Finding the line between Strong and Stupid

Two weeks ago, I found myself at a 5k only 13 days post fractured ankle.  A few of my running friends made comments about how “tough” and “strong” I was for getting back img_3319to running so quickly.  However, almost all of my non-running friends told me, “I needed to be careful” or “Are you crazy?! You’ll never heal if you don’t take time off.”  I laughed off most of those comments and, much to the dismay of my parents, laced up my ankle brace and limped to the starting line; and somehow managed to hobble my way to second place in my division.

As I was running completing that race, I spent most of the time thinking about how stupid I was for trying to do a 5k so soon after my injury.  One side of my brain told me I was being strong and that I wasn’t going to let an itty bitty hairline fracture keep me from doing what I love.  I spent enough time on the sidelines of races last year to last me a lifetime!  The other side of my brain (the rational side) told me I was being STUPID and I shouldn’t be limping my way through 3.1 miles.  This internal dialogue happens anytime I set my sights on a big goal (hello big, scary Ironman that is waiting for me next year) or when I am pushing my physical limits. This past weekend I ran a Spartan Super on Saturday (strong) and then a 5k on Sunday (stupid considering my ankle still isn’t 100%).

I think that sometimes our best qualities are often a gateway into our worst.  My strong sense of determination and perseverance opens the door for stubbornness.  If you ask those closest to me they will all say that arguing with me is futile because I refuse to give in (even when I know I’m wrong). Finding the line between being strong and being stupid isn’t one that I have mastered yet, and I probably won’t until after I complete a full Ironman next year. Besides, there has to be a lot of strong and an ounce of stupid in every person who decides doing 140.6 miles in one day is a good idea.

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