A very dear friend of mine is hurting. She is going through a really tough time after having made some big changes in her life. Serious decisions that are having major implications not only for herself but those around her.
But she’s made the right decision and as much as I see her struggling with the unknown, I really hope she knows just how much I support her.
Thinking about making those hard decisions has made me also re-think a foot injury that has been niggling me for a while now and which is slowly starting to have an impact on, not only my running, but my walking too.
In March this year, I visited a podiatrist to have my feet checked out. I was struggling with aching feet, especially plantar fasciitis in my left foot. I was given orthotics and simple instructions on how to use them, guaranteeing relief from the pain.
I was lazy. As we headed into winter and my running went into hibernation, I packed the orthotics away and ignored it. But as summer approached and I started running again, the pain returned.
Again, I ignored it. You know when you think something will go away but a voice in the back of your head tells you it never will? And you ignore it, making every excuse you can think of why it’s okay to just carry on. Because sometimes, making a decision is really the hardest thing to do?
Unfortunately, I have reached the point of no return. Not only is my foot pain affecting my running, but I am unable to walk normally. The pain is that severe. I have tried the early morning stretches, the arnica oils, the golf ball rolling under my foot.
But I have been forced to accept that the only thing that will help me is if I take a break and rest it. Give it time to heal. Unless I do that, things will not change but only get worse. And I need to start using those orthotics.
It’s frustrating, especially because I am in the beginning stages of my Two Oceans half marathon training.
But the pain needs to heal. It needs to go away if I want to continue with my running in the long term. Deep down inside, I know it’s the right thing to do. It’s the only way if I need to heal.
It’s the same with my friend.
Taking that first step is the hardest part. But it’s the first step in that healing process to doing what’s right.