As you may have read in my last blog post, I’m injured. For the record, that actually got worse today as I, without thinking, went to run up some steps to catch a train. The fact I actually heard something tear in my leg might tell you that it wasn’t a good outcome. I stood shocked for a little while before gathering myself enough to hobble to the train. Bleurgh. I’d already planned to take a couple of weeks off, now I’m doing at least that on doctor’s orders.
The ‘wallowing in self pity’ thing was threatening to take over as it had already been brewing since Saturday. So I searched for a remedy – one that would help me balance and remember that this really is just a little injury and not the end of the world. Hence why I found myself re-reading ‘Everything to live for‘ by Turia Pitt.
For those not familiar with her story, Turia (along with several other runners) were injured during an Ultramarathon in the Kimberley in Western Australia in 2011. ‘Injured’ really is a completely inadequate word – Turia received burns to 65% of her body, resulting in four fingers and a thumb requiring amputation, extensive skin grafts and ongoing operations.
The book opens with an introduction to Turia’s life and leads you up to the event. The account of the event itself is nothing short of horrific. It’s the second time I’ve read this book and I still cried – that they lived through what they did is simply incredible. The remainder of the book is dedicated to her long and painful road to recovery, surrounded and supported by her wonderful family and friends. I found myself willing her on, joining in as her personal cheer squad. For someone to have been through so much but to continue to aim high and push towards her goals is beyond inspiring.
If there is one book capable of making you grateful for what you have and aware of how cruel, painful and torturous life can be, this is it. What stands out above all of that is Turia’s spirit – never broken. She is one of my heroes – someone whose tenacity, perseverance and sense of gratitude I have often drawn on during long runs. Now I’m drawing on it when I can’t run. What Turia has been through is unimaginable and yet she’s come out the other side and conquered things I only dream of. She’s an ironwoman! In comparison, my ickle calf tear really is just a blip and not worthy of the theatrics I wanted to give. So, yet again, I’m in her debt for providing me with a sense of perspective.
If you haven’t read this book, you must. Probably with a box of tissues. Just don’t expect to come out of it the same as you went in. (And I’m really, really looking forward to her next book.)