Life is full of new beginnings and “Full circle” moments. It’s also full of setbacks and unexpected challenges. Every once in a while, you have one of those moments where you realize you’ve started like a new chapter, and I had one of those this week.
This photo is special, and not because it’s a photo of a pretty sunset; it’s important because it marks the first time I’ve gone jogging in about 5 years. That’s significant because at one point, I was worried that I’d never be able to run again.
Many of you already know this, but way back in 2010, I dislocated both my patella while exercising, and due to the length of time it took to get an accurate diagnosis, I was in terrible, terrible shape by the time I finally did. I spent so long wondering what was wrong with me, feeling like I was losing my mind. I was terrified that I might need surgery, and that my life might never be the same again.
Gratefully, my injury was 100% recoverable, but because it took so long to get the diagnosis and start physiotherapy, it was a very lengthy recovery process. Even after the pain stopped and I was able to walk normally, travel, and function on a day-to-day basis, I still took it easy during my workouts; since I had injured myself during exercise, I was very careful not to repeat this ruinous mistake, and eased into it very, very slowly since most high-impact exercise still made my knees ache. I went from someone who thought nothing of doing full-contact martial arts sparring to someone who was Googling orthopedic shoes, and it was heartbreaking to be so limited.
By the start of 2015, there were only two things left that I hadn’t done since my injury: Wear high heels, and go jogging. As part of my New Year’s resolutions, I made a goal to begin jogging by March of this year. I prepped by working on strength and cardio with games on my Wii U, and in February, I had another confidence boost when I wore a pair of heels to the First Look For Charity ball in Chicago. I was in heels all night – and my knees felt totally normal. No pain!
Feeling confident, I went for my first jog since injuring myself – and I felt fantastic. I’ve been running on the beach a couple of times a week, and it’s been phenomenal; it’s the last little reassurance to silence that voice in my head that wondered, “What if this problem ever comes back?” As I finished another run on Friday night, I had one of those moments where I felt like I was “Back” – as if my life had been on pause. I felt like I was catching up – on the present.
Since March is my month for new beginnings, it’s appropriate that it also marks the premiere of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. After my ah-ha moment on Friday night, I came home and settled in to watch the series, which made its Netflix debut that very same day. This series from 30 Rock producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock follows doomsday cult survivor Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) as she re-joins the rest of the world after 15 years in isolation. Although it’s a quirky comedy, Unbreakable also has a core message that no matter how much time passes, it’s never too late to start over. That’s an important thing to remember, because I spent a lot of time feeling like my life had already passed me by. I also know how important it was to keep a sense of humor even during the worst times!
Have you ever felt like you were catching up on the present – perhaps after an illness, a breakup, or starting a new job? Will you be checking out this show?