Monthly Archives: November 2013

“But DADDY, I WANT A GOLDEN GOOSE NOOOOOOOOW!”

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRTkCHE1sS4

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You know what it is like.. Maybe you want to go on vacation, a better job, to get thinner, bulk up, have a family, have long hair, create world peace, find the cure for cancer, run faster, ride longer, swim more efficiently.. (yes, you know where my brain is).  Patience.  Dear God, I thought I would be patient by now.  How patient are you at your wants? Regardless of how big or small, at some point we start to realize the fact that EVERYTHING takes time.

Wanting takes a strong amount of energy.  When we learn to convert the “wanting” energy into “action” energy to do something about it.. the “light at the end of the tunnel” can start looking a bit brighter and closer.  Sometimes when we put action into play, the light of the tunnel may look even FURTHER away, because we realize just how much work we have to do.. Then we must ask, “Is it worth it, and why?”.  Most of the time, the answer is “Yes”, and that’s when we cycle back towards learning patience.. and looking for gratitude in even the smallest step towards that light.

How much time something takes to happen completely depends on a multitude of variables, and sometimes we can not do it alone.

This is where we need patience, AND each other.

For me, I have been struggling with a lack of patience for quite some time.  I wanted to run a marathon yesterday, have a baby last year, complete an Iron Man next year, kick my husbands butt on a bike (and the swim).. and have had a honeymoon.  The reality is that those things have not happened. The other reality is that AMAZING things HAVE happened, and I need to focus on those.

Last week, I stepped out of my front door and decided to write my next motivational speaking engagement in my head while I jogged.. Mind you, I haven’t ran more than 15 miles in two years and certainly never completed it pain free.  My mind thought, “Well, Ill just keep running until my mind can complete this outline”.. and so I did, and 17.4 miles later I hobbled back into my front door.

Today, I WANTED to get over my PTSD in the fall weather. I WANTED to just hop on my bike with my husband and ride 50 miles through beautiful back roads.. Earlier this week I WANTED to hop back in the pool after not swimming for 7 weeks due to my last surgery, and bang out a mile without taking a break..

Sigh.

Have I learned anything?

In order to move forward in ANYTHING in this life, I have to strengthen the components of what Im working with.  If Im working on athletics, I have to do those “stupid” clams, wall slides, planks, and other delightful physical therapy exercises.. if I want to solve world peace, I must understand what is happening politically and socially.. develop the right channels and work with others on smaller tasks that can equate to part of a bigger framework towards change.

Today, we rode for less than ten miles. My body may have been able to sustain the 50 miles, but my mind and heart was not there. My panic set in, then came my disappointment, my embarresment, frustration, and anger. Once I settled into acceptance I reminded myself that it is “OK” to be angry, cry a bit, and then turn on the computer and look at the global news.. Which then roped me back towards perspective and that framework.

This weekend I will complete my 8th half marathon in 2 years. Pretty damn awesome. I WANTED to be able to run a solid 2:25 by now, I WANTED to be in full training for a marathon this year.. however, my body has other plans… This year, I am giving my body a break. No surgeries. Originally everything was going to be fully “repaired” by this spring, but my soul told me otherwise. My soul said “Learn Patience”.  If anyone ever tries to tell you they are a patient being, I say “that is all in perspective” because patience is something we all will be trying to learn during our entire journey on this earth.

Just remember, when you feel like you just “WANT IT NOW”.. work hard and secure the components towards your “want”, so when you get it, it will last..

Using Running to overcome life’s obstacles

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perseverance_christian_nature_poster-rb3a48797b52b43e0ba76a4fa6325eecc_b30_8byvr_512Whoa. Thats a tall order.

I sat at my computer today about to begin my outline for my presentation at the Philadelphia marathon expo in two more weeks. As I looked at my screen, a dear friend popped up on Gmail chat to say hello.  She is about to go through radiation after almost a year of chemotherapy and a mastectomy. This friend is only in her thirties. Our instant message exchanges were light hearted and full of love.  As I sat there gazing down at the carpet at my running sneakers I thought about how many people are in my life that are struggling with some sort of ailment, wether is was something mentally plaguing them, physically, or both.

