I always think: if it weren't for my knees, I would be smoking everybody.
On days when I could not go on because of them, I get moments where I think, "why?" And then I realized that this is such a small thing. I think the reason behind this is that maybe God is telling me something. If I didn't have bad knees or shoulders or what not, I would be such a conceited ass. In high school I was a smug athlete. I got annoyed at slower runners. My purpose when running is dropping others behind. I knew I was good, and I think I let it go over my head.
Now my knees and shoulders keep me in check. They allow me to do sports without letting my ego gets the best of me. At anytime I started to excel and thus, smugness sinks in, they get to work. Too many times I had to pull out of runs, rides, tournaments because of my knees.
It sounded like a curse. But I chose to see it as a blessing.
This week was one good example. I did another long distance event this week, and although not the first, or the fastest lady there, I was strong. I kept a nice pace (I think all the years in cross country taught me well in pacing myself), I handled my nutrition well, and I kept it together through all the crazy hills. People commented how good and how strong I was despite poor mileage and lack of training. They mentioned it several times.
I started to get a big head.
The next day, another long distance event. I was all prepped, thinking of all the praises heaped on me when I finally finished it. The pictures they will take, showing me in action, people going, wow nadia is so strong!
My knees acted up. And I had to say no. Because although ego is a big thing, I think experience and the smartness of saying no is better. I've learned my mistakes when I ruined them because of running. Now I exercise caution.
Anyway, I think I will always be a long distance girl. I never cared about the time or speed, although to be honest I would want to have BOTH speed and endurance. But if I had to choose, I'd choose the ability to go long, and enjoy long. This was one of the sweetest long distance thing I had to endure, because it was just me, my thoughts, and wanting to finish. I always want to finish. And I always will.
To having the ability and capability to go long and enjoy long, thank you God, for this gift.