I heard this phrase from Joel Osteen, “A setback is a setup for a comeback.” I’m not sure who really originated it, but I like the play on words. I also see it playing out in my life right now. For those of you following me on my marathon training progress, I suffered a minor setback last week. 7 miles into my first 23-mile run, I started to feel the pain of a ligament strain in my right knee.
I tried to power through it, thinking (hoping) it might go away. It just got worse. It was one of those “when to stop” moments and I needed to listen to my body and my own advice. To protect the knee from further damage, I ended up walking all the way home very slowly. I could not bend my leg too much or put my full weight on it.
I had a long time to think, “Maybe I shouldn’t have tried those new stretches. This is just great… 5 weeks before the marathon and I get my first injury.” But on second thought, “You know… it could be a lot worse. It could be 2 weeks before the marathon with no time to heal!”
Now it is one week later and I have not run at all. I’m going to continue to take it easy as I get back into running form. This messes up my plan to work up to 26 miles before the marathon. I’ll be going into the real race knowing for sure that I can do 20 miles – but what’s going to happen in the last 6?
Once again, I should listen to my own advice. When I started this journey I wrote a piece about Faith; about how it’s not easy, but sometimes it’s all you’ve got. The catalyst for this fundraising marathon, my brother Jeff, is slowly recovering from chemo and day by day gaining back his strength. He’ll find out in January if they eradicated all the Myeloma with the final harsh treatment. He’s operating on faith now, and I’m going to draw strength in parallel from his tenacity.
I will finish the marathon no matter what, because I want to symbolically show Jeff that I am beside him in his battle. I may run across the finish line, or I may limp across, but I WILL cross it. And I look forward to the day when both of us can look back… and celebrate our comebacks.