I am not sure how many people have noticed that I haven't been writing Ann's Running Commentary lately but I haven't. I also haven't been going to the Annapolis Striders' Socials, volunteering at races or talking to as many of my running friends. I am no longer a runner. After 25 plus years I can't run, not now, not ever.
Do I miss it?
Undoubtedly. I miss running everyday and there are often days I think that maybe I will run just a mile. But that's the sort of attitude that got me here in the first place. Years before that final run, doctors warned me that long distances were bad for my back. They warned me that it was only a matter of time before my back would not let me do it.
It turns out they were right. And part of the sadness I feel about not running comes from knowing that had I cut back the mileage years ago I might still be able to go for an easy three mile run today.
So, who am I without running. I am no longer a marathoner, no longer an Ironman. I am not even a member of the Annapolis Striders anymore. What's the leave? Why should I continue to write Ann's Running Commentary if I am none of these things?
On my better days I can answer that. I am a person who was a marathoner. I am a woman who is an Ironman. I put in those miles. I lived those experiences and I can share everything I learned there.
The Next Step
But more importantly, I am a fighter. I am a person who finds what's next and embraces it. Right now that means I am in the middle of a new cycling streak, 104 days and counting. I am working on swimming again and learning to do it a little at a time without pain. And I remain an advocate for mental health.
This has been a big year for me. I could look at what I lost or I could look at what I gained. Yes, I had to give up running, but I have learned to love biking. I left a job to start Ann's Social Media and Marketing a year ago in August and I am enjoying every minute of it. I had a major health scare and surgery in February of this year but learned from past mistakes and took the required time to recover before starting back up on the bike.
Life goes on and while I am no longer a runner, I am still the person who hopes to inspire others to keep moving, keep active and keep getting out that door. I am still Ann from Ann's Running Commentary.