forced to deal.

Not unlike learning to be bipolar all over again.

I think it was when I reached my PRP injection that I fully appreciated respecting my limits. I do not have the concept mastered. The muscle memory to my impulses tempts me to constantly push too hard, ignore the pain, revolt against the restrictions of healing. Yet I am learning to perform my cost-benefit analysis on a longer timeline.

Do I want my hamstring to heal back together? Do I want to run now or for all the years after this? Do I want the constant pain?

The PRP injection, placebo or not, reduced my pain greatly. The relent on my nerves brought back a measure of clarity and logical thought. It all seems easier now that I do not feel so desperate to escape my damaged skin. I can be persuaded to obey with the carrot of recovery dangling on progress.

With progress on the leg and a return to some measure of a fitness routine I can live with, I turn my mind now to continuing to heal the damage of my pseudo eating disorder. The symptoms surged when I gained weight during my “rest period” after my injection. I found myself riding a familiar binge (all the food) and purge (all the exercise and none of the food) cycle.

Yet instead of falling into this trap again, I am going to apply the lessons learned at the mercy of my hamstring and accept my limitations. I am going to stop punishing myself with food that only leads to weight that I punish myself more for. I am going to stop trying to hate my body because it is the wrong numbers. I am going to focus on my health, my strength, my happiness and hope that my flesh follows the suggestion.

Overall, I am going to draw the line here, between my head and my heart, and accept my limits.


Christina Bergling

4 Months

Four months post partum, I am finally starting to feel like myself. I am still much fatter and much slower, but my distance is coming back to me.

For January, my goal was to work on the 5 mile distance. However, in the first two weeks, I jumped to 7 miles. And it felt natural. It felt familiar. It felt better than the shorter distances, as it always did.

I have leaped ahead of my training schedule (distance-wise, absolutely not in pace), but I plan to stay here until I return to prepregnancy weight. Then I will move onto my coveted 10 mile distance. Hopefully, losing the weight in the interim will bump my pace up a bit. I need to shake two minutes per mile to return to my normal, three+ to achieve my ultimate goal.

We have also started working on our 10K route for run club. The full 10K route is quite brutal, so we have started with a 5 mile modification. The hills are still insanely challenging, and I still feel like a champion on the final spring.

I will consider myself back to normal (and where I want to be) when I am running a 5 mile, a 10K (run club), and a 10 mile run per week and when I am running in 11 minute miles. I would say that I am halfway there (much like my weight loss), but halfway seems far closer than when I started. I can appreciate the progress; I can see the light at the end of this tunnel.

I just keep pushing myself, obsessively as always. I run myself ruthlessly and punish myself for every pound.

I try not to focus on not being what I want or what I was; I try to accept that just because I am not there does not make my body wrong or repulsive. I try to permit myself the time to recover from creating a child. But I never was very good at being easy on myself.