grow tall and strong and proud

On Sunday afternoon, we loaded up our car and headed to Norman, OK to walk a small trail. My knee was throbbing for some reason, so my mother-in-law joined us and handled one of our dogs while my husband handled the other dog.

Walking the trail was beautiful. I needed the chance to get outside and move. I was able to just enjoy activity and movement instead of focusing solely on hitting a certain number of calories burned as I so often do when I put in my twenty or thirty minutes on the elliptical.

The hardest part of the trail, for me, was not holding onto a leash for the majority of the walk. I so easily get nervous when walking our dogs that I lock my knees. And I worry about every bump in the road, every tug on the leash, every jerk the dogs make.

And I didn't run. I watched my husband, my mother-in-law, and my two dogs run on ahead of me while I stayed back and walked. I thought about running, but I was afraid - even without a dog's leash to trip over.

So much of my weight loss has been hindered by fear. Fear of success. Fear of failure. Fear of what weight loss will change in my life. And fear of running.

It seems as thought much of my life has been spent recognizing and dealing with bad knees. I had my first knee surgery in junior high, and then the summer before my freshman year of college, I had a second knee surgery. Both my knees are bad. Both my knees have been operated on. And both my knees aren't quite as strong as they should be.

I so badly want to run. And I've spent some time running on the treadmill and a bit of time running during my several 5k's, but I have not committed to the sport out of fear. Every so often, when I'm running, I will feel my knee cap move and almost give out. That didn't happen today, but my entire knee has been throbbing almost all day.

Getting rid of the excess weight can only help. And concentrating on walking more, getting accustomed to uneven terrains, can only help as well.

I think I also need to let go of the fear. I just don't quite know how to.

I've tried the Couch to 5K program, but I never make it through the whole program. It seems just impossible to run for that long with these knees of mine. I honestly worry that my body is not capable of sustaining a long run though I truly want to be able to call myself a runner.

I'm not sure what the future holds with running. I don't know if I'll ever be able to run a half-marathon or a 10K or even a 5K. But I do know that - somehow - I have to move on from my fear and learn to trust my body and my knees. I'm just not sure how.

(title from "sort of" by ingrid michaelson)

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