Yep, I have a Running Phobia.

Sometimes our worst fears have to come true for us to realize that we always had the power to make a different choice.

When I was in 9th grade, I was running around my school courtyard with friends, and out of nowhere my knee buckled, I collapsed and fainted. I woke up in the nurse’s room feeling perfectly fine, but absolutely confused about what had happened.

That was the first time my knee buckled, but it was not the last. I didn’t even know the term until quite recently. Basically it’s when the knee cap completely displaces, making the leg twist in the opposite direction. It’s for just a split second but GOOD LORD WHAT EXCRUCIATING PAIN!!

Over the course of the next few years, it started happening more frequently from a few times to a month, or a few times a year. The doctors didn’t really help nor explain what it was, why it happened, or how to cure it.

All I know is that every time my knee buckled, I’d crawl up in a corner refusing to stand up again. It would take me a good 10 minutes to gather the courage to stand up and walk again.

Fast forward to 2019, I moved to Chicago and was bracing myself for the very first winter of my life. Little did I know that a seemingly normal Friday evening would take an unthinkable turn.

I fell and broke my knee. Yep, there it was. I had fractured my tibia that landed me on a wheelchair, unable to walk for three months. My fear had finally come true.

Running may sound like a small deal to many, but I’ve lived with this fear my entire life and it was actually very scary. It took a heavy amount of determination to overcome this obstacle. My physical therapist often said to me “Rumaisa, it’s not your leg, it’s all in your head”. That’s really true for most of us no matter what the obstacle.

“Embrace your nightmares, and you will be free” — Charlie Morley

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Rumaisa Mughal

Design Strategist | Anime Fanatic — People & Stories Make My Day!