For the last 7 years my athletic identity has been as a runner. Within the last couple years I finally decided to take my running seriously, with last year being my most dedicated year yet. Covid cancelled most of my races, but I maintained motivation by chasing FKTs and setting challenges for myself.
I first started with a challenge to run 81 miles in a week to take the place of my 81 mile race that was cancelled. Some months later I tackled my first ever 100 mile week and not long after that I captured my first FKT. Heading into October, I was looking to push myself to run 250 miles for the month. I had been averaging 40-50 miles a week at that point and felt great so the notion of adding another 12 miles didn’t sound so bad.
Well, October came and went and I made it to 250 miles, but along the way I developed some back pain and spasms. Foolishly I had ignored the warning signs and was stubborn enough to run through the pain.
Since December 1st I have run almost 51 miles. Aside from being great physical exercise, running has always been my place to decompress and work things out inside of my head. With running disappearing from my life I was feeling a bit lost. Luckily I was able to get new health insurance from Covered California which allowed me to finally go see a physical therapist. Turns out that I’ve got weak cheeks.
In addition to added attention to my derrière, I started cycling more and added kettlebell training into the mix. Cycling has been awesome and I’ll have to write a separate post for Peloton cause this is already getting long. (Typical Jesse story.) Kettlebells have probably been my favorite new addition because they’re not something that I’ve used often even back in my collegiate rugby days. I’ll write my love letter to kettlebells soon and hopefully inspire you to give them a shot!
All of this is to say that I was faced with some adversity in regards to my known athletic identity and took it as an opportunity to expand my repertoire. I’m slowly returning to running and hopefully I can soon recapture my Griffith Park FKT that was broken. I encourage you to search for the positives that can be found amongst the adversity. You grow through what you go through and I know you are strong and capable.