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  • Writer's pictureMandy

Competing in the hardest race ever.....the race to heal

I am now almost 3 1/2 weeks post foot surgery and let me tell you, it feels like it has been three YEARS! Going from someone that didn't go without some sort of physical activity every day to someone who can't do any of the activities she loves to do is really HARD! I know I am not the only person who has been through this and that is exactly why I need to share. Almost every person I come in contact with that knows I have had surgery instantly asks me how I am and how my foot is. And each time I try to come up with some funny comeback. "It's still broken!" "It's hanging in there!" "It could be worse!" Because it would be too painful to tell everyone the absolute truth.....IT SUCKS and I am struggling hard! It sucks that I can't roll out of bed, jump up and drive to the YMCA to swim. It sucks that I can't put on my trail running shoes and hit the trails for an afternoon of enchantment in the woods. It sucks that I can't drive myself, the store, a friend's where!

It sucks that I can't take a shower by myself. Someone has to be there to be sure I don't fall. I have ALWAYS been an independent person who never really wanted to ask for help from anyone. I wanted to prove to not only myself but to everyone else that I was in control of my life and that I could do it all on my own. I didn't need help from anyone and was determined I would make it through life never depending on anyone. I would show everyone with every race finish and crazy activity that I could do it all on my own. I would finish those races and prove to everyone that I could do it! Well, this race I am in right now called recovery is hard AF!

Yesterday morning was a particularly hard morning for me as Bill and I got ready to head over to Lanesboro, MN for Bill to ride in the Filthy50 gravel bike race. I was also signed up for this event and it really hit me hard that I didn't get to be out there with Bill and Kristen and others, covering a crazy course and enjoying every minute of it. I wanted soooooo badly to be riding. And it was a sucker punch to the gut that instead, all I could do was cheer on the sidelines. On a morning when Bill should have been focusing on his race, instead he had to deal with his crying, super frustrated wife. I felt it was unfair of me to feel this way and I felt like crap making him worry about me. And then it hits me that what I have felt the most since this surgery has been none other than guilt.

I have felt guilty that Bill has had to take off so much work to drive me to this appointment and that appointment...because I can't drive. I have felt guilty that he has had to stand there in the bathroom to make sure I don't fall in the shower. I have felt guilty basically for just about everything during this recovery. I feel like a burden. And it f'ing sucks! In my mind, I know that Bill and anyone else that might have to do something for me is more than willing to do so. In fact, many have offered to do all sorts of things for me. But accepting help is hard AF for me and it makes me feel guilty to have to do so and makes me feel like a burden.

So how does one get past this? How do I make myself accept the help without these feelings of guilt? How does one not feel like a burden when asking for help? I don't have a flipping clue! And that makes me feel even worse. It is a vicious cycle that I am unsure how to break out of. How does one push on and let oneself heal both physically and mentally? I want to be able to finish this blog up by telling you I have it all figured out. That I am moving forward guilt-free and feeling positive about my recovery. But I am not going to lie. I can't say that at all. People say to take it day by day and that is all I can do at this point. Some days are good. Some days are fine. Some days...a lot of days suck! That is my truth. No BS. No sugarcoating anything. This race to recovery is hard. Harder than any race I have competed in before....ever! But I am determined to cross the distant finish line because there is no option to DNF this race!

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