Why don't you move, dammit?
Why don't you move, dammit?
-DJ Baby Anne and DJ Icey, Move
(If you've never heard this song, it'll rock your socks)
Moving on . . .
The title of this blog is How Do You Eat an Elephant?, which begs the obvious answer, "one bite at a time." My dad always gave me this advice because I FREQUENTLY bite off more than I can chew.
But the other reason I chose How Do You Eat an Elephant? was because of what it's become over the years. When I started blogging 5+ years ago, I had two separate blogs - my training blog and my everyday life blog. Then the lines between the two started to blur. And then my blog became about the elephant in the room.
In my case, the elephant is my complicated mental and physical health.
People don't like to acknowledge the akward, the personal, the difficult. For that reason, I've always struggled to decide how much to share. The answer is: A LOT. This blog is pretty much my internal (incessant) chatter put in writing. Partly because I need the outlet. And partly because I hope to help someone feel more confident about facing their personal physical and mental challenges because I shared mine.
So many of you know, aside from my physical challenges, I have struggled with major depressive disorder my entire adult life. And, every now and then, I have an episode that completely throws me for a loop. We're not talking the kind where you cry at a commercial for the ASPCA (although I do that too), we're talking parlayzing despair that makes you curl up on your bed and lie there for hours, sobbing and immobile.
I've struggled a lot with it lately and, combined with my vertigo, it's made my training very difficult.
Let me get this out of the way if I have not made it PATENTLY obvious in my blog entries: I am a very fortunate person. Overall, I have been extremely lucky. I am thankful every day for everything I've been able to accomplish and for being able to work my way out of physical, mental and financial troubles. I have friends and family who love me, plenty to eat, and (most of the time) I have the gas I need to get where I'm going. But it is very frustrating to be saddled with the knowledge that you will be paying medical bills for the rest of your life, and since that's on top of the normal debt everyone else has, like student loans and car payments, your pay will almost never provide for much more - and, in some cases, may not even cover them all. I don't know when I will ever be able to take a vacation again, and there is a probablity that I'll never be able to retire.
I don't know if you remember, but at one point I didn't think I'd be able to afford any races for the rest of the year. By the grace of supportive friends, family, and my own crafty savings, I've been able to do a few of the cheapest races I could find. If I work enough overtime before grad school starts, I will be able to afford to fly for the Rocket City Marathon in December, to see my parents and run the race.
For all of this, and for my continued mobility, I am tremendously grateful.
But if I told you that it didn't weigh heavily on me and affect nearly every decision I make, and that it didn't make dealing with MDD *that* much more difficult, I would be ignoring the elephant in the room.
Clinical depression is more than just being sad about a difficult situation. It's a real illness, a chemical imbalance. Help requires more than just telling someone to be positive or buck up. My request for you is that, if you know someone suffering from MDD or any form thereof, don't EVER tell them to just "be more positive." It simply isn't that easy.
The thing that has helped ME the most has been to just get up and MOVE. Get out of the house, go for a ride, go for a walk, a drive, fold the laundry, call a friend - basically any action that moves me forward.
I ask myself sometimes when I have one of those days: why don't you move, dammit?
And another things that helps is reflecting on my progress.
- First, a crit (to say I did one), because even though it is crazy and new, it will help my speed training. - DONE
- I'm also going on a tri-specific strength plan. I will be hitting the weights to try to cut my body fat drastically between now and March. - I've been more dedicated to weights than ever before.
- Then, to train for Florida 70.3, the Tour de Mom for the American Diabetes Association. - Did TOUR de MOM, but 70.3 was just too expensive.
- Also would like to do a 5k (to try to do one in somewhere between 25 and 28 minutes) - I did one in just over 28
- The 70.3 itself, hopefully in 6:30 or so. - Again, couldn't afford it, but hey, I figured other things out.
- I won't have the cash to do many summer races, but if I do, they'll be short and cheap. - Which is pretty much where I am now, no summer races but some cheap fall ones if things go well.
That's all some pretty powerful stuff.
Annually my goals were:
- Swim 120,000+ yards - I've swam 110,000+ already and it's July.
- Ride 70 miles + per week - I'm a little short on this.
- Run 10+ miles per week - I'm SUPER short on this but that's ok because
MARATHON TRAINING STARTS
And you will hear AAAAAALLLL about this in due time.
- In the meantime, why don't you MOVE, dammit!?