The month of October was a rough one for me.  I worked through the pain of post op from my kidney surgery, the stint, and the memories of all things associated with the season that use to be a favorite of mine.  Fall in New England is just simply gorgeous.  There is no where in the world that can compare with the feeling of fall in the Northeast. We are blessed with colorful canopies of trees bursting with colors, smells of earth, rain, and decomposing leaves, pumpkins everywhere.. and apples being freshly harvested at every town’s local farm. Fall is a time where we get a little cozier, and await the first few snowflakes that will soon blanket the winter ground.   Two plus years ago, my favorite season became that of a nightmare when I was run over while cycling.  The leaves were perfect on that October 8th day.  The pumpkins adorned every doorstep, and cool breezes swept through my hair, tickling my nose and making my face light up with a smile. Then, the unimaginable happened.. that large freight truck blew right through that stop sign and right over my 125 pound body.  I was dragged for several feet, rolled over and over.. my bike shoes were ripped off my feet as my front tire wrapped under the chassy of the freight liner. When my body finally came to a stop, I was left ripped apart with broken bones, much of my skin shredded off my body, and clinging to life.  Within minutes my heart would stop beating and I would lay in a coma while being brought in and out of surgeries. I would receive many units of blood and blood products, and I would be resuscitated multiple times. During my “sleep” I would miss the big October snow fall, the fact that Halloween was “cancelled” that year.. and that my job was being eliminated due to a mismanagement of the company I believed so strongly in.  When I awoke the leaves were gone, and so was the month of October.

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Two years later, my fear and anxiety has reached highs that I could have never begun to imagine.  My first love, which is cycling went partially by the wayside, and I began running.  With a screwed back together pelvis, mended broken ankle and tibia,  50% less muscle mass in my left leg, partial incontinence, brain trauma issues, a badly degloved glute, and severe wounds, all I wanted to do was run.. run because they managed to keep my leg, run because I was alive, run because my muscles longed to work, run because I could.  Running became the hardest and most challenging endeavor that I ever attempted, and at the same time became something that forced me to “unplug”, to listen to my heart beat, to feel pain and know it meant I was here, and to give gratitude.

Running forces your body to go through a series of “head games”.  First, there is the mere act of putting on your shoes.  For me, I could not put my own shoes on for almost a year.  Then it is about taking that first “leap” if you will, for me it provoked terror.. “Will I become unscrewed?” My surgeons came with me on this journey every literal step of the way.  What if I poop myself? well, I have.. so what.. its warm, stinky, and it washes off… What it Im too slow and people make fun of me? That’s their issue.. I survived a freight truck.

When we run, multiple things happen.. our bodies begin circulating.. detoxing if you will.  We begin cleansing our minds of thoughts, and suddenly have the ability to deal with things.. we NOTICE things.. the trees, the water, each other, the birds.. we SWEAT, and we are reminded about the beauty of water, and we drink.  We become hungry, and we are reminded that we live in a country where we can eat.  We see others run, and so we wave.. and we join the beautiful energy of people who are living.

So many people say, “I can’t run”.  I say, “Are you alive?” because if you are, even if you do it in a non-traditional way.. you can.. on some level. I have watched people race through finish lines on wheel chairs, with prosthetics, stumbling and struggling to stay upright from a stroke, but “running” none-the-less.

When we run, we become empowered to face life.  We become empowered to face ourselves. We become empowered to seek gratitude for each fatigued breath in and out that fuels our every heart beat.

How beautiful is gratitude?  Today, I closed my laptop and realized the best way to prepare for this upcoming discussion was to “go there”.  I needed to run, and not just anywhere.. I needed to run on Boston Post Road, and I needed to run longer than I had ever run. I needed to pray, seek direction, and find gratitude.

When asked how running has helped me handle stress and trauma, I would say it has forced me to “be real” and in doing so, it has opened the box to healing.   Today I ran over 17 miles while Fall is still in swing, along Boston Post Road. I stopped often and cried.  I stopped and caught my breath, I stopped and prayed. I also stopped to simply wipe away my tears and thank God for my life, this life.. and ask that I can be a light every step of my life.

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