Not running for most of last year was pretty rough on me, as you might imagine. After multiple doctors and multiple recommendations of “do these few exercises and rest, and you should be back to normal in 4-6 weeks” that never seemed to come true, I was frustrated. Of course part of the frustration was in not being able to heal whatever was wrong (or able to accurately find out what was wrong), but another part was the frustration of not being able to dream or to plan. To daydream of what race I might like to do next and know that if I sign up and train for it, it could be a reality. Instead I faced a bleak future of indefinite rest and recovery, with no end point or goal in sight. Yes, dramatic.
Over the summer, I started riding my road bike a lot more, and that helped my mood somewhat. I also realized there were some strength exercises I could do without pain. Things were looking up.
I had seen Erica Sara’s jewelry on Ali on the Run and probably a few other NYC runners’ blogs. It seemed cute, simple, and not overly expensive. All things I look for in jewelry gifts for myself! Someone must have tweeted or blogged specifically about the Say It Do It bracelet, and the sample bracelet’s mantra of “relentless forward motion” caught my eye. I don’t really have many mantras in my daily life, but I do believe in the power of positive affirmation, and I needed to reinforce what little bit of positivity I could muster.
So, I did what every responsible small-business-supporting injured runner would do and I bought my own! I just copied the sample design, but the truth is, it was exactly the message I needed to be looking at every day. To me it meant that I could keep moving forward, doing what I could (biking, walking, etc.), and finding value in that. I’m having trouble putting it into words, but this little bracelet served as a constant reminder to just keep chugging away, no matter what.
Story time: the one athletic goal for 2012 that I kept was to do two century rides (bike rides of 100 miles). I completed one while I was in Alaska for a week (that is a whole other story), and I signed up for a second in late October. I showed up to the ride, and as the group rolled out, I realized my bike computer was dead. I was already stressing about being under-trained and falling off the required pace to not get dropped, so this snag was more than I could take since I wouldn’t know my pace or time. I stopped, tried to figure out the problem, called my parents in a panic, and realized there was nothing I could do about it. I could either go home or try to catch up and deal with it. I went ahead with the ride but I spent the first hour half-crying and contemplating how far I was from home or if I could get Eric to come pick me up. It was much more dramatic than it should have been, but sometimes things just set you off, right? Anyway, I thought of the bracelet I was wearing, and I realized that I couldn’t continue to wear it in good faith if I didn’t suck it up and enjoy the ride. Somehow it worked! I wasn’t particularly speedy, and I got chased by several dogs, but I finished in a far better mood.
Anyway, back to the bracelet. It’s pretty, right?!?
The picture is from the Erica Sara Design website. (I tried to take a picture of mine, but my camera wasn’t doing it justice.)
So, if you or a friend need a little token of support or congratulations, I’d recommend anything from this site! I’ve got my eye on this Swim Bike Run necklace for my upcoming half Iron-distance triathlon.