Physical Shortcomings, Don’t take no for an Answer

I was born with a foot and leg turned around backwards.  I was in a baby cast and had baby PT before I was old enough to feed myself.

My body reminds me of this every few years.

Currently it is reminding me of my physical short comings.

I always knew I had been born like that, but never really thought about it, even when I was plagued with tendonitis in my hips at age 12-15.  I just never let it stop me, it was always something I could get past. I thought, its just growing pains, I’ll find a way to get over it!  Strengthen, stretch, realign, and then I could get back on the soccer field.  There was no way I was going to let my body tell me what I could and could not do.

When I was 25, a few months shy of my wedding my body got angry and did something it had never done before…it rendered me unable to walk upright.  I was out for a nice run before work.  It was sunny spring day and I was enjoying the warm air and flowers when suddenly I felt something let go in my lower back and hips, and front of my pelvis…and I was left to crawl the last mile or so home.  I couldn’t stand in the shower, I couldn’t go to work that week. I finally made an appointment with a back specialist for xrays and an MRI.

The first words out of the specialists mouth were, “how do you feel about swimming?”  He told me I wouldn’t run again, shouldn’t run again, and that what I couldn’t see inside was that my pelvis had formed in a twisted shape and it pulled one leg up into my hip socket and the pounding was tearing the front of my pelvis apart and he thought if I continued I would crack my own pelvis.  He also mentioned I should really think about bearing children because there was no room in my pelvis for a child…perhaps a C section, but never a normal delivery.

Talk about a deep depression.  I let myself cry for the rest of the day.  The next morning I awoke and decided to find a physical therapist that specialized in the female anatomy, running, and pre and post-natal hip and pelvis realignment. I would run again!  I mean I can’t be the only person out there that has these problems, right?  The closest specialists I found were an hour away, but these women were positive, reassuring, and dismissive of the specialists diagnosis.

I saw them for a year, twice a week at first and less after the first 6 months.  I felt a bit like a guinea pig, they released tendons, realigned ligaments, and even coaxed bones into different places.  They began with my feet, moving the small bones around, then ankles and knees, and worked up my quads and ITB to finally my hip and lower back.  They showed me how to pop my pelvis back into place when it pinched, and different stretches.

I was able to paint again, and run again, I also decided I needed to run a marathon..my only marathon…I ran the 2006 Philly marathon in 3:00; 7 months after I first threw out my back.   I now run 100 mile races…I wonder what that specialist would say if I ever were to go back and tell him he was incorrect.

I think I got a little cocky this past year…thinking I am in control of my body and don’t need a little help readjusting it from time to time.  I have been training too much, and not taking care of myself enough.  It can get frustrating at times, needing to constantly get readjusted, always maintain a strengthening routine, and really think about how I am running…but there are so many people with much greater obstacles in life.

These last few weeks have been a good reminder that I am not invincible, but I am able to overcome my physical limitations with a little perseverance, stubbornness, determination, and some good PT friends!

I don’t write this because I feel bad for myself, it is what it is and everyone has some limitations in their lives.  I write this because I think that hope, and a little bit of stubbornness will get you anywhere you want to go in life, and right now I want to get to the finish line of Cruel Jewel on Saturday!

Don’t take no for an answer!

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3 responses to “Physical Shortcomings, Don’t take no for an Answer

  1. A truly inspirational post for runners with any type of physical limitations! I have one leg longer than the other which makes for one hip to be higher than the other. Balance is a bit off at times but I just don’t think about it much. Your focus on strengthening and learning more about your body and just finding answers is really admirable! Can’t wait to read your Cruel Jewel report ’cause I know you’ll speed to the finish in record time!

    • Thank you Stephanie! You are too kind. That’s kind of one of the things that ends up happening to me, since one side of my pelvis is flat and higher it makes one leg “shorter” when I get really tight..among other things. I am so excited and nervous for this weekend!! I’ll be posting what happens as soon as I’m back to the internet! Take care!

    • Thanks, I am still working on getting my race report up! How are you able to keep your running going? Do you also strength train and stretch to help your hips not get too tight from the imbalance?

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