My senior quote was “If you start out depressed, everything’s kind of a pleasant surprise.”* So needless to say I’m not exactly a glass half-full kind of person. But, oddly enough this injury has kind of forced me into toeing the line of being an optimist. Don’t get me wrong—it took me like 6 weeks to start thinking this way, but after a while you just get annoyed with yourself for being so depressed (this is generally long after the point everyone else has gotten annoyed with you) so you’re forced to make a change.
So here are some of the pleasant surprises I’ve had along the way.
You don’t actually gain 100 lbs overnight. I was running 40-50 miles a week and burning through a lot of calories. I could and would eat a lot. Second helpings at dinner weren’t uncommon. So I was CONVINCED I was going to gain weight hand over fist when I stopped running, especially in those first couple of weeks where I really wasn’t able to do much exercising at all. But, somehow I didn’t. In fact, in four weeks I only gained ONE pound. I think this is due to a couple of things. First, when you’re not running, you don’t have a runner’s appetite. It took me a while to learn this lesson of course, but it no longer takes 17 servings of pasta to fill me up. And second, runners are actually pretty healthy eaters in general. So I didn’t really have to alter what I was eating, just how much. That being said, I’m still pretty weak-willed around Oreos. They might have to stay off the grocery list for a few more weeks.
So! While my body has definitely changed a bit (mostly gotten a little more…cushion-y) I’m pretty psyched I haven’t doubled my body weight yet.
You get a lot more time put back into your day. When I was running, it was taking about 1-2 hours out of my day. Now that I have that time back I can spend it doing other things. I can sleep in! I can sign up for a workout class. I can read a book! Or, more realistically, I can watch 4-5 episodes of Parks and Rec while drinking almost an entire bottle of wine all by myself. See, there are perks!
Your muscles begin to forgive you. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I could touch my toes or even straighten my legs completely. UNTIL NOW. I haven’t even been stretching! I just haven’t been running! Getting my foot run over is like the very best thing that’s ever happened to my hamstrings.
That’s really all my newly optimistic mind can come up with. I feel like three is pretty impressive to begin with.
*This is a quote from the popular 80’s movie Say Anything, I’m not just a super depressed human.