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Managing Gracefully: A Dimity Update in Five Pictures

I got bitten by a dog while on a run in Phoenix on spring break. I was engrossed in the craziness that is the STown podcast and came up on the dog and its owner on a sidewalk. I didn't say "on your left" or give them any indication I was behind them. Not super smart on my part but it was also the most aggressive dog I've ever encountered.

It mostly bit my palm, and when I looked down immedately after the bite, I didn't see any broken skin. I was quickly in tears and my cheeks were red. I was so taken aback that I wasn't able to think clearly. All I wanted to do was get away from the snarling dog. The owner asked me if I was okay a few times. I mumbled, "I'm fine," and just got away from there. Probably not the bravest thing ever.

When I got further away I pulled back my long sleeve and realized the bite broke my skin. I debated about a rabies shot but just didn't. (And no, I didn't ask the owner if it was vaccinated.)

I wish that were the worst thing I could say about my running right now but that hamstring/glute pull/strain in mid-October while I was trying to dial up my speed a bit for the Philly Half Marathon has not healed yet.

My DIY accountability chart for PT. (Here's a secret: it works! I love checking boxes!)

 

I had been super diligent (read: 30 minutes a day, 6-7 days a week) about my PT for six weeks straight (truly!) and my pain was minimal. I was on vacation and I felt good, so I tried to run. Just 20 easy, easy minutes.

The run itself—at least as far as my leg goes—wasn't that bad but the aftermath? Let's just say the dog bite was less concerning.

Upon returning home to Denver, I knew I had to dig into the work I'd needed for months. The kind of work that is harder for me than one-legged glute bridges.

The work I need is sitting still and reflecting. To make it accessible, I do 3 x 10 minutes -- and yes, it's a workout! I start with 10 minutes of Headspace, a totally accessible and amazing meditation app; then I move onto 10 minutes of It's Easier Than You Think by Sylvia Boorstein, a Buddhist and meditation teacher, who taught at a retreat I attended last November; then I take 10 minutes to write down notes about what I read and a few things for which I am grateful.

I've only done this for eight days (nine, if you're counting today, Tuesday), but I can feel a difference, mostly at the end of my day. When my leg is aching as I navigate rush-hour band carpool and wonder if we have frozen tortellini I can boil in <10 minutes for my kids who are sooooo hungry but refuse the apple I offer them, I feel a touch quieter. Not as snappy, not as woe-is-me. It's noticeable, and it's enough to keep me coming back for more 3 x 10 minute sesions.

One of Sylvia's phrases that continually sticks in my head through my day (and through the cluster that is my meditation practice) is managing gracefully. I love its sophistication, its implication that life isn't always awesome, but it can be handled with ease. To manage gracefully: my worthy, daily goal. (Along with planks, TVA marches, and nerve glides.)

Just because I'm not running doesn't mean I'm not actively participating in other aspects of our beloved sport. 

I was recently a guest on Jay Johnson's Run Faster Podcast, and we chatted about everything from the importance of clamshells (and how dispiriting it can be to do them while you see the dust bunnies under your couch) to single parenting—Jay is a divorced father of two kids— and fitting it in. Worth a listen on an upcoming run.

And I am a featured guest at the Runner's World Women's Getaway in Beaver Creek, CO on May 18-21. The line-up is spectacular: it includes world-class marathoner Shalane Flanagan, and whole-foods chef Elyse Kopecky (Run Fast! Eat Slow! Can't wait to hear all they have to say!), as well as RW editors Tish Hamilton, Meghan Grace, and Erin Strout. I promise you, the trails in Beaver Creek are ah-mah-zing, and the whole getaway will follow suit. I may not be ready to run by then but I can hike like a mother. I can laugh and chat. I can talk running for hours. I can demonstrate PT moves like a pro. And I can manage gracefully.

I'd love a strong #BAMR crowd there so check it out.

What's going on with you these days? Any dog bites? Any other situations you are, naturally, managing gracefully?

22 responses to “Managing Gracefully: A Dimity Update in Five Pictures

  1. I ❤ reading your posts, Dimity… u r always expressing some similar feeling that I am having. I just got back adrenal cortisol testing– guess what, my levels are through the roof! Could it be that I have been injured for the better portion of the last two years and did not have my go-to stress relief if running? And of course, the 10 lbs I have put on is not making getting back into the running realm any easier! Aaah!- a vicious circle. Glad to see u r working through it, Dimity; I will take some of your cues. Thank u so much for your honesty ❤❤

  2. Thank you, Dimity! I shared your post with two friends. We’re struggling with the recent political changes and choices, and I think the three of us need to take some time to be mindful. I appreciate you!

  3. I love this post. Sylvia Boorstein is on my bedside table and my go-to when the midnight – 2am willies strike. What a wise woman. Headspace is good too – although do you like his voice? I really struggle with it. And journaling. I feel – once again – that you’re telling me something I need to be paying more attention to. However – the dog bite! Damn! Are you okay? I got bitten by a dog years ago while out on a run (while I was hodling the owner’s other dog on a lead for him to put a lead on the one that ended up biting me – ironically) and I was in similar shock! Sadly can’t come out to CO but looking forward to meeting up at Twin Cities later this year!

  4. Oh, meditation…I know what I need most is quiet and “headspace”, but it never seems to stick. I was faithful with the headspace app through a few weeks once, but have fallen out of the habit. I’ve also been lax with my own physical therapy since I’ve been able to run a little again. Thank you for reminders!

  5. Hi Dimity! Good to read an update from you. I wish I could go on the retreat–it sounds wonderful, running or no running–enjoy–you’ve earned it. I too am dealing with a high hamstring/glute issue that will probably end my hopes of doing my hometown marathon on Labor Day. I like your PT chart and will create something similar for my dispiriting PT exercises. And like you I’m doing a mindfulness program (mine is through work). I’ve even gotten my kids to meditate with me–my son likes it; my daughter just giggles the whole time, so she’s been kicked out. 🙂 Managing gracefully…ain’t it the truth? Or in my case, managing gracefully…sometimes.

  6. Phew, you had some spring break. Dog bites, broken dishwashers, cut-off electricity. You deserve the rest and relaxation at a spa for certain!

    I wish I could go; my son’s bar mitzvah is that same weekend.

    Love and light..

  7. I love this post! I too am on the injured mother runner list. I severely fractured my ankle in March and have a long way to go until running will be a regular routine again. I’ve started doing some similar things to try and keep it all in perspective. I love The Headspace app!

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