Thursday, June 5, 2008

Take a deep breath

We often read about people taking things they've learned from training and applying them to every day life. I've read these things in the past and thought, I wish I could do that. I wish I could apply things that way, feel like I've learned some big life lesson that makes me a better person, a better employee, a better world citizen. But I've also realized that I've taken things I've learned in life and applied them to my training.

I've learned over the years since my husband died that I'm no pansy ass :) I've learned that I'm tougher than I ever thought possible and for this marathon I finally figured out how to use those things I learned in life and apply them to my race. It was a wonderful feeling to not give up on myself. And now I think, I can reverse that learning and apply it more consistently throughout the other areas of life. I still miss him and I still wish he was by my side in all of these adventures, but I know I can do things myself and still gain pleasure from them. I also know that he gives me strength in any number of things I have undertaken since... just because I knew him.

So I got a little off tangent there, but I guess it needed to be said. At any rate, this week I took something I learned in training and racing and applied it to real life. You see, I went on this drive across the country. No big deal - just the state of Oregon, only 400 miles or so. It should have been a piece of cake. Beautiful country that I stopped to enjoy and take pictures along the way. It sprinkled off and on at the start but no big deal. About 2 hours into it, it started to pour. I don't mean kind of rain, I mean the kind that you can't see much past the front of the car with the windshield wipers going at warp speed. And of course it being a rental, it was a car I wasn't familiar with. And being Oregon, it was a mountain road I wasn't familiar with... filled with semi-trucks. So while I hung onto the steering wheel for dear life, I thought to myself, "You can do this. Just focus. Just a little bit farther. Just BREATHE!" And I did. Mind you, I got off that road as soon as it was safe and had a nice long lunch in hopes it would pass. It did for a while, and then another hour or so after getting back on, it was the same thing. Nothing to do, but keep going. Take a deep breath and keep the forward momentum going. And I did. It was scary, but I did it... all on my own.

And now, I'm here in Boise with some family. They are a trip. I'm grateful to be visiting and to be entertained. I'm grateful to be able to see more of the west that I love so much, but I have to say breathing has a whole new meaning here.

You see, they're smokers. I, as an athlete, am decidely NOT a smoker. Never have been. Can't really stand the stuff. So I'm trying not to be a whiny baby, but I'm going to have to go into detox when I get home. Do you know how hard it is to hold your breath for three days? Can't be done, but on the other hand, I haven't been able to take a deep breath since I got here - it hasn't been three days yet, but I'm dying. I can literally feel my airways shrinking, my fitness level dropping, my eyes burning, my throat burning. I don't understand the appeal, but I do understand why many smokers are skinny. Food mixed with smoke tastes like shit. Who wants to eat?

So while I'm enjoying the scenery and looking forward to a tour around town (OUTSIDE), I am also desperately looking forward to going home and taking a shower and disinfecting all of my clothes. There are some things that won't be allowed in the house for a while - like that pretty leather jacket and my suitcase. Yuck!

Until I can take a deep breath, please someone, send me some oxygen, say a prayer or something. Good thing I'm not running this week. I hope I have enough air to do my workouts when I get back.

1 comment:

Alili said...

Tears, streaming down my face. You are an incredibly strong person-and you always have been.