As I chronicle my recovery from Achilles Surgery along with my quest to get in the proper shape to run another marathon, I am pleased to report that I am making great progress.
That’s the word. Progress.
Two steps forward.
I am hoping there are no steps backward as I continue to build strength in my comeback to running following Achilles surgery in January. I will hopefully get strong enough to run the New York City Marathon in November.
A few thoughts on all of this before I share the updates on my progress.
I have told this story before, but it is one I love to tell. It needs telling, as well.
Especially in these times.
One of the most wonderful ministers of all-time, a pastor who preached from the heart, made church interesting, and even made God accessible, had moved on from our church.
There was an emptiness. I felt it deeply. The minister who had left was a man I admired greatly. I was thrilled that he had been the man who married my wife and I. We all missed him greatly…
Twelve weeks ago I arrived at the surgery center, walking in, knowing that I wouldn’t be walking out, and, in fact, that I wouldn’t be walking at all for quite some time.
When I checked into the surgery center, I told the receptionist that I was there to begin my training for the 2020 New York City Marathon. She smiled and said, “You must be Mr. Semendinger.”
Indeed I am.
I hobbled out of the surgery center on crutches my foot wrapped and in a heavy boot. The surgery was a success.
I woke up yesterday and enjoyed walking around my house doing tasks that I knew I wouldn’t get to do again for a number of weeks.
These tasks including exciting things like walking up and down the stairs, opening the refrigerator and grabbing items, standing at my computer, and taking a shower… things like that. Simple things. Things we often take for granted.
The Beatles song Hey Jude was in my head as I prepared to write my Weekly Memo to the teachers at the school where I serve as the principal.
As I started humming the melody and quietly singing that song to myself, I quickly realized that there is a great deal within the lyrics that delivers an important message. I quickly scrapped the original idea I had for the memo and began writing about this epic Beatles tune…
Let’s take a quick look at the messages that I took from one of the Beatles’ most famous songs:
Hey Jude, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better…
If that’s not one of the biggest lessons in life, I don’t know what is.
The message here is simple – Don’t make it bad. Just don’t. The world, life itself, is often filled with bad things, hurtful things, sad things… Each day (and sometimes it really is each day) we’re faced with things that upset us, things that hurt us, things that frustrate and annoy us. That’s life. It is what it is. Continue reading “Hey, It’s About YOU!”
Today I bit off way more than I could chew.
I was fortunate, all three of my sons were home to celebrate a birthday, and two of them, Ryan and Ethan, are training for some upcoming long races. Because of that, they were both willing to slog along on a twelve mile “run” with me.
Our goal was to complete the entire Saddle River Bike Path, from Ridgewood to Rochelle Park, and then back again…a twelve mile jaunt.
It had been over a month since I last pitched.
On June 23, I enjoyed pitching against Jersey City. Then, on June 25, I had my first visit with an orthopedist who did as I feared he would… he shut me down.
On June 25, my baseball season ended. On June 25, my softball seasons ended. And, on June 25, my hopes for running the 2019 New York City Marathon also ended.
The orthopedist looked at my swollen right ankle, the MRI that showed tears in the Achilles tendon, and his own X-Rays. He said, “This isn’t good, Paul.” The word “surgery” came up, but he also said, “I’m not ready to go there yet.” I think the thing that made him shut me down totally was when I could perform a simple exercise in his office – standing on just my right foot and going to “tippy toes.” When I couldn’t do that, it cinched the deal.
I was given a night brace, an anti-inflammatory prescription, and little hope.
I left the office with the brace, a discouraged countenance, and a follow-up appointment.
But all of that is old news.
This is the story I didn’t want to write…
Two days after I pitched on June 23, I had my first appointment with the orthopedist. This doctor is very well known and very respected. He took X-Rays, put me through a battery of small tests, he examined my legs, took careful note of my right Achilles, and, after all of that, said that my baseball season, my softball season, and my running season are all over.
I knew this was coming.
We all knew this was coming.
I just didn’t want to hear it.
I still don’t.