A Discussion of Zombies & Visualizations; Cookies & Environment: A refusal to let this get me down!!!

11 07 2009

zombiemary.jpg Zombie Mary image by DeadMeatDigs

Okey dokey – it’s interesting how changes that just happen by chance can really help one out. What I mean is this has truly been a crappy 1/2 year with respect to my being injured, being frustrated about it, general depression that comes with the lot of things, and, most of all, really crappy races. Attitude, which I’ve written about a lot, has a lot to do with everything, however that attitude has to be real … the “fake it until you make it” doesn’t work when there’s a lot stacked against it.

I’ve written about the little milestones and have been really slammed about them. I’ve had more things thrown against me than I let be known because they truly are stupid. I just keep getting off the ground and pulling the shards of glass out of myself to try to move on. There are a few which I’ve let my true disgust and frustration with the situations at hand be known to … in differing levels. So much of the nonsense is coming up because of my off-loading garbage and finally doing whatever it takes to get me back on track.  I really don’t expect anyone to understand why things affect me the way they do.  The “oh just get over it” is fine when dealing with your own life, but when applying it to someone else’s … it’s important to know what’s going on. 
Interestingly, as I’ve been going through the hard part of dejunking and doing those things I’ve been procrastinating about, I’ve started having some amazing people just kind of show up. It’s that situation where you get rid of crap … zombies of the past realize you’ve gotten rid of them and try to waddle back into your life … but somehow, some amazing new folks have kind of knocked some out of the way.  Ok – so I’m just a little too visual, hu?

The Zombies – By Gang:
Lack of Motivation
Trying to Fit In or Be Accepted
Conform or Die
You Can’t Leave Us Behind
You Can’t Do That ….
Fear … You might not be fearful, but you should be … and why.

Oh No You Don’t!
You Can’t Do That – You’re Broken Remeber???

We’re Right; You’re Wrong … Remember That
The PAST = The FUTURE … so always remember every little thing you’ve done wrong … and if you forget … we’ll make sure you remember

