Today I went for a run and I was naked.
A little perspective: clearly, I had clothes on (sorry to disappoint folks). What did I run without then? My knee brace.
Now, I’ve been running with my knee brace since . . . well, since I first decided to try running. I’ve been using it when exercising since my late teens. Dependent much? Maybe. I will say, the brace has been helpful for certain parts of my life and has allowed me to do some forms of exercise I might have done otherwise.
This year I have been pushing myself harder … in all aspects of my self. Physically, I have accomplished things I would not think I could in a previous life. So, no doubt I’ve been getting stronger. I’ve been noticing on recent runs that my good knee has been hurting. And not just routine stiffness, but those lightning bolts that make you stop running.
So today I thought I would try a little experiment and leave the brace off my quote unquote bad knee and see if that would help spread the love of the knees.
Did it work?
Well…today I ran 5k, or just about anyway (i don’t track…I work on estimates), my first of the year! I did allow for a 3 min walk at the 2.5k mark, but I’m cool with that (especially as that just so happens to fall at the start of a steep incline).
I did feel naked though. Here’s my deep dark secret: the brace has been my crutch. As long as I have worn the brace, I have been allowed to be sub-par. It’s okay b/c she has a brace on so she must be hurt and good for her for trying. If I run slow, if I stop to walk…it’s not embarrassing b/c the brace allowed me those moments of vulnerability.
I’m not content with this mentality anymore. Whatever I do, I am doing. I’m not a woman who exercises with a brace. I’m not going to hide behind it anymore. Sure, I may have some physical limitations, but what I can do, I’m going to do well damnit.
Besides, running naked felt awesome!