One step at a time….

9 03 2009

Whoo-weee!!! Yesterday, my bud Mike Mc literally flew up the 4 towers for the Chicago stair climb in something like 1 hour and 20 minutes! 2 bottles of oxygen and one pair of socks! I’m so danged proud of him!

The thing about a stair climb is that it’s you “against” the immobile object of stairs. The stairs truly couldn’t give a damn if you made it or not. In fact, they’re just as happy being ignored until the manditory annual “fire drill”. 

Now – in a race situation, unless you’re going around and around on a track like some demented gerbil, you’ve got the potential of changing scenery or maybe someone cheering someone on … you, someone else, or just going out and grabbing the newspaper wondering what the heck all these people are doing blocking the roadway!

Not in a stair climb. It’s you v. the stairs in the cold concrete of the stairwell with the sounds of feet slapping cement, huffing and puffing, hacking and coughing, clink of a ring hitting the metal banniser as the wearer pulls themselves up, or the disconcerting *splat* of someone spitting or worse. There’s that chilling dead air completely contrasting with the sweatty hiker. Then you get to the seventh floor … realizing you’ve only got *how* many more?


I walked in to 2009 with a bit of a mission. Sasha refers to the middle of 2008 into 2009 as Project Sasha. It’s telling the rest of the world to go hang itself and regrouping. All I knew with 2009 was that I was completely sick and tired of running face first into the enveloping blackness of past that I’d never really dealt with.

It’s funny how life goes. I look at some folks who seem to have that easy confidence that comes from a reasonably charmed life and then, after being the friend they finally can talk with, realize that what seemed like “charmed” truly wasn’t. In fact, it makes my mess seem like a cake walk.

There were a lot of things that started tarnishing the brightness of a new year from the beginning … and those things I recognize my part in them. I know that I take things too seriously at times and not seriously enough at others. It’s just my way.

I started to realize that I’ve been *in* my way when I looked at the wreckage coming out of 2008. Oofah! Not a pretty sight. Everything everywhere, bits and baubles of this and that not dealt with and starting to fester. Parts of my long forgotten past were starting to bubble up with the ugliness of a swamp scene in a poorly designed movie. One of the things I’ve jealously admired in others is their drive and ability to push toward a dream. I’ve not had that dedication for some reason. I know, now, why that is. 

In an effort to feel like I’m alive, I’ve crammed more things into a small space. I feel like because of the situations I’ve found myself in that I lost an amazing amount of time. It’s a really bad habit when you’re disorganized with respect to your own time! Trust me on this!!! How many times last year did I turn around to realize I had a long race over the weekend and I’d not trained properly. It’s not for lack of getting off my ass and looking at the schedule … it’s just my head.

As I’ve stated before, I hate downtime. I don’t do vacations well. It’s probably why I’m single. Downtime is when you’re supposed to give yourself time to heal and regroup before the next event. Stupidly, I know, the hard-headded me has seen it as time to be lazy. The past couple of months, however, I have been of two minds (yeah, what else is new?) about it all. I’ve been aching to work out the nervousness … and I’ve been knowing that it’s high time I deal with the cause of what I’ve been running from.

It goes further back than feeling like Cinderella at the back of the ball when around friends during various music touring days. It is deeper than feeling like I didn’t truly deserve to be around the creative and intelligent people. It’s written on those tablets with the funky dotted line that you’re supposed to have the lower case letters hit. For some strange reason, in the land of comparative whatever, I never felt like I was good enough.

Ah, scoff, and say “Everyone feels this way” … and sure that is true, but I’m not everyone … I’m just me … and I never thought I’d live this long.

Up to this point, I’ve probably hidden from the things I’ve not dealt with behind the veil of whatever I’m doing at the moment. Racing, Volunteering, School, Relationships … but … this go around … knowing that in order to truly be the best that I can at what is important to me … I have to understand to the best of my ability what it is that got me here … and then …

let … it … go.

It’s not that I’ve not tried to this point. Tried being the operative word. Maybe it’s a situation where I *tried* but didn’t succeed because I let those other negative forces which make no logical sense bring me down with my own frailty. Maybe … it’s also because I didn’t have the faith in myself to believe I was worth the effort.

Ah … hum … those who know me as the one who tells first timers in a race “Hey – you’ll be fine … just keep going forward and you’ll be fine … trust me” with laughing confidence might be surprised … but maybe not.

Sometime around December, I was asked when I’d finally do something for me. In talking over options for crap erradication in their life, I got to thinking about how I was truly going to go into the bright dance hall of the next phase of mine. The only way through the door is to sort through the luggage I’ve been carrying. He laughed with me saying that I actually had less luggage, but a jacket with too many pockets where I’ve hidden the burrs that keep getting me. “You know, Miss Lizzy, I think you’re ready to slow down, go through those burrs and get rid of the jacket … hugs will be sweeter!” I came back from Disney knowing that my friend had passed away and that I truly had beaten myself up physically so I’d need to take the time … to allow the brain to relax … look at the current layer of burrs and be prepared to pull out the underlying layers in order to FLY through the beautiful dances in the next phases of things.

The past couple of months, I can tell you, have been hell. Hell with past memories. Hell with trying to forgive myself. Hell with not wanting to eat because I can’t believe I allowed myself to get involved in these situations. Hell with forgiving myself and having others use it against me.

But there has been Heaven in the return of people from the past in new forms. Heaven in knowing that I’m getting lighter and stronger. Heaven in starting to work out with weights again. Heaven in the simple knowledge that I’ve come through a lot and I can probalby do anything … once I get the current mess taken care of. 

When I was talking with Mike Mc … so proud of him … He has always reminded me that “Girlfriend, I know you can do it. Just go!” Yup … one stair at a time.




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