The thing about all these Zombie Gangs is that they have a lot to do with self esteem and the people you meet along the way. Since I’ve admitted that self-esteem for me has always been an issue, most of my zombies have something to do with this. 
Why am I talking about Zombies? Well, because I’ve been chunking them away over the past month. Taking away their food, putting away the hurts of the past, taking stock of now, clearing up the messes the best that I can and … well … not damning myself about it. What it has to do with my racing and exercise is this: Last year, I “dealt” with a lot of things by not dealing with them! I raced and raced and raced and defined myself by the next race. I didn’t take care of me really and the Zombies just waited for me to truly fall over and swooooooooop!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve started to connect with some amazing people – a new group of professionals, friends and connections. Yeah, MacQ – you’re the ringleader of the goofy friends team … I can see you now making sure the party in the front yard of my mind is not only fun, but making sure the Zombies aren’t invited … their party is someplace else!! In their own way, by accepting me as I am, they’ve been helping to push some of the Zombies back just by taking their space in the front yard. The Zombies aren’t really happy about this, so they’ve been rallying.
In taking care of me, I mentioned that I’m back under chiropractic care. I am a believer of chiropractic medicine, however after feeling a bit taken advantage of, I’ve gotten skeptical. Actually, I’ve gotten skeptical about a lot of things. The thing is that right away they determined the issues with my back, hips, knee and feet. This week, I started wearing orthodics which make changes of their own. The thing with the orthodics is that they’re to be worn 1 hour incrementally for 8 days *normal wear* for this week and then next week I can toss them into my sneakers and  repeat the 1 hour incremental for another 8 days. In two weeks, I’ll be the queen of swapping cookies (orthodics) from shoe to shoe!
Doc said that sitting down didn’t constitute any of the hour, so I wore them to work … and I got about an hour maybe an hour and a half. I also got seriously irritated and swapped out to slam 100-meters as fast as possible … not one of my brighter ideas, but it kept me from screaming! Friday, I wore them for what was supposed to be two hours before starting a new Pilate’s Allegro Reformer class. I think I wore them maybe three hours walking/standing/moving because I was doing errands.
The Pilates class introduced me to the next really good Professional on Team Shep – Cathleen. I ended up with a “private” lesson where we were able to get to know one another and she said I’ll have no problem with the regular class. The time of it (Noon on Fridays) really cuts the day apart, but … She also teaches private yoga and Pilate’s … and it turns out she’s the gal that Jill from the Rec Center has been trying to get me to go to since December … and Jill’s been telling her about this “crazy racewalker” … I got a good vibe here.
Since I was at the Rec Center and it was really hot out, I decided I was going to do my miles on the indoor track. I get seriously bored doing this and will find myself on the treadmill when it’s either too hot on the glass lined track or too full. It was swamping hot, so I popped to the treadmill and BOTH my knees were hurting a bit. When I was leaving the chiropractor, I felt a twinge at the top of my right hamstring — which makes me nervous — but he said it was normal because we were making changes in my legs … but to heed it!!!!  Having both knee areas hurting really started to get to me, but I really wanted to think … and I do think well by going around in circles or kind of mindlessly being on the treadmill.
Several Zombie Gangs started to converge and almost fight in the front yard of my mind. You’re broken … you’re worthless … you’ve pushed too much and you’re going to pay for it for forever … why are you bothering? Time to just give up this silliness and eat bon-bons on the couch … You’re wasting time/money and other peoples’ time trying to do something you’re obviously not capable/motivated/determined enough to do … You should be taking care of things that mean something to other people or are ‘socially correct’ rather than beating your head against the wall … you’re fat … you’re never going to catch up to where you were last year and all you do is let people down.
Oofah! Pretty harsh words in my own head just from a little issue. I guess it’s because I’ve been exploring all those dark parts of my head and putting light on them. It really took a little out of me. Those oozing, pestilent Zombies kept floating about as I was walking along … then I started thinking about the new folks who have accepted me – warts and over-thinking and all – into their worlds. I don’t really train with other people just because I need the room in the schedule, but I’ve got an amazing group of Gals that keep me going with what they’re doing via Facebook and e-mail. I’m surrounding myself with good professionals who have actually taken the time to get to know me and are helping me figure out goals, dreams and things for me. Becoming re-acquainted long distance with old friends and making new ones … well … the Zombies don’t have much of a chance … unless *I* let them in the gate.
I was talking with my buddies who have me in a sports psychology study of theirs. They’re really  interested in my Zombie theory because it makes a lot of sense … they’re only visible and felt to the particular person and not understood by anyone else …. you know, the Dementors of Harry Potter books. I felt the weight of these Zombies and the starting pain in my knees … and immediately told them “Hey … You’re NOT getting this kitty down! No way! I’m just going to back off the mileage, pay attention to what I’m doing, and know that this is short-run NOT long run! If I listen to you guys … it’s long run! I’ll push too hard and be out of sneakers for days-weeks-months again! I’ll do nothing and put on another 10 pounds! Forget you all!!! I’ll admit there’s an issue. I’ll admit I’m frustrated. I’ll make the adjustment and be the positive force in my life that friends say I am in theirs!” …
Shouting down imaginary bi-polar Zombies … Shep’s truly losing it this time!
I felt pretty embarrassed, mind you, but they want to know what is going on to help me flip it to my advantage. It turned out the guys said they liked the honesty and visualization.  When I got home, there was an e-mail: “Lizzy – only you can start out with a situation where some will either shove too hard through or just give up and turn it in to a Zombie Drama Abatement session stemming from minor pain of  wearing a pair of cookies to straighten out your gait! Must admit, at least you’re willing to picture it to get rid of it. Visualization is a large part of success in sport and life. Most people talk about visualizing the finish line, getting the medal, meeting the goal, ZombieCat.jpg Zombie Cat image by Mewzikcatand the like. Right now you’re doing that by visualizing exactly what you are ridding yourself of, making it disgusting in a way that you can deal with it and doing it. We always knew you were a visual person! Now that you can visualize the horrors and abate them … time to visualize good racewalk form, being surrounded by good people, and completing races … the Zombies have no place in training or life … close the gate. Off you go Padawan … take your light sabre to them!!! Cheers – Yoda and Obi-Wan” They sent me the Kitty Zomby photo … Giggle.
So … where am I going with this … There are a lot of things that are involved in success. We all handle things differently. I’m one of the handful of single friends and most have said “Wow, Shep, you really do go through things alone, don’t you.” Yeah, kinda. I’m the only one who can slay my own Zombies, but it’s nice to feel like I have a team around me who are working on their own things. It’s the power of the environment and I’m really affected by my environment. I might be really perplexing to most folks that are on my Team, but it’s simply because there are so many things at cross purposes … Zombie Gangs.
Last night, I couldn’t sleep. Zombies and nightmares … heat and nagging feelings … ok … it’s just I’m clearing away a lot of messes. I checked my e-mail to find out if I’d gotten an e-mail about where the group a friend of mine asked me to monitor next week was and there was nothing. I did get an e-mail from a racewalking friend from Alaska who I’m really proud to have on my Team. She asked me point blank what was going on …  not going to let me fall into depression or whatever. 4:00 a.m. Colorado time, and I just wrote … hopefully it made sense! Wow … blew me away she took the time to say “OK – we’re gonna talk … NOT ON FACEBOOK!!!”
When I left at 6 a.m., I still didn’t have a hit in the in-box about the Saturday morning group. Since I don’t usually work out with people, it’s not a natural for me to hook up with a group (even TNT!) … I guess it’s because when I was doing TNT, I was in a strange place.  The first go with TNT, I was told I would be running even t 

hough I’d stated emphatically that I wanted to walk. Bad taste. Next time would have been fine, but I was kind of between groups – not exactly a walker and not the speed of the runners … and I also have my own training schedule. One of my goals is to get over my feeling like I’ll hold people back and go out and walk with folks. It’s kind of a big one. When it comes to my training, I tend to be alone. When it comes to being with others, I’m more concerned about them. I just need to find a few training partners and get over it … not to self, contact Becky!  At any rate, I hit the track and during warming up, nothing felt right. I stretched and tried again. Ok – this isn’t feeling good. The Zombie “Quitter” seemed to wake up and I just walked “normally” for a bit to see if things would abate. A guy showed up with a dog and just let him run around the track without calling him back. I had to stop several times as I was being jumped on by the dog. There are reasons I rarely use this track!

I went home, checked the mail again. No note in the in-box. Grabbed Bailey and went to clear both our heads for a little. I can give the track a try later this afternoon even with the heat. I’ll do miles tomorrow. I refuse to hurt myself, but I refuse to hide behind it. I’ll work on chipping away a bit of one of the Zombies this afternoon … then go back out later.