If you’re a normal human being it is most likely that most of your happiness comes from doing things that you love. Doing things such as reading a book, playing soccer, singing on stage, stamping cards or spending time with your friends. Now imagine not being able to do that anymore. A big part of your happiness is taken away and some may say it’s impossible to find that happiness again. Most likely that has happened to you or will happen to you in some way in the future.
This happened to me around 11 months ago when I found out I had to take a break from running. I went to the trainer when she told me that I was not able to run if I wanted to get better made my heart sink. I was on the cross-country team and not being able to run kept me from my teammates and kept me from being able to do one of the things that made me smile the most. Not being able to fully run for 10 months has had its ups and downs but remaining happy through it was sometimes one of the hardest things.
There were days where I would go out and run even when I wasn’t supposed to, and the pain brought tears to my eyes. Mental and physical pain came with trying to run. The fact that I literally couldn’t run broke me. It kept me from being able to run with friends and from getting better. In fact, I was getting worse with my 5k times increasing rather than decreasing leaving me to feel discouraged and dissatisfied with my running.
After going to the doctors a few times and being told to rest again and again with no healing I finally asked if I could go to physical therapy. Finally, the answer of if I could run again was going to be answered and it was. Not only was it that I could run again, but that I could get back to where I was and run with no pain.
After being at PT for around two months, my PT Kevin said I could start running for 7 minutes to 10 to 20 to 30… I finally am making it without pain. It feels like I have hope. After talking to my PT, running across America became possible too. Being able to go to an 8-minute mile in a few weeks has become a topic of discussion and my goals of being faster are becoming a slow reality.
After hearing this you might wonder how on earth do you stay happy through this? How do you stay happy not doing something you love and being discouraged through it? One of the biggest things I learned is that there is so much in life that can make you happy. Not just one thing will create your entire happiness. There are other things to try and there is a way to do that thing that you can’t. For me it took time, for others it could be a similar activity even though it isn’t the exact same thing.
When I ran when I wasn’t supposed to, it hurt, but when I waited it didn’t hurt anymore. I felt progress and that progress (although it wasn’t specifically running) brought happiness. When you’re unable to do the thing that you love it seems like it’s hard to have happiness but surrounding yourself with the right people and allowing yourself to work towards it again or something similar will give you happiness. Happiness comes in all types of ways and to find it, you need to accept it when it comes. The same happiness might not come when you change your activity slightly, but happiness will come, and you can smile through it. Let yourself smile, let yourself be happy. It is okay to not do what you thought would be the same thing that makes you happy forever.
Progress will bring a smile if you remember what is right around the corner. Being with people who care about you and encourage you to do what is best will help you forget about what you are not doing. If anything, just remember to be grateful it happened and not sad that its over or on pause.