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Friday, January 27, 2012

Forward Movement - Day eight of training

Every once in a while there is moment of greatness near... You can catch a glimpse of it if you turn your head too quick for karma to shuffle it out of the way.  You can catch a sniff of that aroma hidden deep under the smell of sweet sleep at 4am.  Quietly at midnight when you turn from back to side you might feel that tingle of belief.  Maybe it's not your own.  Maybe you are not quite there yet to that place where you know, where you just can let go and trust that all your hard work will pay off.  But it's someone's belief.  It's someone's belief in you.  It's the most intimidating heart rate raising realization when you drop the barriers long enough to soak in the idea that someone is putting their faith in you.

It's day 8 of training.  Half ironman training for July... First ultramarathon training for Sept... I have no idea what I've gotten myself into.  I have no idea who pushed that glowing indigo start button in the dark.  I have no clues as to what drives an insane hope in the desperately stubborn soul. 

I just know I'm here. 

I wake up and find myself here.  I stir my coffee and feel myself here.  I hold my children and know I'm meant to be here.  I may not be good at any of this running, biking, swimming stuff.... But underneath the chaos there is a hidden driven purpose I have yet to understand. 

Day 8 of training... and my muscles are in shock.  My body is in place that feels like complete revolt.  As if all the powers of heaven are manifesting in my every muscle spindle sending signals of spasm from head to toe.  I pushed so hard, perhaps in efforts to prove someone, maybe me?, wrong... I ache so badly that I woke myself up from slumber in the night crying. 

Every fibre of determination fires on autopilot.... Must do... Will do... Can do...

Belief is a powerful thing.  It moves your sadness to a smile.  It wipes a tear to the side.  It brings a spring to your step when all other reasons have been removed.  Belief always gives a gracious gift along..... Hope.

My tandem is collecting dust in my basement.  I hear my Doris when I'm on my trainer upstairs calling me... Let me out she calls.  Blind runner bib still pinned to her fender, Tassles tangled against the growing pile of boxes leaning against her.  Each knot a tale of triumph, each sparkle a twinkle in my eye.  Soon... soon... soon.

My head is full of the music of my dreams.  Carrying me out to sea... winding my sails... abandoning my fear amongst the passing seaweed...

....".... This is gotta be the good life....."

Peace to you in training. May belief carry you through, beyond your fears and into possibility.

Day 391 of running....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pausing past reflection

Saturdays creep up on me... they seep through the chaos and force their way between the edges of the bricks that control my concrete sidewalk.  They fray the seams I've cross-stitched together.  The moments of I can and the glue of I wish all come out in the wash on a Saturday.  Over folding towels and hanging linens and mismatched socks I linger... Over the delicate pattern of wear I notice on my face in the mirror... the one I likely imagine more than see... I ponder.... breathing in the steam from the tea I was allowed to sip.... I smile....

Saturdays always creep up on me. 

Today the paper airplanes flew, the lego battles were won, the snowforts constructed and crumbled.  Today the movie was watched snuggled together, today there were no naps, no quiet times, no play dates... Today there was teenage drama, there was four year old contemplative understandings of the interworkings of the dishwasher, the clogged drain, the superhero demeanor.  Today there was the offical writing of a training plan into the planner so that every day I would know....

Saturdays creep up and seem to slip away just as fast.  Teasing me with their brief moments of calm.  Taunting me with temporary sibling cooperation.  Today my son did planks with me.  Today he ran with me.  Today he told me that in english they had to pick someone to write about that they thought of as a role model and he chose me.... Thankfully we were running ... thankfully he didn't see my tears... thankfully he didn't hear my snort when I asked him why and he responded..."because I didn't know anyone else".....

Saturdays slide out of my reality faster than I can force a focus on them.  They dissipate quietly into Sunday catch up and are seemingly lost forever amongst the Mons, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri....

Then just as unpredictably ... Saturdays seem to forever creep up on me again.

At the very beginnings of this half ironman training... I want to embrace that creep... I wish I had seen it coming.  I wish I had prepared for quiet moments of God given happiness so evident in my life...

Run streak day 386... Peace to you in running from this humble blind runner :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day 383 Poetry....

As shared at the Spill during Word Up :)

(pardon the typos)

Introductions of this me....

I could speak of the me which you might know, the me I let carefully allow to show.

I could grace myself with that her that moves in time, that her that swings the weapons of passive aggressive directions into a land mine.

I could tangle you several sticky webs of the lives I have lead, I could build you a boat and send you out to a barren sea with dread.

I could utter memories of cold dark nights left alone with regret, I could sing to you of the exceeded expectations I bled to have met.

I could place you on the snowmobile that rammed the tree when I was eight, the one that wasn't steered by the drunken father given to me by fate.

I could bring you to an isolating guilt inspired by my dinner, perhaps entrap you briefly in how an apple might make me feel a sinner.

I could share a brief moment of chaos after laundry, dishes, children, work, and more, I could whisper “mommy” to wake you once you've been exhausted to the core.

I could weave you in the scrap yarn used to knit scarves when none else could be bought, I might cook you in the stew made from nothing but the hand me down pot.

I could coax you, persuade you through three natural labours, I could don on your shoulder a baby sling to carry your favours.

I could hush you a lullaby to sing you to sleep, I might stir you a cup of tea to force a quicker steep.

I could place you at the end of such an accomplishment as to fill you with elation, I could leave you in moments of abandon which would overfill your desperation.

I could describe the things I cannot see, or perhaps you might describe them to me?

