This I Believe

Ashley - Columbus, Ohio
Entered on November 29, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

“This I Believe”

When is enough, enough? I think enough is when the bad out ways the good and a relationship falls apart. When the consequences of sustaining a relationship become more than any one person can bare, something usually gives way and it’s often the ties that bind. I myself experienced exactly that just a short time ago.

I was a runner for eight years, a long relationship in my mind. In the beginning everything was great, like any other new relationship. I had no pain, but that of sore muscles; however, I have two six inch rods connected to my spine preventing me from pushing my body past a certain limit. It was something that I tried to keep a secret in order to prevent special treatment.

In later years I became a top runner and my rods still didn’t bother me a great deal. In fact I didn’t have much pain at all. I believed that I could compete against other top runners in those days because I felt like I had no limitations. Running gave me peace and brought me clarity. I refused to admit to myself that I had limitations even though I knew in the back of my mind that those metal rods were still there.

Less than a year ago I started to develop hip and back pain, so I went to my orthopedic doctor. Something I had done many times in the past in order to train properly with my metal rods. My doctor told me that because of the physical stress of running I had developed arthritis in my lower back and since my bones are not aligned it was wreaking havoc on my athletic ability. I was told that if I did not stop running I would have chronic arthritis before I was in my mid twenties.

The more I ran the more pain I was in. It got so bad that I would just lie in my bed in tears. The day finally came where I decided that enough was enough and I no longer wanted to be in pain. I told myself that I could no longer do it. Even though I stopped running, I was still in tears because I gave up something very important to me. It was a sacrifice I had to make for the sake of my health and my future.

When is enough, enough? When long term physical damage and the present physical pain overwhelmed my every thought; running was no longer the desired relationship that I once coveted. I felt like I lost a close companion to circumstances beyond my control.