Learning to trust yourself is something I have realised only comes with time and experience. This includes both trusting your instincts and also learning to trust your body. This was where I went massively wrong, and ended up in a much worse situation than I needed to.
Firstly, trust your instincts. I have been running since I was 6-years old. Surely if anyone knows the most about my running, it’s me? Therefore, if anyone knows when something is not right, it must be me? It is only now I have learnt that this is the case. Since the start of my injury (18 weeks ago, long I know!) I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t listen to my own instincts. I vouched to seeing countless physio’s, knowing none of them knew what was wrong, but I continued to see multiple physio’s in the hope someone would explain my pain. I was determined to get to the bottom of what was wrong, even when I was told nothing was.
Numerous times I was told the pain was only psychological, therefore I should run through it. Should I really have done this? Most definitely not, and I knew I shouldn’t, but I did. Why? Because I didn’t trust myself, and what I knew I should do. I believed that the people with the professional labels knew better than me, and whilst this is mostly the case, when it comes to knowing how your own body feels, no one knows it better than you.
Whilst there is no point paying attention to every single little ache and pain and responding to it, when the pain means you can’t run without crying, this is usually a signal to stop. I knew from the very start, something was wrong that would mean I would be off for a while, but I didn’t want to believe it, so I chose to trust the opinion that gave me the least severe diagnosis with the shortest time off. This is definitely not the way to go around it. If I had trusted my own instincts at the very start, I would be running right now, and not still sat on the sofa, unable to run.
Something as important as this, is the need to trust your body. This operates simultaneously with trusting your instincts, but is even harder to do. Your body knows you; you just need to learn to know your body. This is something that only comes with experience. The more you run and the more you experience different niggles, the more you will be able to trust your body. You will be able to distinguish between severe and minor pain. I definitely hadn’t had experience in this, but gradually as I take my running further, I am learning this.
Before now I had only experienced muscular pain and tightness. Hence why I didn’t know what bone pain was like. The pain was definitely different to anything I have felt before. At least now, I have learnt what different pains are. My body was screaming at me, shouting at me to listen to what it was telling me. Things like this should not be ignored. Your body knows you, and it knows when something is not right, so you should listen to it! Regardless of whether you like what it is saying or not. You will only thank your body and yourself in the long-term when you are happily running, pain-free. The concept of being pain-free is something I will never take for granted again, and now I am able to trust what my body is telling me, hopefully I will never be in this position again. If something doesn’t feel normal, that’s because it isn’t!
Please, always, trust your instincts, trust your body, and when both are telling you something is wrong and you need to stop, do it! You will thank it in the future, trust me! I know this now!
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I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!