Three months ago today I was lying in hospital recovering from major surgery on my right leg.
After being diagnosed with a rare artery entrapment syndrome, I had muscle and fibrous tissue removed from my calf muscles so blood could flow freely to my feet.
I was bandaged from thigh to toe.
I couldn’t get out of bed to go to the toilet or have a shower.
But this morning (drumroll please) I went for a walk/jog.
2.5minutes walking, 2.5 minutes jogging, for 30 minutes.
Hardly a marathon, but a massive achievement for me nonetheless.
It’s taken three months of very slow progress to get to this point.
Three long months of physio and rehab, daily stretches and strengthening, all in a bid to learn to walk and, eventually, run again.
Three months of frustration and pain.
Three months of telling myself, ‘hey, you got this’.
Three months of pushing on.
And here I am – making progress.
Slow, but amazing, progress.
As someone who has been a runner for more than 15 years, to be so overjoyed at running for just a few minutes feels strange.
But the experience I’ve gone through has redefined what progress means to me.
Like anything, you have to learn to walk before you can run. To use a walking frame before crutches.
Each day I looked for the tiniest signs of progress and I clung to it. It kept me going.
In times like this that’s all we can do. When it all gets too much, just focus on the progress.
And that’s what I’m doing.
Frustratingly, I need to have the same operation on my left leg.
But the last three months has filled me with hope that I can make it through the same ordeal.
This time I’ll be stronger with a new perspective on what it means to recover, improve, move forward, and progress.