Side Notes: 15 Minutes or Less

[[Side Notes: 15 Minutes or Less

Every two weeks when I go in and see my counselor she asks me if I've been having any negative thinking.  Normally I say yes, and explain how I am able to combat the irrational thoughts, but this week, she added in an extra question and asked: How long does it take?

Lately I've been dealing with my stomach issues (again), being diagnosed with piriformis syndrome (hip/pelvic muscle problem), along with trying to get in as much time with Whit as I can before I move.  It's hard when I don't know what is wrong with my body and that I live kind of far from Whit.  So, with all that and more in mind, my thoughts have not been all that positive.  I try my hardest to keep a positive mindset and focus on what I have in the moment, but we all know how hard that can be.

When I answered her question of how long, I said an hour or more, figuring that I was doing a good job.  She initially gave me props for getting over them, period, but then told me I now had a time limit: 15 minutes.  I was no longer allowed to think about those negative thoughts for any more than 15 minutes and immediately after had to put it out of my mind.


It's been a challenge this week.  Being diagnosed with piriformis syndrome in my hip/pelvis has been hard to take.  I'm headed to the PT next week for an evaluation but from what I read, this is a hard syndrome to overcome and heal since it is not a typical runners injury.  This was not encouraging to hear.  I became flustered.  I was angry at my body for betraying me now, as I'm finally hitting my prime for running in my 20's.  I had so many plans for running that I feel like I won't be able to do this year, or ever.


But, I took my counselors command to heart, looked at the clock after 15 minutes and told myself: no more wallowing, time to focus on the positive.  Over the past three months I've been trying to heal from this on my own by taking up Bobbi's bootcamps and strength training and begun to realize how strong my body can be.  I remember the days in high school when I could do 40 guy pushups and two pull ups without a thought.  Those days were long gone, until now when I can do almost 30 guy pushups and almost, ALMOST one pull up (so close!).  I think that is a huge improvement, since I wasn't able to do more than 10 pushups on my knees at Thanksgiving!

Being able to turn my attitude around so quickly is definitely helping.  Dwelling over my negative thoughts never gets me anywhere and always leaves me in a horrible mood for a long time after.  I should not spend so much of my time worrying about these negative things!



This entry was posted in Home. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Side Notes: 15 Minutes or Less

  1. K says:

    Hi Mellissa,

    Ironically enough, I’ve been dealing with piriformis syndrome for about 3 years…

    I loved running and I pushed myself even through the pain until it got to the point I could not run anymore at all for several years. I can completely resonate with some of the feelings you are having regarding feeling as though your body failed you. I felt like this several times, I felt frustrated, annoyed and mad. I wanted to run, I was trying to do good for my body and it was betraying me.

    Just recently, I have finally realized that my body was not betraying me, I was betraying it. I was pushing my body beyond what it needed to be pushed. My body, by nature, is built to do so much, built to handle so much. Sure, it may not be nearly as much as others can handle but my body is mine, it is unique, it is special and there is no other body on this planet like mine. That thought is amazing! I am now learning to appreciate my body, listen to my body and connect with my body. Yoga has helped me a lot. It helps me connect my mind to my body. Our minds wander into their own odd worlds. Such a simple task it is to stand back and let our minds connect with our bodies so that we can start to live through our body, through our heart rather than through the mind.

    Good luck to you on this journey. If your injury is anything like mine, it will be a long journey that will hopefully teach you so much about yourself along the way.

    Be kind to yourself and to your body, it is the only one you have.

    Love – K

    • Melissa says:


      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment. By dealing with this injury I am definitely learning more about my body, what it can take and what it really enjoys doing. Your words are just what I needed to hear; struggling with this is not something I had planned on, but who says we can ever plan for everything? Right?

  2. Amy Lauren says:

    I guess that’s a neat idea, to put a time limit on negative thoughts- at least it forces you to move on after the 15 minutes is up, which is a good thing.

