by Christine Pitts

I always stress the importance of self-care. As a graduate student for almost two years I have mastered the art of self-care. Or at least I thought I had. My number one form of self-care is running. I began running during my undergraduate time. What started a stress reliever stuck with me and I never looked back. I progressed from walking, to jogging/walking, to eventually running distance. The relief I felt after running was unlike anything I had ever experienced. The runner’s high is alive and real, people!

During the first few months of running I hurt my left leg. I felt a something tare when I was pushing through my last mile. I went home, iced it and had a nurse practitioner look at it. She told me it was shin splits and to ice it and rest it. So I did. I used the elliptical for a while and iced it. However, ever since then I felt like it was never the same.

Last year, I began running more frequently because of the stress of school. My leg started to bother me again, but I would just ice it and deal with it. The relief from running was worth the swollen ankle. I currently work at a gym part-time and one of the trainers noticed me icing my leg one day. He asked me what was wrong and I gave him the story. He took one look at it and told me to see an orthopedic – “it could be a stress fracture,” he told me. I googled stress fractures and freaked myself out. I made an appointment ASAP.

I walked into the doctor’s office expecting the worst – I would need a boot, or worse surgery. The doctor took one look at my x-rays and saw absolutely nothing wrong in my bones. He checked out my leg – “Posterior Tibial Tendonitis. No running for at least 2 weeks and physically therapy for 6 weeks” he said. This doesn’t sound too bad in comparison.

I started physical therapy (PT) this week. I did not expect it to be so challenging. My ankle/leg has been swollen for so long I didn’t even notice. I did PT for two days in a row and honestly if someone had touched my leg last night I would have screamed I was in so much pain. I hadn’t realized the damage I was causing my body by not simply resting.

Through this experience I learned the importance of listening to your body, resting when you need it and switching up your workouts as to not exert too much stress on one area of the body. I am praying that all goes well with the PT and I don’t need anything additional. After yesterdays pain, I am a little weary, but as they say “it always gets worse before it gets better”

Student Affairs - the First Years

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