When all you want to do is that one thing that you cannot do

For the past week or so I’ve been experiencing random “phantom pain” on my left knee.

Is it my stress fracture healing? Is it actual pain? Is it all in my head?

I’ve put off trying to go on a run because of it — until today.

I’ve been tired. And, frustrated. Not just with my injury. Not just with what is happening to my country. But, with everything.

Usually when I feel like this, I can lace up my shoes and just run. I take myself to a place where I don’t have to think. Or, where I can think as much as I want to.  Or, where I just hear my own breath and that is enough.

Tonight I really wanted all of that back.

I couldn’t find my headlamp (because it’s been that long since I’ve gone on a night-time run). I found an old flashlight and wore my reflective vest and called it good. I was going to go out for a little run.

I told myself I wouldn’t do more than 15 minutes. After all, this would be my first run back in 117 days.

But, my first step back was not a welcomed one.

I immediately experienced a dull pain on my knee cap.

“That’s new,” I thought to myself. Throughout my injured state, I had never felt pain in the front of my knee. “So, maybe after a few strides it will go away.”

It didn’t. And then the dull pain shifted to the outer side of my knee (where the injury is/was).

After one minute of slow jogging, I stopped. I debated just turning around and walking home. But, I walked on.

I tried three more times to run. All three times, I experienced some form of the pain, either on the front or side of my knee.

“At least it isn’t super painful,” I tried to reassure myself.

I’m actually surprised that I didn’t cry. Maybe I was too tired. Maybe too cold. My total time of running was four minutes and five seconds out of about 30 minutes outside.

If I had really wanted to, I could have pushed myself to keep running. But, what would be the point? To keep my injured-self off from running even longer?

What am I supposed to do now? I’m tired of being patient.

I’ve been resting for so long. I just want to do that one thing that I cannot do.

I want to run.

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