Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘running’

Random Stuff…

Sometimes I order my brain to come up with a good idea for a blog. My brain doesn’t cooperate. Sometimes I’ll start down the path, writing about a topic that’s interesting to me; then it isn’t interesting anymore. I get sick of listening to myself.

I have a heap of abandoned blog posts. That doesn’t surprise me. I’m nice to my brain; I let it off the hook when it refuses to cooperate.

I had an idea that maybe I could record my random thoughts. We’ll see how that works:

Do you like those stickers on the back of people’s cars that tell you about the races they’ve run? You know, they’re usually white and black. They’re written in a modern font: 13.1 and 26.2. The Ironman triathletes have stickers that say 140.6. Braggers.

running sticker

I have been measuring my walks with Reggie in the morning with this awesome new app Olivia downloaded for me. Surprise! I’m not walking nearly as far as I had imagined. My walks vary between 1.5 and 1.7 miles.

I was thinking I might get a sticker on the back of my car with a stick figure walking her dog. Above the stick figure will be “1.7”. Do you think that will seem like bragging? Sure, I’m proud of myself, but I don’t need to be obnoxious about it. It’s just that when you push yourself beyond what the average person believes is humanly possible, you want to commemorate that in some way. That’s why I thought the sticker might be fun. A tattoo would be another way to go.

People will ask what the tattoo means. I’ll say, “It’s just something I look at it when times are hard, and I need strength. I know I can get through whatever challenges I have, because I walk a mile or two. Every.Day.” Then I’ll whisper it again for emphasis, “Every. Day.”

That’s gonna choke people up. Maybe I should just go with the sticker.

Scott ran an Ironman when he turned 40. That was fun. The kids and I followed him around all day. We were nervous about the swim; mainly because Scott doesn’t know how to swim. Knowing how to swim is a super big advantage. Scott spent the summer before the race learning what most people learn when they’re 10-years-old, and in level 3 swim class.

During the race, Scott’s friend was stationed near the water. The kids and I were at the point where the racers were just taking off on their bikes, after the swim. We kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting to see Scott. We couldn’t find Scott. At first I felt okay. He told me that his swim would be the weakest part of his race. After what felt like a long time, we started seeing the great grandmas in the race. They would peddle by on their bikes with baskets and a horn. I started getting nervous.

Eddie had been telling me that he thought he saw his dad on his bike when we first got to the race. I said that wasn’t possible; that was too soon. Scott said he’d be passing by later than that.

Scott’s friend called me from her spot over by the water. She asked if I had seen Scott. She told me she never saw him get out of the water. I continued to ignore Eddie. Instead, I listened to my own irrational, anxiety induced theories. Why wouldn’t I? Those theories never steer you wrong. Scott had drown. I started crying.

I called Scott’s sister to tell her Scott had drown. Scott’s sister is, seriously, like my favorite audience. We both agree that it’s always safest to assume the worst. She started crying too. She was able to check his progress from her computer. Oops. False alarm. Eddie was right. Scott had finished the swim portion much more quickly than he expected. That was actually him taking off on his bike when we first got there. Sorry kids. Dad is alive. Let us rejoice!

Scott’s sister, her family, Scott’s parents, and mine all eventually made it to the race. The atmosphere was so exciting. My brother-in-law kept us updated on Scott’s times, and how he was doing. The swim is 2.4 miles and the bike race is 112 miles. Then you get off your bike, and finish by running a marathon.

Scott was doing better than expected on the bike portion of the race too. We were cheering. Then my brother-in-law informed us that Scott was getting to the last half of the marathon. He was moving at a 12-minute-mile pace. Eddie and I looked at each other in shock. Something must be medically wrong. We both knew that Scott just couldn’t run that slow. We didn’t understand what was happening.

Scott finished the race with an impressive time. Better than he expected. Eddie and I couldn’t wait to ask him what happened out there. Did he break his leg? Did he have to carry one of those Grandmas on his back? When we saw him we said, “You were running a 12-minute-mile pace. Did something happen?”

Scott answered, “Yes. A 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride happened.”

We said, “Yeah, we hear those excuses, but you were running really slow. we mean, really slow.”

Yes. I’ve been known to pull off a 13-minute-mile myself, but we’re not talking about me. We’re talking about Scott. I don’t think Eddie and I thought it was possible for anything to slow him down.

Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I should have helped train Scott by taking him on some of my dog walks. I didn’t think of it then.

ironman

I like watching my family do cool things, whether it’s the Ironman or State Wrestling. Do you know how parents feel when their kids wrestle at State? High. Those parents may as well be on crack. The amount of adrenaline flowing through a parent’s veins at State is enough for them to be able to do all that weird stuff you read about. Moms could lift a car off a human at state, and Dads could leap from the parking garage to the Kohl center. Pupils are dilated, and it’s go time. What you can’t do with all that adrenaline is focus on silly details, like keeping your van away from cement polls. I know that for sure.

The first day of the State Tournament I drove Zeke and Olivia in the minivan. We got into the parking garage. I turned a very, very tight corner. I mean VERY tight. There has to be hundreds, maybe even thousands of vehicles that didn’t make that turn that day. We heard a bad sound as I turned the corner. Zeke yelled, “Mom, you’re too close!”

“No worries, Zeke,” I said. I stopped the van, and put it in reverse. Oops. There was that sound again. Whatever I didn’t scrape and dent moving forward, I scraped and dented in reverse. The minivan door looks like King Kong grabbed it and crumpled it like a piece of tissue paper. It’s ugly.

The craziest part of that story is that at the time, I could not even be bothered with that hideous damage I had just created. When we got out of the van, Zeke and Olivia looked at me like they expected me to be shocked or disgusted with the situation. My adrenaline was too high. It didn’t register with me that we had any kind of problem at all. Eddie was at State. Yay!!!

Scott must be better at handling adrenaline. That dent definitely registered as a problem to him. I’ve told you that he rarely drives, so I thought there might be a chance he wouldn’t ever notice, if I didn’t tell him. But, guess what? Blabby McBlabber mouth couldn’t wait to share the news.

We were in the suite at the Kohl center. Everybody was all smiles and having a good time. Then Olivia said, “Dad, you should see what Mom did to the van.” Scott can quit smiling super fast.

I looked at him and said, “Eddie made it to State. Yay!”

I took in many-a-drawn-out-lectures from that point forward. My precious husband wanted to make sure I understood how horrible the van looked. I was hoping he’d let up, but then daylight started lasting longer, and he started getting home a little sooner from work. There that ugly, damaged van would be, ready to remind Scott to run through all the tips he has for being a good driver; Just in case I had forgotten from his morning lecture. It was tiring. Then Olivia had a new friend over.

Scott was heading out the garage door with the boys to go to some wrestling event. At the same time Olivia’s new friend and her Mother were at our front door. The Mom was introducing herself to me, and we were chatting when Scott came to the front door too. He said, “Hello.”

The Mom said, “Oh, Hi. I’m so and so’s mom.”

Scott smiled and said, “It’s nice to meet you. I’m Olivia’s Dad. I just backed into your car in the driveway.”

We’re getting the van fixed, but we don’t talk about it any more.

Positive Thoughts

positive thinking

Have you experienced paradigm shifts in your life? You’re going along knowing what you know, ignoring what you don’t want to know, or don’t believe. Then, suddenly, something happens that makes you understand things in a new way. You wonder why you passed by this information so many times before without grabbing on to it. It was there. You just weren’t ready for it.

I have recently experienced a paradigm shift. Have you heard people say that positive thoughts attract positive results? I think that when I used to hear this, I interpreted it as, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” I am a practical girl at heart. You know, a let’s-just-stick-with-the-facts kind of person. I have never been keen on taking time to meditate on inspiring words and slogans. I’ve got things to do and a whole semi truck full of problems to solve. I like action.

We are seeing a new Doctor. Yes, another one. Every time we see a new Doctor, I find myself wishing we could just fast forward through all the stuff we’ve done hundreds of times before. I want to skip the part where we tell the Doctor this long, ridiculous story that we hate to tell, and get to the part where the Doctor tells us if there is anything she knows that we have not heard before. Because, we’ve heard a lot, sister. We’ve heard a lot.

This Doctor told us that Eddie’s body is reacting (allergic) to almost everything. We knew that, but it’s a little reassuring to have someone else confirm it. So, I’m not going to go in to all the other stuff we learned and the stuff we’re going to try; I just wanted to share the highlight of this appointment.

