Boys. Dogs. Racing.
What do these three (seemingly unrelated) items have in common? That's the topic of today's blog.
Well . . . sort of.
First I want to start by asking you a question. And I really want you - whoever you are reading this, for whatever reason - I want YOU - to think about this.
Have you ever reached your breaking point?
For many people, their breaking point is the point where they throw up your hands and declare, "I quit." For others, this is the point where everything falls apart and they realize they have to completely tear down before they can even think about rebuilding. For me, the breaking point is all of these, but also the point where I finally realize - no, not realize, because I always knew - it's the point where I finally DECIDE to dig in my heels and start biting off chunks of the elephant(s) in front of me.
See, for much of my life, my attitude has been, you do as much as you can possibly do - and then, when you cannot do a single thing more, you let go. Because some times all you can do is let go.
Now I'm starting to feel as if maybe I had it backwards. As if maybe, just maybe, we have to let go FIRST, and then we find out how much or little we can or want to do - THEN, we do it. You see, my depression has robbed me of an entire year of my life (this time - God knows how many others it's snatched from me.) I was truly at my lowest point, the point where I felt as if I could do NOTHING. So I had to let go. I had to turn loose of everything because I was not capable of doing it. And I'm talking everything from having a relationship to working overtime to paying bills on time, walking the dog a mile a day, meeting friends for dinner, wearing makeup, calling my parents, emptying the trash - EVERYTHING was a chore. I had the emotional energy for nothing, so I just started to let it all go.
And then, after several months of soul-searching, returning to therapy, medication, good friends, fun times, training, and a few races . . . it dawned on me.
I am happy again.
And not an ecstatic, bipolar happy - a peppy, saucy, constant stream of giggles about how grand my life is - or if not IS, how grand it can truly BE. The potential of it all - the potential has returned to my life, and with it the hope and faith that there IS a way out, a GOOD way out, a LIVING way out - and there always will be. And I have begun to realize that now, instead of letting go, now I can really look at all those tasks daunting me, and grab a few of them . . . and hang on.
For the first time in my life, I'm hanging on when I would usually let go. I'm hanging on to New Guy for a while with no expectations, just enjoying having someone around. I'm hanging on to training, just at lower distances for the next few months and after I get the all-clear from an orthopedist on my leg. I'm hanging onto my hopes of getting my tubes tied, getting a promotion, and maybe not having to move. But I'm also letting go.
Saturday morning I wake up feeling extra-fine and super-feisty. New Guy and I have somewhat repaired things. . . I've been seeing him again, the weird un-connectedness is off, and I've decided to just take the whole situation as it comes - or, as it doesn't. In a lot of ways, we're closer now than we were before. So, before I hit the afternoon Tri Club Swim Clinic and then a 197o's-themed Prom party for V-Day (I'm not a big V-Day celebrator, it must be noted), I decided I'll go on a 3-5 mile run with Al at Blanchard Park.
Did you hear that?
Yeah, that's the sound of MY OWN STUPIDITY.
(Sounds ugly, doesn't it?)
I barely make it 2 miles. I hobble/walk the rest of the way. Needless to say - the leg is worse at this point. Being a repeat IT-band injury-sufferer, I know when to take a hint. I cancel all my run workouts for the next 2 weeks, halt my bike workout plans for a week, and forego the dance-all-night prom to go out somewhere I can sit (and then, only for a few hours). I did hit the swim clinic and learned a LOT - in fact, got put in the lead of my lap lane at least once and felt overall that, while I'm a slow swimmer, I'm a very strong swimmer - and not even half as bad as I'd thought. My shoulders are definitely worked from feeling the more "correct" stroke, but I have to say it's a great feeling to slide through the water knowing I'm not crossing over - AND to know I can cross a 25-yard lane in only 1-2 breaths. Saturday night I spent the night with NG - things seemed to go awesome - and Sunday I swam again and took an almost 2-hour power yoga class, which seemed to have helped. I had to take Tylenol PM at midnight just to get back to sleep.
Nonetheless, I woke up on Monday with no new developments on the NG front, way too sore to go to a swim workout with the club, and hobbling even worse. Last night I cried myself to sleep after drinking 1.5 bottles of wine. Alone. I can't get back to "real training" yet, and I'm PISSED - no, LIVID - with myself for staying out of the weight room enough that I let my hip flexors stay weak enough that I could develop ANOTHER I.T. BAND INJURY. FOR FUCK'S SAKE! I've been DOING this for almost FOUR years?!?! Have I NOT learned ANYTHING??!?!?!
Now, to be completely fair . . . I can't blame all of this (ever so slight) downheartedness on the leg. My life has been very complicated, and there are a lot of loose ends: my tubes getting tied got put off, I haven't been back to see the endocrinologist, I have to finish up some financial paperwork I've been putting off for MONTHS, NG (while responsive and seemingly more sensitive) has dropped the "baby" and "sweetie" in his texts and still doesn't seem to know what to do with me. I don't know where I want to live, and now that my job is going well and I'm OFF ALL PRESCRIPTION MEDICINES (you heard it here first), my mental health is super-stable and so is my physical health, so there are a whole new round of decisions to be made.
And they involve the 3 things that are causing me a lot of pain right now - boys, dogs and racing.
As I said, my old philosophy was to dig in - dig in till I couldn't dig in any more, and then let go when I could do nothing else. Now I want to let go first . . . and let whatever is meant to come to me, head my way. So I am thinking really hard about finding a new home for Kona - if and when I move, he will not be able to come with me, and there are a multitude of other reasons why this could really be the best move for both he and I. And I let go of my expectations about NG for a while - just to see where things go and why. (Hell, I'm probably delaying the inevitable by not turning him loose already, too.) That includes not saving a shitload of old text messages. Why hang on? And I let go of my pressure to race for a while. I will keep training, get through this injury, but if I can't feel confident by late March, I may defer St. Anthony's, too.
There's a Toni Braxton song from waaay back in the day . .
First thing monday morning
Im gonna pack my tears away
Got no cause to look back
I'm lookin for me a better day
You see the thing bout love
Is that it's not enough
If the only thing it brings you is pain
There comes a time when we could all make a
Just let go
And let it flow, let it flow, let it
Everything's gonna work out right, yknow
Let go, and let it flow, let it flow, let it flow
Just let it go
You know what I did this morning? I got my shit together. I went and got my bloodwork and got ready to go back to the doctor. That's what happens when I reach my breaking point. I just dig in.
And now I have to go rest up from last night's 4 hours of sleep and 1.5 bottles of wine.