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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Packing

Shall I bring you? Carry you with me to this new home?  At the time you seemed so important to me, so integral to my safe keeping.  At the time... you seemed so groovy, promising me glamour and shine.  At the time you moved me more than I could ever have hoped to accomplish alone.  Shall I carry you with me? Where do you belong now?

Maybe you are tired?  Longing for a break, hoping for a rest... a paused sip of tea.  Maybe you like to collect dust and only to remember the way we were so long ago.... all tangled together in the wee hours of the morning, before the children woke, before the coffee perked, before I thought about my day.  Maybe you wish to stay there, in my thoughts wrapped up in my sheets counting the minutes we could share before the alarm screams.  Shall I leave you to that peace? To that place when I would never have allowed the image of another to whisper on my pillow the way you did.  Maybe the hurt is too great for you...Now that I have moved on....

Shall I knot you to my soul in the present tense and bring you along to see this new life I'm about to live? Or would you feel left out amongst my new identity?  Shall I let you have your own life now? Or do you wish to stay a part of mine even in this downgraded role?  How will you feel watching me dance with another just your size? How will you hurt as I smile in the embrace of anew?  Maybe I'm not cruel enough to let you witness that.  Maybe I should once and for all, free you to see the world on your own.  Maybe I need to give you the space to love and be loved again.

... I am packing.  I am moving.... I am undecided how much I love you still....

And oh how I've loved you....

... My old pair of running shoes.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Out like a lion...

There is nothing to stop the fire that burns in your toes when spring is in the air.  There is no holding back that spirit that drives you to jump out of bed at 4:45am and get your shoes on five minutes early just to see if you can beat the birds wake up call.  That awkward place between winter running wear and summer skin is bridged.  All the crap on your mind dissipates in the quiet mist when seconds don't matter and seem not to add against a tally of your days countdown.

There is just you, the smell of thawing worms, the lingering dream of Boston marathon 2013, and your shoes....

Let it run.  Let you hope spring forth and set the pace.  Let the tingling in your toes bring a smile to your face and a restless sleep before a hill workout.  Let that stupid stupid mistake in your past stand on the curb while you run free... I promise you ... it will wait for you.  Let yourself just be.  You and moons last beams can dance along the path, road, trail as though no one is waking... Just be.

It's nearing the end of March.  I am not afraid of April.  I'm feeling ok with May.  June has me a wee be jittery.  July ... July... I cry myself to sleep worrying about those hills on the bike route of my half ironman.  But it isn't in vain... It's in the tangle of finding who I am.  I am here.  I am learning that is enough...  I am carrying this fierce hope.  It maybe carries me.  I bring it with me on my way to work.  I sing to it while I sip my coffee.  I nurture it in the snuggles with my kids.  Hope... I am here.  Me and the thawing worms.  Dancing in the wakeful dark on each morning run. 

You might laugh if you saw me ... I keep trying to convince myself you need something special to push through chaos and emerge an ironman...

The truth is... You don't... Just be you and start.  Butterflies are just well practised caterpillars.

It is day 447 of my run streak.  I don't go far.  I don't get there fast.  But I go. 

Today... You go... See what you find along the way.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Episode 4; The 1/2 Iron(wo)man, Saga of a blind athlete

What it takes....

We had some technical issues this weekend, but here it is!!!  Episode four :)

Please keep sending your feedback by either commenting or emailing rmavery@primus.ca


Turn your speakers up and enjoy!


Thanks Terese (13) for filming, casting and editing...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Episode 3; The half iron(wo)man - Saga of a Blind Athlete

episode three! Target Practice

Thanks for tuning in again!  We are loving sharing this journey with you all.  Keep sending us your feedback and thoughts to rmavery@primus.ca

Turn up your speakers... Time for a bit of goal talk...

Awesome job Terese (my daughter 13) on directing and casting :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Belief

Hope and faith are wonderful.  They caress my stamina in the hush before I travel from that place of thinking maybe I will get out of bed and go run... to that place when I feel unstoppable on the run running the first 25 meters of my morning... down hill of course.  Start every journey with hope and faith...

Finish every journey with belief.

I went for a swim today.  Put my cane down by the lane, walked my towel over to the hooks.  Placed my glasses carefully on the ledge.  Walked back to the lane I had chosen.  That's your impression watching from the side, or the hot tub, or not watching at all because nothing seemed odd.  What really happened was this - I went swimming today.  Came out of the ladies change room and noticed there was no guard standing close enough to ask which lane was free.  Walked slowly around to the deep end as if with purpose.  Judging movement in the water.  Tested a coughs echo off the wall.  Stepped around the puddle I knew to be always there.  Placed my cane on the ground by the lane I hoped and prayed was in fact empty.  Took three deep breaths to ensure no movement there.  Turned and walked to the hook to hang my towel and place my glasses on the ledge.  Turned again... Recounted the steps and the angle of my turn to get back to my lane without falling in the pool.  Felt the grate under foot and my cane with my left finger tips.  Sat down and put on my cap and goggles.  Someone came and sat beside me. They asked to share a lane.  I went into a big "absolutely... sorry if I bump you ... I don't see very well" speech.  Start every journey with hope and faith.