I could grant you an honours degree, a college diploma and allow you to feel wise, then remind you half the jobs you seek will force you to put your disability in disguise.

I could move your feet to rhythm and show you how much your soul loves to dance, ever so slowly edging away the furniture you're bound to bump as you carelessly prance.

I could attempt to shout “you can't” in your face a zillion times to watch your frustration, daring you endlessly to transform it into a tempting motivation.

I could stop and stare, I could assume you wouldn't care.

I could assign you an unreachable task, just to test the 'ability' you might mask.

I could ..... introduce you to this me, but it's not the one I usually would let you see.

After all, who am I to say who it is that I am? I haven't lived all my days as yet. The me I'd like to introduce is one neither of us has met.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ode to my Cup of Coffee

Oh jumping bean in my cup... how inspiring you are.  I wish I could sit calmly and sip.  I take that back.  I do not wish for that, but can you imagine that quiet?  Can you imagine that stillness?  My soul does not know such pause.  As I sip, I greet new dreams as if they already exist.  They flirt with my reality.  They jingle around in my tummy, that intuitive place that sets you on fire. In the next moment I say these aspirations out loud.  Why, dear coffee in my cup, do you move me so?  Why, dear coffee in my cup, do you speak my words before I think them through? Why, dear coffee in my cup, do you create that feeling of invincibility down to my toes that I know will fade near the end of every race? 

More importantly.... why do I let you?

And now, hands still warm from the cup of my weekend treat.... I dialled my most spontaneous guides number.... and ask that quizzical question that has been nagging my deeper consciousness...... "how would you feel about captaining my fixed gear tandem bike for 90km?" 

I expected a laugh, a giggle, a moment of silence to suggest how insane I actually feel. 

I get hardly to end of my question, barely to the intonation that should come when asking, and theres a "YES!" on the other end. 

Then I get myself deeper into dreamland with every breath....

The commentary continues with much discussion of whether my tandem will actually survive such a distance.  We decide my 1970's Doris is solid enough.  We assume we are both crazy, I mean determined, enough.  We conclude that we must conclude our conversation, our fantasy aired out loud.... we seem to both finish elated. 

And in the next moment, with my hands still warm from that magical cup of cheap coffee.... the realization of the impending half ironman in July I just committed to.... Sinks down to the synaptic clefts of my every nerve impulse... Reality, it seems, leaks a bit of lactic acid with every neural firing.. leaving behind just enough of a kick in the ass to get me moving.....

Time to make my training plan.  Time to write my eulogy.  Or perhaps, time to stop pretending to be brave and actually start being so.

Either way, it is time.

peace to you in running and more..... on this freezing day 379 of running :)

Friday, January 6, 2012


Day dreaming.  That's how I feel I entered this new year, this fresh calendar page.  As if dancing in chaos at a costume party.  Only I have forgotten my mask.  I have forgotten the dance steps.  I have misplaced my motive along the way, amongst the flu, intermixed with the nauseous calls of "mommy" in the dark, splattered against the overdue bills that wallpaper the house I must prep for sale.

And yet somehow, with the reassurance of my friends, both online and not, my family and my stubbornness.... I made it through the year.  The 365 days someone so off-handedly suggested I couldn't run.  I still breathe, although currently its entwined with spasms of coughs that land me on the floor when no one is looking.  I still feel my heart pumping the blood that carried life through me for the year. I hear it most in my plugged ears that have forsaken me to infection, congestion or otherwise, thus stealing perception beyond belief.  I thank my lovely children for sharing this cold, this virus that has taken its turn with each of us, a week at a time, over the last month.  I thank them for their endless hugs and snotty noses, the ones I will miss when my house is silent not too many years from now. 

So through a fog, through a haze, a fever or two.... my goal has been reached.  365 consecutive days of running through 2011... bringing with it 2011km of distance run.  For each drop of sweet sweat and bitter crusting of mud, I am thankful.  So thankful.  To have been capable, to have been able.  Funny how little that word means to me...."able".... Too often trapped in my own self identity as "disabled"... For whom?

My self labelling helps the world understand my clumsiness.  Helps me to find ways to 'adapt' (also a word I carry distaste for).  My self labelling, not meant derogatory, not meant to be infused with 'can'ts' but to carry some semblance of  'perhaps' and 'maybe'...

I am not that calm.  I am not that patient.  I am not that mild.

I am the lion that charges in.  I am the "watch me" that forces all doubt to the wall.  I am the child that likely gave my mother a heart attack everyday. 

I am the "here and now" that planned every step through the quicksand, too angry to sit by and wait for someone to figure out the route. 

And now, here are my thanks, here are my hopes and dreams of one challenge done.  Here is me saying I am nothing without those that push me.  I am nothing without those who love me.  I am nothing without support.  I am forever thankful, forever grateful....

Back to that fresh calendar page, so taunting and new. Back to that new challenge so simple and true.  Back to that me that can't turn down a fight.  Back to that inhale just before we take flight.

2012 goals... let it be known... I already botched one....

- limit of one cup of coffee a day (can you guess which one I blew?)
- to run 2012km in the year
- to run my first ultra in october 50km
- to read 12 good books
- to stretch more (ouch)
- one complete surprise I will not tell....

And because I haven't decided to give up my runstreak... I'm still running at least 1km every day (challenging as I still feel like a festering piece of dung, but that will pass I'm sure)... It seems I haven't said good-bye to it yet.  I'm sure there will come a day when I do not wish to run.  Today is  not that day. And so we continue. 

Peace to you all in running and more :)