Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Self Diagnosis and Who Am I?

And just like that it's another week.  Where is the summer going?!?!  Don't answer that.  Summer is going to last forever, just like my cats.

I finally decided to stop being an idiot and take some time off from exercise to allow my leg to heal.  Obviously, cutting out running but still working out rather aggressively 5-6 days/week was just making things worse.  That was further evidenced when I went for a long bike ride back in PA this weekend and then could barely walk afterward.  Sometimes I really need to be shouted at to get the point!

I am still convinced that what I have is tendinitis of one of the tendons/ligaments in the back of my leg.  Either something connected to the hamstring, or after some Googling around this weekend, possibly this:  Popliteus Tendinitis.  There's a mouthful.  In all my years of AP Bio and Anatomy, never once had I heard of the popliteus muscle.  You learn something new every day.  If you are in the same boat here's a visual for you:


I was reading a bunch of threads from injured runners on Let's Run and the symptoms sound similar to what I'm experiencing.  Unfortunately, the only cure for any kind of tendinitis  (or any injury in general!) is rest.  If you come back too soon, you just prolong the injury.  So rest it is.  And now, if anyone ever asks you where the popliteus muscle is you can tell them!  I hope you win Final Jeopardy one day because of me :)

It's disappointing that I won't be able to run the trail half I had planned to run with my friend, but as much as I was looking forward to it, this race is about her.  It is her first half marathon EVER and I think it's more important that I be a spectator instead of a participant so that I can really support her.  She has been at the finish line of MANY of my races and now I can't wait to be at hers!

Being an injured runner has a way making anyone who's experienced it feel a little down, a little lost, and a little unsure of who they are anymore.  I was pondering why this is, which got my head spinning off a complete tangent.  So get ready.

I think the problem becomes when we define ourselves as "A Runner".  Or anything for that matter. 
A Teacher/CEO/Banker/Janitor/(Fill in your occupation here).  A Wife.  A Mother.  __________'s Girlfriend.  A Homeowner.  Someone who drives a BMW.  Someone who wears designer clothes.  Etc, etc.

The issue arises when you attach WHO you ARE to something external, rather than internal.  Because what happens when that thing, person, hobby, etc are suddenly gone?  You are left questioning who you are. You are left feeling that who you are is gone.  But that can never be the case.  Who you are deep inside, your soul, will always be there. 

You are not any more or less a person, a human being, by having or not having any of the above things.  I think it becomes dangerous when we tie our identity to other people or things.  Whether that be a spouse, material objects, or even talents.  All of those things can be taken away in an instant and if you are not grounded in who you are, you can become lost. 

But I think we all feel this way sometimes, especially when the rug gets pulled out from under us.  If a relationship ends, or we lose a job, or we have to sit some time out due to illness or injury.  I can't run right now, but I'm still Jill.  Vegan ice cream may not always be my favorite food, but I'm still Jill.  My body will physically change over the years, where I live, who I love, and what I do for work will no doubt continue to change, but I will always be me.  And so will you. 

My popliteus and I will continue pondering more of life's great mysteries during this downtime.  I hope to bring you more words you cannot pronounce in my next post. 

P.S. I just saw a commercial for A Walk in the Woods the MOVIE on TV!!!!!!!!! It's apparently coming out in theaters in September.  Life is grand.

Have you learned anything new or interesting lately?!

Share some of your favorite vocabulary words with me!


  1. You are still you. And I think that people forget that they are still runners even if they aren't running--we still take so much of running with us--the mental side of running is too pervasive. When I've had to take breaks from running, it has actually been incredible for me because you realize that you are so much more than just one sport. You are you. And you run, But you are not just a runner.

    1. Yes! You are Suze and I am Jill even if we aren't running now or God forbid there comes a day when we can no longer run. Hopefully that's not til around age 101 but you know what I mean :O)

  2. Hope you're healed soon! Resting is no fun when you are so active.

    I've been injured for almost 4 yrs now and haven't been able to run (horrible). I should be resting, but even if I were to skip the gym, my daily lifestyle involves lots of walking because I don't own a car. I'm not sure what's better - resting my foot or being sane because that's what exercise does.

    1. Oh my word, what happened that you've been injured for 4 years?! That's terrible, I'm sorry. Is there any light at the end of the injury tunnel?
      I hear you on the day to day activity though. I walk and run around with the kids so much at work that total rest is just not possible. Prob contributing to this injury hanging around.

  3. oh no!! I'm sorry that isn't good! Just remember that even though resting sucks, it is SO worth it when it's healed! SOOO much better to rest than to keep injuring it till it won't heal anymore. Here's to a hopefully quick recovery!! I haven't seen that trailer yet or heard of it so obviously going to watch it NOW :)
    xo, Candace | Lovely Little Rants

    1. Aww thanks Candace! I am trying. But I keep getting restless and end up going for a walk or hike. Ahhhhhhh I need someone to sit me down and strap me to the chair. Haha

  4. I am so sorry that this is happening! You are being smart though by taking time to rest and recover. I had to take a several month hiatus from working out last year and I thought I would go crazy. It is so hard to give up something that you love so much. Thoughts and prayers your way!

    1. Oh dear I'm sorry Heather! How did you get through the workout hiatus? What can I do to keep myself sane?!