Once Before, Never Again

As I’m writing this, the Chicago Marathon has just started.

Are there things in your life that when you look back on you just can’t fathom you once accomplished, but can’t imagine ever doing ever again?

I’ve run three marathons. Several 10 and 5K’s – I really thought I wanted to run one more marathon, and it be Boston. But now, as I sit here watching the beginning of the Chicago race, I’m stunned I ever ran at all. And the idea that I’d ever run such a long distance… makes my face cringe and my heart tighten up.

I was never a natural runner. I started running in college and because I “fell in love” with a guy who ran every day. And since I’d stopped dancing long ago, I needed something easy and steady as a workout. And so, I tried it.

Oh, let me be clear, I’ve always hated running. When you come from a place where you dance every day, running is just not a thing. But the amazing thing about running is that once you start, about 20 minutes in, you do forget that you’re running, and you lose yourself in the rhythm of it all. In that way, it’s very much like dancing, so it stuck for me.

But now, after having surgery on my hip and femur – my whole way of walking and just being has changed. I feel so good and don’t feel any pain at all. I walk differently, proudly in a way, if that makes any sense. I was living with pain and I just had no idea – compensating for that pain was an automatic way of life and now it’s not there anymore. And when I was first talking with my brilliant surgeon about the whole process I kept begging him to tell me if I’d be able to keep running – and he was always hesitant, opting for me to do things like cycling, walking and swimming instead, which just angered me. Finally, he relented once and said, “…maybe 3-5 miles twice a week, but no more than that.” I felt like I’d won something.

It’s been a year of since that surgery and now that I’m feeling 100%, I have no intentions of running again. So, weird, right?  I use a spin bike, I walk every day and even dance a bit in my living room – I opt for strength training and just mixing things up daily because I like that my legs feel so good and I walk without any pain at all. I want to keep it that way forever.

So, as far as things I’ve accomplished in the past that I can’t fathom doing ever again – I doubt I’ll run a marathon or participate in a 5-10k except as a spectator cheering others on from this day forward.  I love that I feel so easy and okay about that. It just makes sense for me

Now, I have gone skydiving before and I will be considering it again real soon! Wanna come? 🙂

Music is by Eminem, Lose Yourself and U2, Beautiful Day. Shortened Version of Full Video.

9 thoughts on “Once Before, Never Again

  1. The only time in my life that I went running, was when I had to run from home to my school in the morning for band practice, on account of I was always late for everything. (At that time my ADHD hadn’t been diagnosed yet; I was late for everything due to distraction)

    Can I ask, Carmen: is your hip and femur problems related to your years of running? Asking because I’ve read so many articles on how running can mess up your knees and legs. It’s why I’ve never run. I’ll do elliptical and swimming, but never running. Plus one of my knees is already messed up due to a workplace injury.

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    • This is a great question. No. My hip issues are what stopped my dancing “career”. Maybe it’s better to say, dancing “dreams”. I was a teenager when I collapsed on stage for the final time and was told it would get worse if I kept dancing/colorguard (Band? I didn’t know you marched! So cool! After my dream were shattered, I went to college. I started running (jogging) as a way to exercise. Clearly running and/or dancing didn’t help my situation, but it seems that no matter what I did – I would have ended up here, in pain at some point. I have always been pretty active so… maybe if I had taken up swimming or cycling it might have been different? I don’t know. But now, no more running for sure. So, spinning/cycling is my go too. Still trying to figure it out. But happy to be pain free. 😊


  2. Wow. I am impressed with your achievements and can’t think of anything that comes close to them in my life. I did run a mile in six minutes and 18 seconds, just shy of the OCS record for my class. And I am walking more than 10,000 steps a day even though I have noticed in recent weeks that my left hip is acting out and giving me a little pain.

    Well, the only thing I can think of that I will never do again is to jump out of an airplane. I had what paratroopers in the military called the five “cherry” jumps. That’s the minimum needed to get your wings and graduate from Airborne School at Ft. Benning, Ga.

    But jump again? Even go sky-diving? No way Jose!

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    • 😂 You are so funny! You’ve accomplished so much. I can’t imagine running a 6 minute mile and surely …paratrooper? Come on! You are amazing. I love it. And yeah, I am planning on going skydiving again. I really loved it — and I think it’s time! 💕

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