I was half watching the Redskins – Giants game in my kitchen when I happened to turn my full attention to the TV screen just as the Giants’ Odell Beckham made that catch. My house was quiet after the long Thanksgiving weekend. It had been wonderful having everyone home, and cooking for 24 was therapy for the stress I was feeling as I continue to rehab my hamstring.
I’m a Ravens fan but since I’m originally from New York I’m also a Giants fan. I had my laptop open, and I was thinking about my plan to get ready for my run in Jamaica on Saturday.
But that catch?
Even if you’re not a football fan you should watch the clip. I’ve looked at it 10 times and am swept away by Beckham’s physicality. This is the word everyone uses when they talk about Beckham.
He reminds me of Rodin’s Thinker, which is that perfect contrast of weightiness and lightness all at once. Beckham is rock solid but he moves so fluidly that he almost bounces lightly as he’s tackled to the ground.
He looks unbreakable.
I've built up my endurance to run 10, 13, 20 miles, yet I still have trouble getting out of a car or moving quickly from one set to another in the gym. Most of the time, I actually feel breakable.
I’m not sure where real strength comes from or, for me, what what it looks like. We talk about strength training in the gym and how important it is to strength train for weight loss and overall health.
Even now as I begin to understand how my hamstring snapped I’m struck by how challenging it is to get strong in the way that makes you feel like you won’t break in half if you trip on a tree root or slip on a wood floor or tweak a muscle in your leg. Lately I get up from a chair so deliberately that I’m afraid someone might think I’m making fun of a person who is truly frail.
For most of us it’s not possible to get Odell Beckham strong but I also think a lot of the time it’s our minds that hold us back.
It’s been a month since I did my 4-hour run and through most of it I just kept thinking, “Wow this is what a body feels like after its been training for 5 months.” So now as I approach 3 weeks of rehabbing my hamstring and only 5 days out from my first marathon, I’m struck by how hard it is for me to trust my body to heal.
“Just let it go,” my sister in law Hope said last night when we met for dinner at Attman’s Deli.
I was telling her about how confusing my 2 recovery runs had been on Thursday and Saturday and how impossible it seemed to run 26 miles in less than a week.
"I was taking such tiny strides and moving so slowly that if Roland were looking at me from heaven he would have thought I wasn't moving," I said.
"I was only on Connecticut Avenue for 2 blocks but I was afraid someone I know might see me and think I looked ridiculous."
She had just listened to psychologist Kelly McGonigal’s TED talk on how stress can be a positive. She suggested the injury could turn out to be a great learning experience for me. A positive.
“Just think if it had happened during the race? You’re lucky it happened now.”
Hope’s right. I need to let it go.
I’ve surrounded myself with professionals I trust, and all of them are telling me I’ll be able to do this.
They’ve got me strengthening my glutes and my hamstrings and running. They’ve got me eating protein and adding carbs starting on Wednesday and thinking about the heat in Jamaica. They’ve given me a plan A for the week and a plan B.
So ok. I’m doing this.
See you next time!