What a difference a Chair Makes … oh yeah … and first day back training

6 07 2008

Ah … boy am I ever comfy … sweaty but comfy. I finally got a good walk in!! It wasn’t the long walk that I wanted, but 1/2 the distance with trying to deal with the heat is going to have to be good enough. I know I’m way behind on my posting and I’ll do my best to get caught up … but here’s a little upshot.

A couple of weeks ago I tried to do my long walk and got way out — roughtly 10-13 kilometers and realized I was in trouble. I was below a 13 minute mile … which means my Garmin was screaming at me. I was not seeing well and even after popping 1/2  a Clif shot, I was really losing it. I had my four bottle Nathan pack … and was already in to bottle three. THAT WAS NOT GOOD!!!  Needless to say, like a lot of America, Colorado has been hot. I didn’t manage things well mainly because I got a late start. It felt cool by my house and I was drinking … but we’ll just say I have a lot of respect for folks who keep going at those 14-15-16 minute miles because coming back I was a mess. I realized every time I started to get my feet going racewalking and heart rate up, I would start getting dizzy … so I ‘tourist’ walked back.

The worst of it all, of course, was that I was beating myself up the entire way. I can handle half marathons in the rain and did track work-outs in the snow lighted by lanterns. My friends walk with shot lungs, cancer, disease and bodies that are giving out! What the heck is wrong with me other than I’m a lazy so-in-so?!  I have been pretty frustraited with my general lack of focus in a lot of areas, but when it affects my walking I get even more down on myself … And, of course, we all know that any sport is a mental game and when you go mental … it’s not a good thing.  Last weekend I was a crew leader for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and I was considering trying to do some of my training … and after a few comments that were made to me, it’s a good thing I decided against doing that or they might have been worse.

It’s been like here has been this strange cloud over the last week or so. I’ve found myself pacing like a caged tiger frustraited by so many different things … one of which as been any time I spend protracted periods in front of my computer I end up with a pain in the royal rumpus room! Seriously! The hard chair I use has next to no padding! I’ve been so crabby that I told myself I deserved it until I got my life in order!  

I try to visualize things so I can better understand them. I have been feeling like I’ve been in a wading pool of negative engergy … not really by my design. I didn’t really realize what was going on, but after going from a situation of literally laughing so hard I nearly fell out of a booth in a restaurant and trying to keep good humor when I felt splashed by more negativity I really wondered what was going on. Why was I so tired and drained even though I’d not really been exercising? Why did I feel as if my creativity had fled for points unknown? Why was I just operating on auto pilot? Why couldn’t I truly get up for protracted periods of time? Why was I falling asleep in the middle of the day? Where did these 10 pounds come from as I’m finally eating?  Why am I not able to focus when walking????????? Why did I feel like I was surrounded by complainers and why did I feel as though I had nothing left to offer to those I care most about?

Worst of all – I realized I was feeling depressed and becoming one of those complainers. Complaining is fine as long as you are complaining in order to get the picture in front of you to be able to figure out a resolution. The problem I’m dealing with is I’m not in a position to really be able to find the solutions because of the variables involved. When all you’re doing is complaining, you can’t be there for problem resolution or just as a shoulder to your good friends …. and THIS is where I’m really sad because in typing this, I’ve not been there for the people who mean the most to me. The energy in my house is way off too. Right now the chaos that I’m feeling has manifested into stuff being everywhere – recycling, things that need to be put up in the attic, clean laundry, and when I got back from my walk — Bailey decided to take apart the garbage … something, thankfully, she does rarely and only when she’s really annoyed. I was on the phone with a friend I’ve not talked with for a while when I discovered the garbage strewn kitchen – that got me thinking.

I’ve been in the wading pool of other peoples’ negativity and because it was a place I knew so well from my past and, let’s face it, it’s where society is most comfortable … bitch and moan society! It should have felt normal or comfortable. The fact that it didn’t is a testiment to my shedding a lot of my negative past and being more comfortable with refusing to be ‘normal’ by society’s standards. I don’t like the chaos that I used to feel I had to have around me in order to feel alive. Let others have it! It’s not mine to own. I’ve got too many places for my good energy to flow and this wading pool is full enough.

My walk went pretty well. It was a battle to keep my head focused. My schedule said 15 miles and I did 7 and used the 8th to feel how everything was fitting. I let my head do what it was going to. I’ve always believed that if you pay attention, the Universe will key you in to a lesson. It was around mile 4 when I stopped my watch for a second and saw kids fighting in a wading pool with the parents doing nothing about it. I could hear their conversation and it was all complaining about this and that and how her husband doesn’t understand her and her job is the pitts. Wow. Had she thought of talking with her husband? There’s our society in a nutshell — complaining to friends about those who are supposed to be our closest and safest relationships and complaining about work instead of making small changes … and not paying attention to kids fighting in the wading pool.

