Saturday, October 23, 2010

isolate. immobilize. & weaken.

i haven't run in 4 weeks. FOUR. WEEKS.

that's unfathomable.
and yet, i sit here with my legs propped up exactly in that "unfathomable" space. it is very much fathomable.

i cracked a bone in my foot.
let me be exact: i cracked an extra bone in my foot. it's called the accessory navicular and don't worry, i'm not the only one with this "syndrome." apparently all of my foot doc's kids have it too. (thanks doc, that made me feel better to know that three young kids have an extra bone in their feet.)

i wasn't sure how i was going to cope with having to wear a boot on my foot. i'd be limited to a stationary bike and rowing machine, which is rough since i'm usually out and about ~5xs week cycling, running, and doing yoga. the gym makes me emotionally nauseous, so i was particularly excited about the news.

anyway, short story long...
i've had to be mostly sedentary for the last 3 weeks. (the first week, i put in about 55+ miles commuting and roaming around on my bike to replace running, until the doc told me to stop because i had a crack.) it was truly disheartening. i missed the last of the season's warmth and light, i had to forgo a run around the perimeter of manhattan, two bike camp trips, a backpacking trip in big bend, and the pleasure of being in the hills - heart racing and sweat dripping in the grand silence of the hills.

in this new cracked bone space,
i've noticed something significant as i've stayed present to the healing process.
in order for the bone to heal, my doctor prescribed that i:
1. isolate the area that's injured, and
2. immobilize it until it's ready to be strengthened again.

what's fascinating is that for the first 2 weeks, even though it hurt, my body/legs still felt strong.
but starting week 3, i felt like the surrounding area of the fracture got noticeably weak, especially my right calf. i mean, the solid muscle that used to live there gave its two week notice and moved out! it now feels soft and just sorta dangly.

and yet.
i feel like the fractured bone has gotten stronger. it doesn't hurt anymore. it's still sensitive, but i know it's healing.

well, as all things in life...
this healing process has illuminated something deeper for me.

in pursuing healing in our lives... i think we need to isolate what it is that's "sick, injured, hurt." then stop.
just stop.
stop using it.
stop abusing it.
stop avoiding it.

wrap that area with a boot. it should be:
something soft , sturdy, and protective.
//question: what is your life boot?

something big and obvious to remind you (and others) of your injury.
//when it's obvious and you have to wear it ~24 hours a day, it's hard to miss. i am forced to pay attention and to nurture it. and it's hard for your community to miss. they will ask you how it & you are doing. you consequently engage people around you; and they in turn help encourage you in the journey.

let those surrounding parts get weak.
let it lose its power. submit to the humbling. embrace the dangly-ness.
and eventually, learn to re-build it again.

i have a doctor's appointment this monday.
until then, i embrace my dangly calf and now stinky boot. (hey, i can't help it. i have to wear it all.the.time!)


  1. Thanks for posting this Liz. It is a blessed insight.

  2. I love this. I never really thought of how the tangible can help us make sense and act upon things left to the subconscious to heal without comprehension.

    Thank you,


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