Definition of Choice

[post from May 21, 2013…that didn’t get to website]
I went out for a run yesterday morning. It was my first real attempt at a run in two months. On St. Patty’s Day, I pulled a hamstring during a long run. Every attempt to go back to the pavement has been thwarted so I pulled back and started letting time take care of my hamstring. I took to the bike for exercise and to the pool to keep me moving. I missed running, like I miss an old friend who has moved away. But like the old friend, I knew the running was still out there and would return.

So I returned and realized that this recovery thing was going to take a long time. For the first time in thirteen years I didn’t enjoy the run. I didn’t want to run. I wanted to cry. It was as though I had lost an old friend. Running has defined me in so many ways. It is often what people ask me about when they don’t know too much else about me: “Have any races planned?” “Did you run today?” There are so many ways we define ourselves—being a spouse, being a boss, being a teacher. What happens when we have to change the definition of who we are—not by choice but by necessity.

I am not choosing to not be a runner. But right now, my body is choosing for me to take some time off. My friend who recently got downsized out of her job, did not choose to not be the teacher that she had been so admired in being. Sometimes these choices are really not ours, but they are ours to choose how we handle them. Will I be the person who used to run? Will I be the person who now does something else? Or, will I choose not to be defined by one thing or one association and instead open myself up to what else and who else I can become?