    Sorry to hear about your piriformitis syndrome. I’ve never actually heard of that, but don’t count out running forever. You never know how the therapy and healing might go. Yeah, you will probably not be able to run while you’re doing the therapy, at least a few months, but I wouldn’t count it out forever- especially not until you’ve had the evaluation and therapy. Yeah, you might not be able to do any long races this year but short races can be fun too and so can boot camps and other things.

    • Melissa says:


      I definitely think limiting the negative thoughts is helping. It gets me out of that mindset and forces me to focus on something else that make me feel better. Just last night when I was having a hard time hanging out on the couch all day, I had to realize that I wasn’t being lazy, but letting my stomach heal so I can eat well again, and giving my hip some more time to mend up so I can start exercising again. And I’m trying to stay positive until I go to PT and hopefully they’ll have some good news for me…even if it’s in the long run!

  3. Maggie says:

    I’m sending you big hugs from Nebraska! It’s really hard to live with a body that seems to be fighting against you, or against what you want to be doing, whether it’s an injury or an illness. I think you’ve been really smart about treating this injury, even though I know it’s been difficult for you. And congrats on being able to do 30 full pushups! My wrists are so bad that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to do 5 full pushups, let alone 30+. (Pav suggests that after your 15 minutes of wallowing are up, you should go cuddle or play with Honey because it will make you feel better-he’s sleeping on my lap as I type).

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks Mags. It’s been hard to adjust to not running because it was such an integral part of my life beforehand…and took up so much time! So now I don’t know what to do with myself! haha! I’ve been walking though and listening to lots of NPR Envi and Nat Geo podcasts along with the bootcamps and of course, cuddling with Honey. Her and Pav need to have a catch up video chat (us too. haha).

  4. M says:

    This may be too lil miss sunshine for you, but maybe this is an opportunity to explore other paths to wellness. Clearly you are an athlete by nature and there are so many ways to be atheletic. There is strength training, like you have been doing (damn 30 pushups!) and swimming and dancing and rock climbing (could be fun to take up while living around Shasta) and boxing and standup paddleboarding (!) and yoga and a million things I can’t think of right now. Obviously some things will be limited by your injury, but trying something new, especially in a new place, is a great way to meet new people and get out of your shell. And like the other commenter said, it is not forever. Who knows- you may find a new passion and meet some new friends at the same time!

    • Melissa says:

      M, you are totally right. I am trying to focus on other things and one of my goals next month while I’m in Kauai is to do more stand up paddle boarding and really get in some real surfing! I am already researching fun things to do in Shasta to help me get out of the house and stay active that isn’t just running. It’s just been hard to adjust to not running since I’ve been doing it for over 15 years! I’m am aiming to find a new or just simply more passions in the future! Thanks for the reassurance!

  5. sarah says:

    Really brilliant comment from K, above. I think that take on betrayal is spot on. I haven’t dealt with piriformis syndrome, but I have dealt with a hip impingement (that can only be ‘fixed’ through surgery) for 3 years, and I can empathise. I am now at a place where I can run 3 times per week, provided I give myself at LEAST 48 hours rest between runs. It makes me appreciate running that much more, and it also makes me appreciate all the other things that I spend more time on, now that running really long distances is out of the question. I am sure it will be a struggle for you, but you’re a woman with many interests outside of running, so I have faith that you will be able to push through and discover a lot in the process.

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks for the comforting comment Sarah. It has definitely been hard and I’m sure that it won’t be “I’ll never be able to run again” but I’m sure I’ll find other things to do! I am looking forward to moving to my new home to be able to visit so many new places and do so many new things. And I’m hoping that running can just be something I can do without pain on the side and enjoy other activities like hiking and surfing!

  6. Katie says:

    I love this 15 minute idea. Often when I find myself starting to go to that funk place (or “descend,” as my ex called it) I just have to tell myself- often out loud- to STOP IT. I think I’m slowly getting better at realizing when I’m being “crazy,” and realizing when something is actually worth stressing about. The latter is rarely the case.

Leave a Reply