The Doctor did a demonstration. She had Eddie hold up his arm straight in front of him. She pushed down on his arm, and he was to resist the pressure. While he resisted, he was supposed to say two different statements. The first was, “I am getting better.” The second was, “I am not going to get better.” When he made the positive statement, he was able to resist the pressure. When he spoke in the negative, his arm weakened, and the Doctor could easily push it down. SHABANG!!!! Paradigm shift!!!

Now THAT is practical information that I can use. Positive thoughts and positive talk can help my son get better. I am so ON it!! See, I’ve been doing it all wrong. I have been hedging my bets and managing my expectations all these years. That’s all wrong. Sure, I can’t live in crazy town, making up fairy tales. What I can do is speak and pray into existence what I hope to see. That is something practical I can do. Something that will help.

I have a great friend who has been telling me about this mind/body connection for years. I’m so sorry that I only heard her say, “Blah, blah, blah!” Let me tell you about this friend. You would hate her. Not only is she beautiful and looks like she could be on the cover of a fitness magazine, but she has five kids and is even nicer than she is fit. See? It’s better to not know people like this exist. Wait, that isn’t very positive.

I mean, “I am beautiful. I am nice. I am fit.”

Anyway, several years ago this fit friend of mine some how got it in her head that we would be good training partners. She is a runner. A very good runner. I had done a few races, including a couple of half marathons. I could have sworn I told her that I finished “running” with the speed walkers (now there’s a cocky bunch) in my last race, but people hear what they want to hear.

We were out training one day. I was having a hard time keeping up. I told her to just go ahead and let me run at my own pace. She started talking about this positive thinking stuff. She said I needed to believe that I could accomplish a faster pace. I needed to tell myself that I would run a 7-minute mile. I tried it. I said to myself, “Self, you are a fast runner. Your legs are lean and strong. You run fast, and you are running a seven-minute-mile.”

It worked. I ran the first mile faster than I have ever run a mile in my life. Then, “Self” had a morsel of wisdom to say in return. Self said, “You are on CRACK, lady!” I begged my friend to run ahead, and she finally did. My legs didn’t know how much I believed in them, because those suckers boycotted big time. They seized with cramps. I had to start walking. I seriously considered crawling. It took me so long to get back that my friend finally came back in her car to get me. She was worried about me, and was certain something serious had happened. She knew it couldn’t possibly take so long to finish the route. I told her my body knows no boundaries.

I kept trying to use my friend’s advice. When I was on long training runs by myself, my positive thoughts were like this, “I’m not sure I can keep going. Oh, that car is going fast. What if that car hits me? If that car hits me, I can stop running and I can rest in the hospital. I hope that car hits me.” I can save you some time, and tell you that line of thinking does not improve your running times either.

I know speaking, praying and thinking in the positive is not a magic wand. But, being positive is a tool I have not been using to help Eddie. Remember, I told Eddie I would use everything and anything to restore his health? I think when you get beaten down in life, you start to think you are better off hoping for nothing. Better to get what you expect, than continually experience crushing disappointment. There may be some truth to that theory, and let me tell you I have been clinging hard to that mindset for years; what I understand now is that thinking and praying that way is not physically, emotionally and spiritually helpful to Eddie. Helping Eddie is all I want to do.

From now on I will be praying like this, “Dear God, thank you for the healthy body you will be giving Eddie. Thank you for the Doctors that you will be leading us to that will solve this complex issue. Thank you for trials that are making us stronger and smarter.”

Do you think it is a coincidence that our Pastor pointed something out that confirmed this new paradigm? Let’s be clear, I’m kind of hit and miss on my Bible trivia. But, it’s for sure my go-to-guide. Our Pastor pointed out a passage in the Gospel of Mark. The disciples were complaining about not having bread. Jesus said (and this is a direct quote), “Listen, you silly little guys. Don’t you remember how I fed thousands of people with a few fish and a few loaves of bread? Why you gotta be so negative? Have some confidence in my miracle making, and let’s stay positive, okay?” There you have it. I know what you’re thinking. I should be teaching theology somewhere. I’ve just got a lot going on right now though.

Now when you meet me on the street, instead of me saying things like, “No one knows what’s wrong. We may never figure it out.” I’m going to say things like, “We know more than we ever have. We are working on a cure right now and Eddie is going to be well!” Wow. That just feel good, and it works. I’m totally running a seven minute mile today!

more positive thinking

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