My right knee started having issues coming back as did a strange twinge in my side and upper chest. Ok – I was also starting to overheat. The vision of the wading pool, however, really stuck. It resonnated with the letters I’ve written about my feeling powerless to do anything to stem the steady flood of negativity. Ok … where do I go from here?

There were others on the bikepath tethered to their music sources blotting out nature. I saw a little snake slithering along and this doe hopping along with a real purpose. The buzzing of the bees and dragonflies were accompanied by the throaty blurp of the bullfrogs. My times weren’t terrific, but I was feeling pretty good. Didn’t want to push it and hurt myself. At around 7.5 miles, I turned off the watch. Half way. Ok … I can live with that. I was thinking about a friend of mine that I just wanted to hear the voice of and that I hoped would carve out time to get together to catch up – as he’s probably had some adventures and I have a thing for buffets! 

I was getting some ideas of how to get out of the wading pool. Of all things, I knew it was going to start with getting rid of the old wood chair that I’d been using for about 6 years as my computer chair. It had been one of my neighbors. I needed a desk chair and he was putting out this chair from probably an old dining room set or something. I should have known not to take it, but I didn’t have the money to buy another chair and thought “This is only temporary.” The problem was this was a neighbor who was an insane problem … the upshot is that he and his druggy buddies left a pipe smoldering in his couch when they drifted off to go to the grocery with extreme munchies. I was trying to deal with a new piece of software and Bailey was barking upset I’d cut in to her Park time. My old firefighter’s nose knew there was something wrong and next thing I knew flames erupted from his window. The downer was our apartments shared a wall.  Got the animals out of both sides of the building and we even saved his dog who had attacked all of ours … was promised by my landlord that he would finally be gone … then he was moved over to my side of the building – a very peaceful place where we all cared about each other actually becaue he had a trust fund and they would repair the damage.  Precipitated four of us moving out within 3 weeks.  The chair, of course, came with me.

Over the past couple of months, in and around a lot of other things, I’ve been shedding. Due to the copious piles of things I’ve accumulated over the years, you’d never know that I’ve been getting rid of things … But someone will get a great pile of donation receipts. During this last month, I’ve not been quite as viligent as I’ve been busy … and have picked up negativity and about 10 pounds! Not training properly, not eating properly, not thinking properly …

STOP!!!!!!!!!

As I say –> I got up this morning, trod the pathway through the apartment and decided I’d do as much of my training as I could and keep going forward. Wobbled through the stretching disc that I’ve not done with focus was done with focus. Prepped like I was prepping for a race … told the Dog I loved her and was out the door. I went a different direction than originally planned because I just let my feet be my guide. I realize I pulled myself into focus through this trip by dropping baggage by the wayside. I got back to the car — slugged some Clif repleanish … heavily watered down … and left Cherry Creek Park.

Driving along I thought about the friends I love dearly but we’re all busy with life to stay in physical contact. I thought about how wedded to e-mail I am because I can’t stand the thought that cell-phone companies charge coming and going and everything in between. I realized that I like text messaging because it can be less obtrusive and can let someone know “Hey it’s cool to call.” I also thought about why I don’t call … I guess it has a lot to do with getting answering machines and feeling like I’m interrupting.

Next thing I knew, I’d overshot my house and was at Staples!  I couldn’t stop giggling because I knew what this was about … replace the damn chair Lizzy!  I still can’t afford it fiscally but I can’t afford not to replace it spiritually and emotionally.

I took that old chair out into the hall to get to donation and my slovenly pit started to feel better immediately. Kind of like mile two usually does with me. Mile one feels a little wonky but mile two I start to swing. I hit the speed dial on my friend’s number and probably just before he answered, I thought “I’m interrupting.” Stupid, I know. Here I am with a new floor model (got loads of money off) chair with lumbar support and being concerned about interrupting. I’ve never had a chair with lumbar support. I’m just starting to attract friends who even as they get to know me are still around anyway. Big sigh … go get the phone. He called back – wanted to make sure I was OK. Funny – I was calling him for the same reason!  We did chat – with me in my new chair for part of it – and I’m hoping to carve out buffet time to find out the adventures.

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that mean the most — knowing people really care about you even when you’re inadvertently in the wading pool of negativity, understand how much a chair can change things, sending a card to say “Hey – I care …” even when you’re terrified for them, or just pinging on the text message a smile.

Taking life a mile at a time … but the long walks really do clear the head and soul.

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