I ran today....first time in a while. I've been away and for a variety of reasons( excuses) only managed one run. I got back Friday ,but I didn't run over the weekend or yesterday,no real reason other than I couldn't be bothered ....in fact ,there have been a few times over the past few weeks when I actually wondered if I'd bother again.
So I did go this morning,there was no fog,no appointments,no reasons not to go...no excuses....and I told myself I could turn round and come back at any time.
I did the Speed podcast and then carried on with a favourite route .I crunched through the fallen leaves, passed the still
unharvested maize fields and the vibrant orange pumpkin patches.....it was a perfect Autumn morning.
As I ambled along I remembered something I'd noticed in my diary a few days ago.....today is an anniversary.
It's 5 years since I had an operation to repair a detached retina of my left eye.The operation was deemed a success as far as it could be, but it lead to what was the most debilitating and disabling time I've ever experienced. Not wishing to sound dramatic.....detached retina is not life -threatening,but it is sight-threatening and although it was repaired it left me with skewed vision,unable to focus for reading,watching TV, painting anything that required focusing really.
I had no confidence to go out alone and when I eventually went out I needed the help of a stranger to step down off a train, my best friends arm linked to mine to get me across the roads as winter darkness fell mid afternoon when we ventured out to a Christmas craft fair.....I was 52 years old and being helped along like a little old lady.As well as the distorted vision,my eye never felt "right" as there was something called a buckle put in at the time of the op,to reinforce the repair and the eye always felt different and wrong,plus when I looked in the mirror I could see it didn't look the same as it had before...it wasn't entirely straight...and whilst I'm not particularly vain this,too, I found greatly upsetting.
I said at the time to a few close friends that there was no joy in anything,many things I used to enjoy were impossible now,I would feel dizzy and sick in shops, in the car,just walking about...all down to the eye attempting to focus and the damage done to my sight in that eye due to the detachment.
Just into the new year our beloved dog died...we were expecting it but well.....you know ....it still knocked us for six and I truly felt at rock bottom .
By late spring I was walking more and gradually my brain was adjusting to the damage ,but the first few times I attempted to ride a bike on quiet country tracks was completely scary.
Eventually I had a further op to remove the buckle...it could have been done sooner,but I felt as if I couldn't face the trauma of more surgery,even though I was told it was really quite a minor procedure compared to the first op,so I waited 18 months.....it was a complete success....as soon as it was done and I could remove the dressing the next day,my eye at long last felt and looked normal.....I was overjoyed.
So....I was running this morning and thinking back through all that stuff as I went and I looked around me at the gorgeous bright morning and up at the beautiful cloudless,blue sky and offered up a thankyou,a little message,prayer...whatever...to the something or someone up there,that I was outside ,alone ,able to run and see and enjoy.
On my way back I got one of those amazing highs that happen so infrequently when running,but make it all so worthwhile when they do...that tingly feeling that makes it feel like your scalp is lifting off your head ...it was like my little word of thanks had been heard and I was sent a gift in return...perfect timing.....I had such a huge grin on my face at that moment .
I knew then I would not be abandoning my running.....five years ago I would have done anything to be able to walk around unaided...how amazing that this morning I went out by myself and was able to amble around the lanes in the autumn sunshine for almost 6K.
Thankyou for listening x