During the past month of being at the Yaya Village, I have been sick twice with bad stomach ailments. These illnesses have been humbling experiences and have left my body in a fragile state.
Although I believe that being a runner means pushing one’s boundaries, being sick has taught me the importance of respecting my limits. I have been forced to listen to my body by resting and not running.
At the Yaya Hotel, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Julia Bleasdale, an accomplished professional runner and Olympian from the UK. During my return back to health, she offered me a great idea— that instead of running, I go on a walk! Embarrassingly, I had not thought of this. In my tunnel-vision mind, it is run or nothing.
My first walk after my first stomach illness was a novel experience. I walked the route of one of my favorite forest runs and had the joy of noticing new trees, paths, and flowers. At 8,858 feet altitude, walking up hill also elevated my heart rate and I finished my walk feeling the endorphin-buzz I get after a solid run.
For those all-or-nothing runners like myself, if you are coming back from injury, illness, or want to re-discover a running route, try going out for a long walk— it is truly a breath of fresh air.