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  • Laura Robb

The Injured Bench

We’ve all the seen the devoted athlete on the side lines of a team sport using crutches, an arm in a cast or wearing a knee brace cheering for his team. That athlete personifies the epitome of what an athlete should be. Cheering others on while not being able to participate is a skill not all of us possess. In the sport of running, you’ll find injured runners volunteering at races, handing out waters or medals and cheering others on. It’s a small part of the sport that most runners don’t like to talk about because no one wants to be sidelined.

Recently I’ve been sitting on the injured bench. I wish I could say that I’ve been sitting on the bench with grace, but I haven’t. Sad and discouraged, my pity parties have been epic. I’ve eaten too much, I’ve indulged in too many glasses of wine and my mind has gone to the dark crevices of despair. What if I don’t heal? What if I never run again? The questions have been endless and all consuming.

Last weekend, despite having a whisper of knee pain, I threw caution to the wind and ran another full marathon, three weeks after my last marathon. All because I thought my stubbornness and determination would shave those six minutes off.

But when we don’t listen to whispers, they turn to screams. And boy did my knee scream. Along with my back, feet and calf. Instead of shaving six minutes off, I added fifteen minutes and a spot on the injured bench.

Many of my fellow MS’ers sit on the sidelines, dealing with disabilities, waiting and hoping to get back into the game. Instead of sitting in despair, many of them cheer others on, including me. The messages that many of you have sent with your donations humble me. We are all in this together, through applying for HSCT, fundraising for HSCT, the chemo, the hair loss and the roller coaster of recovery. Through every stage of HSCT, there is one goal in mind, get back into the game.

So while I may have missed the last eight days of training for the London Marathon, I’m a stronger person for it. Thankfully I’ll be running again soon. My training will resume along with a better attitude. Through good miles, bad miles, injured miles and pity parties, your messages of support continue to keep me going. So I promise, no more pity parties, only temporary pauses of celebrations. I also promise to not forget how lucky I am to only be sidelined for short snippets of time. And I promise to fundraise harder to help more of you waiting on the sidelines to get back into the game, get HSCT.

If you’d like to help someone get a chance to get back in the game, please consider donating to AIMS. Every bit helps! Thank you! https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ShariMcGlynn

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