The New Normal: The Injury Series 2.0

When An Injury Becomes a Part of Life

how many ways can I work on my injuries at one time?
Neck warmer in place. Check. Yoga ball. Check. Golf ball under foot. Check. Working on my novel. Check.

How are all these things helping me? Writing is my life's passion, so I'm thrilled to be writing at any given moment. The heat on my neck helps ease the discomfort from the disc degeneration in my cervical spine--the root cause of my thoracic back pain. The yoga ball helps me work on my core (which is weak and possibly contributing to both injuries). The golf ball is for my heel pain. Is it a nerve? Is it plantar fasciitis? Is it some other tendon? A cyst? All of the above? It's difficult to say. I'm currently receiving treatment from CORA Physical Therapy. Slowly but surely, it's getting a little better.

When dealing with multiple injuries, multitasking is not always an option. Sometimes the nature of the injuries force you to slow things down, take them one at a time.

Honestly, I think that's part of the message I'm meant to receive in the midst of of all this:


Take a breath. Rest.

And I have to an extent. But I'm also tired of resting. Sometimes my back pain required that I lay flat with no other distractions. That's really challenging for me. I like multitasking, so laying flat on my back is not productive. Except that's a myth. If I'm healing, that's being productive.

How Long is This Going to Take?

It's been 3 1/2 months since my first ER visit for back pain. I had NO IDEA it would take so long just to feel almost normal again. The picture at the top (me at the computer) actually demonstrates how far I've come. Until a few weeks ago, I couldn't sit in one position for more than an hour or so without discomfort. I discovered the disc degeneration in my neck has no real solution. It's part of getting older, but mine is farther along than normal for my age. Keeping my back muscles strong will help prevent further degeneration from happening too quickly.

Then there's the heel pain. After much reflection, I recognized that it didn't "suddenly" pop up in September. For about two years now, I've woken up with heel pain first thing in the morning, but then it never bothered me any other time.


Which was not wise. Because the back pain was extreme, and the heel pain was mild to moderate, my back took precedence. Now I've been able to focus on the heel pain in PT. At home, I continue my exercises for both the back and the heel.

It's About the Journey

When I pray for healing, I know God is quite capable of making all the pain go away. And I've told Jesus that it would be great if that's God's will. My answer has been quite clear: it's not. This journey through pain has a purpose. And one of the things I'm learning is patience.

Another lesson I'm learning is the necessity of strengthening, foam rolling, and stretching. I recently wrote a BLOG for St. Pete Running Company about the stretches I now do daily (among other exercises). Karen Gonzalez, a PT who specializes in Ki-Hara, has done stretching classes at the store. Those moves along with foam rolling and exercises I learned from Premier Physical Therapy, CORA, and Podiatrist Brian Fullem form my new daily routine.


But I became a bit of a slacker who just ran long miles without taking care of the body that did the running. Stretching/Strengthening is not only key for runners, but for any type of athletes, including walkers.

Embracing This Place

I've had many conversation with my runner friends about where I'm at right now, and I'm not alone. A lot of my friends are dealing with or have recently dealt with injuries.

One question that sticks with me is this: When did anything less than 13.1 miles become insufficient for me as a runner?

I've been doing half marathon after half marathon, and sometimes marathon after marathon, for years now. Only when my foot cried out for me to take a break (shortly followed by my back), did the half marathon training reduce to 1-2 miles, at most 3 at a time.


That is an incredible gift. My brief period of no running only lasted about a month because of my back. My foot has slowed me down and decreased my distance. But I'm still able to walk and run on a regular basis.

I'm still healing. I'm still moving. Which is all I really need.


  1. Excellent post! I reread it today as a reminder not to feel so down about my own injuries. I am definitely the rabbit! The minute I start feeling a little better, I go about normal daily activities and WHAM, the pain is back. Patience is a hard lesson to learn but important nonetheless. Keep up the good work Bria! Healing is in your future.

    1. Thanks, sweet Hea! I've had so much less to deal with than you have, so I can only sympathize with years spent coping with pain. You're a strong, amazing woman!


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