Today my catastrophic fantasy came through. The sports doctor said, “No running. Use the cardio machines at the gym that will not put any pressure on your foot – the bike, the stairmaster and the elliptical. Mix it up, use all three in a session, say 10 minutes each. Start each session with a different machine and use them in different order.” After that speech, he scheduled an MRI for my tibia.
I have had a nagging pain in my foot every time that I start a run. It usually disappears after 10 minutes or less and I complete the run in comfort. At the end of the run the pain returns and I ice it away. In the last two weeks the pain has been more intense and this weekend it stopped me from running.
I understood from the doctor, that because both my glutes and the muscles that control my big toes are weak, my tibia has been overworking when I run. As a result my tibia has become stressed and sore.
As I reflected on how my body compensated for weaker areas by overworking others, I thought about the times when I overcompensated for the lack in others and like my tibia I ended up needing special care. These were times when I dumbed down so that others could follow, the times when I took care of grown adults who seemed not to have a clue, the times that I accepted less than I deserved, or pretended to be less than I am.
Whenever I carried more than my fair share of the weight, the result was unwanted stress. It took years for me to understand that it’s not my responsibility, that I cannot help others, and that when I dishonor myself and show up as less than I am I will always be left holding the short, shitty end of the stick. It took some time for me to find the balance and to know that relationships (of any sort) do not work for me when they are lopsided. The balance, though shifting, can only be maintained by the efforts of all involved.
Amazingly this is exactly what I will be learning to do for my unbalanced body over the next few months. I will be strengthening the weak parts so that they can pull their weight and give the tibia a break. I am quick to acknowledge the difference between my body and my relationships. While I am in control of my body, I accept and remind myself daily that I am not in control of others. Whenever I think that I am overcompensating I set and share a boundary. If there is no change in the situation then I gently extricate myself.
Where in your life are you overcompensating? How does it make you feel?