For nearly all of February, I have been sick. Really sick.Cold. Flu. Fever. Dizzy. Sick as I've been since the bad old days, to tell the truth. And when you're a throat cancer survivor, those barking coughs and hackings can really mess with your head when they wake you up at 2:30 AM.
Of course, Murphy's Law being what it is, confusion and loss on the personal, financial, and professional fronts all hit at the same time leaving me feeling like the magical start of 2014 had been a God playing a cruel joke. No sooner did my lungs begin to clear, than I felt like the emotional rug was being pulled out from under me in about 6 different directions.
Well, all that stuff is sort of resolving itself now, some for better, mostly for worse, but at least I'm not sick in bed, letting it all just roll over me anymore.
Reboot Part One
I've decided to try to keep more of my personal drama offline in the future. Several things have happened over the past few weeks that make me think that I am hurting myself and people I care about by being so candid about my day to day mental health struggles on the internet. I deactivated my Facebook account for a few days, then went in and took a look at the kinds of things I say and do there. It was an illuminating, and not always flattering picture. I've done some housekeeping. Made some promises to myself that I want very much to keep, and last night, I reactivated the account.
Reboot Part Two
Being sick in bed for most of two weeks really drove it home for me: I can not afford to take my health for granted ever again. Sounds like a pretty stupid thing for a cancer survivor to say, doesn't it? Nevertheless, that's what I've been doing. Sure, there were lots of reasons, and some of them were pretty good, but good reasons don't change bad consequences... I stopped taking care of my body, and I am weaker as a result.
And self-inflicted weakness is a luxury I can not afford.
So I dug out the passwords for my account on myfitnesspal.com. I've been walking every day. I've started logging calories. Every blessed one of them. I'm chucking the canned weight training plan I've been using, and have written my own program for the next six weeks I've started actually ticking items off my Outlook
Task list, instead of shaking my head at it and then rushing off to voice my half-cocked opinions about the Outrage-of-the-Day™ on Facebook.
Talk is cheap. And I can talk one hell of a game. But I have always needed to put a thing in words before I can put it into action. And action is what I'm doing now. It's the lesson that the Marathon taught me. You may not finish pretty, but you will finish if you just keep moving. And I've been sitting still much too long.
Fat Man Walking
Last night's walk was a beauty. It was great to get out into the evening air and to feel like my lungs were finally working again. I walked about 3.5 miles to the center of town and back. Went out today for about 4.5. It was early afternoon, but about 10°colder than last night. Uglier, too. I went through some of North Lexington's industrial district, which naturally includes the bars, bookstores, and "Gentlemen's Clubs" that seem to spawn around working men like mold on leftovers. I don't notice this stuff as much when I run, but walking through it made me feel sort of dirty. I think I'll not include that particular block again if I can help it.
Another difference between walking and running for me is that my mind keeps working when I walk. Not so much fatigue, I guess. Not so many endorphins. I'm not sure what the reason is. I just think more when I walk. About love. About the dogs I meet. About the groups of people standing on the street talking. About whatever I'm obsessing about at the moment. About how I can stop obsessing and just let myself be where I am. It's funny, but I find that walking... I mean the actual act of walking... requires a little more mental discipline than running. I suppose I'll learn more about that as I go along. In any case, I've walked more in the last two days than I've run in the last two months, and it feels good to be back on the road.