Status of a Lizzy – 20 years ago this month!

23 05 2008

Oofah – I usually have problems remembering where I was last week. Things have been mellowing out in my world for the last couple of months. The whirlwind of nervous activity has slowed down. I got a B+ on my paper … some wouldn’t think that terrific but I have so much respect for this instructor and I had to do a complete overhaul. I had hoped just for a passing grade but not only got that but a kudos and a weight removed from around my neck. My personal life is finding it’s own direction and I’m making time for friends. My downstairs bud is moving – but she bought a place from another friend of mine! 🙂

The real problem has been a strange undercurrent of unsettled. I really didn’t have a grasp on it, but eating has become problematic again, I’m waking up out of horrible nightmares and, worst of all in my mind, my knee has been acting up. After a string of really pretty amazing (to me at least) gains, I’m having trouble with my training because I sometimes feel like my mind and joints are rebelling. For the last several nights, I have been dealing with nightmares. Usually they’re caused by something else … but last night I woke up, flew out of the apartment, jammed down three flights of stairs thinking my dog had been injured on the street … standing on the cold front stoop, I realized that it was just a nightmare … and coming up the stairs, I was greeted by a very confused and sleepy cattle dog/corgi mix.  It hit me then …

 20 years ago this month I was hit by that drunk driver who literally took my life and sent it on a completely different path.

 Yeah … 20 years. This time 20 years ago I was barely moving and doped up on so many pain killers that remembering to breathe took thought. A lot of things were going on at the time and getting hit by a drunk was almost par for my destructive course!

That was when I was told to be realistic and thankful  that it wasn’t worse. I wasn’t yet 24 and had planned on taking myself to the Yosemite Rock Climbing School for my birthday. That was out the window. I’ll admit – I was out of shape and I’d not really exercised for a number of years. The string of ‘nevers’ was pretty frightful. As time went on, I was tenacious enough to prove the docs wrong in a lot of ways … but there was a lot of psychological damage.  I believed them in what I couldn’t do … even had a long time boyfriend after this say he was jealous of people who when out with  prior because they went out with me before I was ‘damaged’.

One of the many things that I did to prove to myself I was still ‘useful’ was to do a lot of physical labor. Prior to the accident I’d worked on conservation crews building trails in Marin and as a wildlandfire fighter … jumping out of perfectly good aircraft with a chainsaw. I was pretty heavy then … and had a pretty huge deathwish. I would get bored being on the hand crew cutting line … I wanted to be where the fire was the most dangerous. I’d been one of the first mobile disc jockeys and always there as a strong back and organizer to move friends. I’d done roadie work – moving audio gear – prior to the accident, but actually did more of it after. Pain didn’t really bother me, I just wanted to prove I wasn’t taking up space. I didn’t like the helpless weakness that I felt in other areas of my life. The funny thing about pain and me is when I stub a toe or something like that, I’m a complete wimp. Put me in a race, I figure out where things are on the Lizzy Pain Scale and go from there. The interesting thing is now I’m OK with bailing … it’s not a sign of weakness.

I didn’t think I’d be coming around the corner – 1/2 a year before my 44th birthday. Never thought I’d live this long. I also never thought I’d be remotely competitive or even be able to walk more than a couple of miles without wanting to stop. Since the beginning of 2008 a lot of things have changed. I truly believe that my food issue and return of knee and lower back issues stem from my body purging itself of all the negativity of my past. As I’ve had some good friends pass away, I’ve also seen people whom I thought were good friends just quietly fade into obscurity. I don’t really miss them. We had a good time, but things are a lot different. The past couple of months have found me feeling more accepted by a group of goofy, reasonably healthy and very competitive friends. I’m seeing a long neglected part of my personality start to be re-awakened. I’m finally starting to see goals and dreams are worthwhile.

When it comes to my walking – I’ll admit it freely … I like being given a time to get close to and seeing if I can limbo under it. I’m not stable at any of my faster times right now and I do believe my old injuries are coming back just because I’m making those muscles and ligaments work. I’m cool with that because they’ll get stronger and the pain will go away.  My head … well … I’ve got a lot of purging to do, but it’s happening. I see my role in life and racewalkingis to learn to trust some of the people around me and go out and do my best. I’ve asked Dave to keep giving me something to aim for – but build in come cushion. I have Q and Scott who interpret what I need to do and just give me the figure … and explain it later. I’ve got an amazing group of friends who put up with me when I bemoan my being slow … reminding me that they can’t do it. AND I am watching an amazing group of racewalkers here in Denver … learning and knowing someday the scrappy me will catch up.

Getting older isn’t for the faint of heart … but with friends like mine … Bring it ON! One new friend is turning 50 and one of the most amazing runners I’ve ever had the good fortune to be able to call a friend. I’ll slow down the week after he does!!

Take it easy – Lizzy

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