“Writing is so difficult that I often feel that writers, having had their hell on earth, will escape all punishment hereafter.” – Jessamyn West
It is human nature to be comfortable with the familiar, the routine. The unknown creates unsettledness and fear. When I slipped on the ice in December and injured my hip, I initially thought I’d pulled my groin and didn’t consider it a big deal. As time went on—six weeks, two months and now three months—the prospect of never running again became real. A consequence of the injury was that it crippled my other passion—writing. I am a writer by profession and a lifelong runner, and now I grapple with life on the other side of what is familiar and comfortable.
I’m learning that self-awareness and perspective are effective in healing and rebuilding. For instance, a hip injury from a fall is not the same as stepping on a land mine in a war zone and losing both legs, nor is writer’s block as paralyzing as watching a loved one suffer a serious illness. In fact, people overcome more drastic adversities than my own every day and come out stronger and live more productive lives than before the events occurred. What I’m saying to myself now is–Okay, knucklehead, you screwed up. Get over it!
I may have been delusional thinking that I’d run forever, or at least into my nineties. If my plan is cut short, should I go lock myself into a closet for the remainder of my days or get back up, dust myself off and move on? In my former life I managed organizations that went through downsizings and reorganizations, and those who were the most stressed, even paralyzed, were the people who were most resistant to change. The one constant in life is change. You either adapt or flounder, and the sooner you learn to accept and adjust, let the daylight through the clouds, and look at other options, the sooner life begins to improve.
This is the longest I’ve gone between updating this blog since I created it over two years ago. Before the injury, I was writing something every day. This is the first substantive thing I’ve written in three weeks, and guess what? It is cathartic. This post is the first step to recovering my writing and intellectual life, and therefore kick starting the other areas of my life as well. What is even more satisfying is that I am able to share it with almost 250 followers and thousands of readers. So thank you!
I’m not certain at this point how I will progress from here, either with my physical activities or my writing. I do know that I will continue to write and be active–that is my nature. I’m waiting for the snow to clear and eager for the cycling season to begin. In the near-term I’ll continue to search for an agent or publisher for my short story collection about the working class, and plan to offer at least one story on my website Writings by Jim Brennan. I may use my writing blog Rite2Scribe or travel blog at Rite2Wander as platforms, but again I’m undecided. Regardless, Rite2Run is near and dear to my heart and I will always link my work it, hoping you will come along for the journey.