My cousin, Suzanne, gave me a magic coffee cup for my birthday this year. Yes, magic.
What’s magic about it is that it allows me to be in control of me. I can influence or gently nudge my thoughts one way or the other as I’m sipping my morning cup of joe. The cup has a chalkboard face for messages, so there’s no end to what I can tell myself.
Over the course of the last few months, my mug has worn many directives from just breathe, get a new job, you need a puppy (my favorite) to smile, RUN, and the latest, happy calf!
I’ve been struggling with a calf injury for nearly a month. My feisty calf prevented me from running Pikes Peak Marathon on August 16. I was frustrated, but not defeated.
I’ve been following most, if not all of the running rules, which basically for an injury of this type translates to don’t run. DON’T RUN. I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy; it’s never easy for a runner not to run. However, I knew that if I was going to run anytime soon, I had to be patient. Very patient. It’s been nearly three weeks since I’ve hit the trails.
I felt it was time to test the ‘ole calf so I set out yesterday for a run on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), not sure what the day or run would bring. Before I share how it ended, let’s back up for a second. On Monday evening I took the calf out for a test drive on a trail behind my brother and sister-in-law’s cabin near Mt Hood. It survived with no grumblings. I was encouraged and took it as a sign that I should kick it up a notch and try the PCT. And that’s just what I did.
It was a beautiful, sunny day. The smoke from the devastating Pacific Northwest fires had cleared and I was ready to run. For the first time in years, I didn’t run with music. The only sounds were the sweet chirps from birds encouraging me along and my own deep breaths, mostly sighs of relief as I continued to take one pain-free leap forward after another.
While my two-hour run included some walking, I ended the day with a happy calf. And that made me happy. It seems that my coffee cup just may have the magic touch. More importantly, it demonstrates how we can use the power of words to overcome adversity, provide hope, and gain strength to keep moving forward.