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Claremore Progress sports editor Kevin Green

Every transformation always gets worse before it gets better. I guess it is supposed to be that way.

When quarantining and social distancing first began back in March, I made a commitment to myself that I’d get back in shape by returning to my true love — running.

As I worked through ZenLabs Fitness’ Couch to 5K program, there were some days when I was tired and my mind and spirit were broken, but I pushed myself through that doubt. In doing so, I was training to make myself comfortable with the uncomfortable and the pain.

Every time I saw in increase in my average pace, I felt a sense of achievement. I felt my confidence growing.

I got to the point of never wasting a day. If I wasn’t running, I was rollerblading or walking; sometimes both. I thought the more I pushed myself, the faster I’d see my goals become a reality.

However, it takes process to get to the prize.

After a 2.6-mile run and a 2-mile walk on May 6, I felt a slight discomfort on the outside of my right knee. It was barely noticeable, so I wasn’t too worried about it.

I rollerbladed for 4.23 miles the next day and didn’t feel a thing, and the same was true through my 3-mile run and 1.5-mile walk on May 8.

As the day wore on, though, that slight discomfort returned with a little more oomph than last time.

I iced the area and elevated my leg when I went to bed just to be safe, but the next morning it transcended into a stabbing pain. Even worse, I couldn’t run on it.

I was consumed with anger and frustration.

The likely culprit is IT band syndrome, and though this isn’t a severe injury, it could take weeks to fully recover. The last thing I wanted was to start over after putting in eight weeks of hard work.

According to WebMD, the IT band is “a thick bunch of fibers that run from the outside of your hips to the outside of your thigh and knee down to the top of your shinbone.”

If it becomes too tight, friction ensues and causes pain on the outside of the knee.

This reality nearly brought me to tears, but I realized there is no one way to success that is free and safe of obstacles and adversity.

Nothing worthwhile is going to be simply given to me. It’s going to be earned through my pain and through my misery and suffering.

It is an uphill battle, but it is a winnable one.

I might not be able to run at the moment, but am I going to make today count? That is all I can control at this point. I can’t wallow in self-pity and let myself lose all the fitness I’ve built up over the past two months.

The race to my goals isn’t over.

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