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My Cross Country Season’s Somber Beginning

Today’s post is a little more serious than previous ones. I promise to amp up the optimism tomorrow! But in case you didn’t know, I am a cross country and track athlete currently on a collegiate NCAA Division I team. In May, I completed my freshman year with a 10k in the outdoor track & field conference championships. Today, I would/should be moving back to school to begin our team’s fall training had I not had this major surgery last month.

After the surgery on the left side of my face to remove as much of my venous malformation as possible, I was left extremely swollen (as to be expected with any surgery this intense). I was told not to engage in any physical activity for at least 3 weeks. Do you know how hard that is for an exercise addict??! That is like telling me to give up coffee! It was a tough situation: I need to heal to be able to run; I need to run to be able to heal.

I’m finally breaking out of the sit-wait-hope phase – yesterday I jogged for the first time in over 5 weeks! Granted, it was two very slow miles. A “warm-up” to my usual workouts. But it was more than I had run in a month, and I didn’t have any pain so I can continue to build up from here!

I’m sad to be missing out on the team activities, practices and bonding that will be going on at school for the next 9 days while I stay home and continue to heal. I feel like a benchwarmer. Except I’m not on the bench…I’m not even in the stinkin’ ball park! It has made me realize how much running is a part of my life. It’s something I’ve done EVERYDAY for 5 years, of course it is a part of my heart. High school races were such a rush… the ones where I broke a personal record or beat someone I didn’t think I could – I STILL look back on those with pride.

I am positive that there will be more races like this in my future. No doubt I will have to work overtime to play catch up, but I’ve done it before and I know I can do it again. I can’t wait to be reunited with my school and my team <3

(*These pictures were all taken before the surgery. I am not using post-surgery photos of my face until it has healed much more.)