by Lynn Kendall
"...If you do what they tell you in physical therapy, and work hard, you should be able to walk pretty well."
"I treated a girl with almost the same injury a few years ago and I saw her recently. When she walked by, I could barely detect a limp. You'll never run a Marathon, but you should be able to live a normal life."
It was about 7 years after the accident before I first tried to run. In my mind, there was probably nothing more pathetic looking than an out of shape man with a limp, trying to run around the block in a pair of cross trainers. Every now and then, I'd "go out for another run". I remember the first time I was able to run half a block. I was really excited and proud, but it really took a toll on my leg and even though I've never been a smoker, I was gasping for air like I just finished a pack.
As time went on, I learned to pad my shoe to accommodate for the length difference (the damage to my right leg left it ¾" shorter than the left) and if I padded it a certain way, I also found it could help accommodate for the flexibility that I had lost in my ankle.
I soon learned that training for a Marathon is really hard painful work. But I also learned that runners by and large are some of the nicest people on the planet. I couldn't have made it through the training without the support and guidance of this group of experienced marathoners that were willing to take me under their wing. I will be forever grateful. They taught me that a runner sees all other runners as friends and winners just by the fact that we are all out there on the road together.