What Are You Waiting For?

I won’t be so bold as to say, “I’m back!” because I am most definitely not back. Not by any stretch. But I am inching my way, day by day, towards some semblance of being “back”, whatever that will come to mean for me.

I’m not running. I don’t know when I will be and I’m trying (totally failing, btw) not to think about it. I miss being able to release stress with physical activity. Because this surgery wasn’t as invasive and the recovery is shorter, I feel ready to go out and run…

…if only it weren’t for that silly hole in my belly that just won’t close fast enough.


I was in the hospital for 4 days and it was about 2 days longer than I really needed to be there. Luckily, my awesome sister-in-law sent tons of pictures and videos of my sweet baby niece.

Being back on 14N gave me some time to think. I read everyone’s tweets about their long runs, marathons, and fabulous spin/bootcamp classes and wished with all my might that I could be with them.

Hospitals aren’t as glamorous as they look. For example, I had to get my own blowout the night before because they don’t have a salon on site. Hello? This is New York City.

Mostly, though, I wished I could just go home. And then I wished I could run.

When I hear young people say things like, “I’m not a runner” or “I could never run that far” in response to my favorite activity, I want to strangle them.

Yeah, yeah, to each his own and all that but really? You could never? Have you tried?! I want to shake them and tell them to try everything. Every. Single. Thing. Because they have the luxury of being both young and healthy and not taking advantage of that is a crime.

“Youth is wasted on the young.”-George Bernard Shaw

And health is wasted on the healthy.

Let me be your wakeup call. I seem healthy, right? Even after surgery and four days in the hospital.

This was in celebration of peeing, a prerequisite to going home. It’s the little things.

No one in the world would guess that I’m sick, that I can’t do every little thing I want to, that I am missing an entire organ. But I am, and I can’t, and oh boy am I ever.

Don’t waste time being scared that you might fail or not be the best at something. Try. Fight. Fall. RUN. If you don’t crack 4 hours in this year’s marathon, so what? You still RAN A MARATHON. You ran the same number of miles as Meb and Kara, not matter how long it took you.

And you can try again.

Get out there and see the sunrise from a running trail, not a hospital bed.

It’s a nice view and all but I prefer sunrise in my sneakers on the East River running path.

And take me with you. Hear me in your head. You can do this.

Now go out and run.

24 thoughts on “What Are You Waiting For?

  1. Here is to a quick recovery and getting you active again as soon as possible. Thanks for the inspiration and if I don’t reach my NYC goal, I will do my best to focus on the fact that I was still able to complete a marathon because it will still be something that I NEVER thought I could or would do so thanks for reminding me to put things in perspective during the taper crazy times.

  2. I look forward to your posts and always read them. You truly are an inspiration. I hope you can see that sun rise in your trainers soon! Xx

  3. Thiis coming Sunday, when I am at hour 6 of my first half Ironman wondering why – oh why??? – did I sign up for this, I am going to make sure to remember this post! Hope you are feeling well Abby!

  4. This brought tears to my eyes, Abby. You are a beautiful writer and truly an inspiration. I will see you at the finish line!! xo

  5. Abby, you are so inspirational. I hope you recover quickly and get back to running as soon as possible; when I run tomorrow, I’ll remember this post. And keep running.

  6. Thank you so much for this! It is so frustrating when people say to me “I don’t exercise.” I hope that you get better soon so that you can again take advantage of what so many people forget to be grateful for — their good health.

  7. Health is indeed wasted on the healthy. I’m not a runner, yet. Just a walker. It takes a lot of effort to get out and walk. Your words make me want to push a little further. I won’t be a runner for a while yet, but I should get out and enjoy the fall weather more. You’re awesome, and I hope you feel better soon.

  8. my confession:

    This made me cry. Actual tears. For you, for me, for regrets that i have and future regrets that i am scared of having a reason to have. For the things that i can’t do (ie. run) and for the things that i can do but am not doing enough of. I may not have the back of Kara Goucher (or her gorgeous face), but today my back is good enough to let me get up and WALK. and you know what isn’t good for post surgical back pain, herniated discs and a pretty decent looking face? extra weight. I might as well take xanax and develop a taste for scotch, bc it would be an easier way to give up.

    This is a long post and no one wants to hear it, but it feels really good to say it . . . and i think i need to put it out there (instead of keep it in here). Thank you ABBY. you are the peel to my bananas. I have been in a spot not unlike yours twice and i promised never to go back. And yet, here i am. Day after day, not wanting to exercise, not making the time for it. NOT starting my day with it. For me, every day should start with exercise. For me, there is nothing more important than exercise.

    There was nothing worse than being bedridden, and faced with an unwanted epidural, my only option bc it was too late for anything else. All bc i didn’t do what i could do when i could do it? How stupid is that?! I remember too well laying on a couch in tears, and not from the pain (even though the pain was enough to make a grown man cry . . . it was the realization that i maybe could have prevented the situation that was so much worse than the physical pain).

    i could have walked, dieted, done my physical therapy every day, drank less, walked more, walked 3 times a day, walked for 5 hours a day, eaten only grilled chicken and vegetables, allowed myself only 1 glass of wine a month, ended my relationship with candy, walked, bought a treadmill, stretched, walked in the morning, walked after dinner. I would have traded anything to be able to go to the bathroom without help and to walk down the street without a cane. Last time this happened to me, i was 26. If you walk with a cane at 26, people stare. They stare because you are walking with a cane and you are not old as balls. When every step feels like a knife through the hip the last thing you want is attention!! Every time someone looked at me i wanted to crumble right there on the sidewalk and cry about it until i was angry enough to get up and keep going. But i am too proud to cry on the streets.

    Thank you for reminding me of this bad place. THANK YOU.

    2 months ago i moved 4,000 miles away from home to a place where everything is backwards, different, harder and more expensive. Ever since, i have had a really difficult time getting into my groove and developing a daily routine. I weigh 128 lbs, when i should weigh 115, 7 lbs from my safe zone and knocking on a third unwanted epidural’s door. Because yes, believe it or not – for people with a bad back, extra weight is like an extra herniated disc. Every pound is like 10 lbs. It is a stupid and completely preventable reason to have pain.

    I may not be able to run, but i can walk. It is hard to get out there and do it but when i do it’s like an oscar nomination every time. I had surgery when i was 16 and I may not be able to do the things that most people can do, and i may have do to extra things that most people don’t have to do, but it has given me a reason to be healthy, a great story, and a gorgeous 2.5 inch scar on my lower back (which men dig by the way). It is time i start treating this as the blessing that it is. After all It has made me, me.

    Thank you for letting me vent. I feel better and ready and pumped. And now i am going to go do what i can, bc i CAN. What am i waiting for? nothing. I am not going to sit around and wait for my body to break all bc i did too much sitting around.

    Get better Abby, hang in there and keep writing bc we need you xxxxx


    PSS – sorry i wrote a freaking novel on your blog post. I really am sorry.

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