Movement and chaos in the water brings me to swim faster.  As if my body is craving a rush or my head just wants to get out of the pool again.  Give me a quiet still water and I could swim in silent peace forever. Movement and chaos and I'm counting strokes to the next breath.

Finish every journey with belief.

From the pool to a strength class.  Not my usual instructor.  I get to give my speech again.  To my trainer, to my neighbours, to .... who knows... This trainer doesn't demonstrate the same way.  We are both learning today.  Start every journey with hope and faith and carry stubbornness with you close at hand.

Walking home from the gym my mind is on fire.  It's also asleep.  Singing the same song on repeat.  Usually I have a Tom Petty, Elton John, American Pie internal carrying tune.  Today my walk home was inspired by the dark side of motivation... and "I'm not afraid" ... but maybe I am... and just don't care? Truth is a horrible companion.  She is a needy cranky unaffectionate soul that stops me in my tracks without notice. 

Yes I am afraid.  I hate crossing this road.  I hate not knowing if your turning signal is on.  I hate that look I'm thinking you are giving me as if to wave me on... I want to scream..."I CAN'T SEE YOU" ... but instead I give my speech..."sorry (grin) I don't see very well... didn't mean to get in your way"

Finish every journey with belief...

... It occurs to me that I give an impression as a disabled person.  A heightened illusion that we are calm and sturdy and all things capable.  That we have a sense of fight and determination that seems lacking in ... say a teenager when you are trying to get them out of bed on a Saturday.  This is false and I am endlessly sorry for that.  I struggle in every moment.  I stand up straight only when you are looking.  The problem is I never know when you are looking... I strive to bypass an understated expectation of the disabled person.  However... in so doing... people believe in me. 

Let me be the first to admit that is an intense responsibility.  There are days when the sky is dark enough for all things...and days when I cannot leave my house.  The space in between is carefully frustrating.  Especially as a parent.  Start every journey with faith and hope....

Today I stopped at a Tim Hortons and bought myself a coffee.  That's what it looked like.  But really what happened was... I thought about it for five blocks.  Wondered if I could cross the drive through.  Panicked about whether a driver would wave me on.  Considered my actual need for coffee.  Which was increasing with the stress. Misjudged the distance between me and the puddle I could hear them driving through.  Shoved my chin higher... scrambled to read the amount I owed that no one read outloud.... Started to sweat in my winter coat from stress. Crossed the same drive through.  Stood on the corner and thanked the lord for a red light so I could catch my breath.

Finish every journey with belief.

It's Runstreak day 433 today. I did that, despite and because of.... my disability.

Peace to you in running :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The 1/2 Iron(wo)man; Saga of a Blind Athlete Episode #2

The Right Stuff....

So here it is!!! Week two of training!  Terese's fancy filming and my boys both helping. 

This week we took a minute to pause and see what kind of equipment one might need (as a blind athlete) in order to train for a 1/2 ironman. 

Enjoy!  Again, we are still working on our volume issues (although I'm fairly convinced it's the equipment)

Lets us know what you think! Also we are looking for future contributions so drop us a line!!! rmavery@primus.ca

Peace to you in running :)


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Two Months In..

March

.. and I'm back in grade one. Learning about lions and lambs. Learning about what it means to be "other" in my own skin, in my own class, in my own idea of "other" so kindly given to me.  And Oh how I have lived it... this disabled life.  I park in the special close spots.  Correction, those who drive me get to park in the nice spots.  That surely must be a perk right?

January made me think I was over thinking.  February made me feel.... embraced in an idea.  This notion of alone in a crowd.  Shuffled between the known and the assumed.  And yet I am still living the "other" in this new world of athlete that I have pretended to be a part of. 

Perhaps I don't run fast.  I know I'm not strong.  I know that by all rights I should be able to lift that weight, or run that long.... I am .... unnerved at my belief in these words "able" and "should".  I am ... forever redefining my opinions on gravity.  I am ...

I have no clue.

This is week one of the official half ironman training.  I thought it was a lot before.  I thought my hair couldn't get any frizzier from being frazzled.  I thought I would stop waking up in the kitchen at two am eating bananas and bagels.  I thought I was losing my mind before.

I thought wrong.

My solo half marathon left a traumatic nervousness in it's wake.  I jump at all movements.  Spin around at the slightest noise.  I see shadows in the mirror and say excuse me.  I haven't found peace in a run since.  I wake up in shakes and sweats, afraid to miss the train tracks in my dreams.  I feel my heart rate racing when I am late for things.

And I still wake up eating bananas on the kitchen floor at two am.  There are callouses forming on my hands from gripping metal free weights.  My elbows have rug burn from alternating planks.  My hair is frizzy.  I have hopes that calm comes before the race. I have hopes that life will stop whipping around like a tornado and settle in the dust of collective thought.

I am....

... still deciding what exactly it is that I am.

February's Stats;

Running - 33 runs, 125.87 km covered, Runstreak maintained

Biking - 9 bike rides, 183.7km covered.

swimming - 5 swims, 7.45 km covered.

weights - 8 weight workouts

core - 7 core workouts

toenails - 2 toenails lost

yoga - ok I admit ... zero yoga... I'm working up to it.... I swear.

And to March?

Well, if she's anything like me... she'll come in like a lion and leave in the same manner.  I'm not sure I operate in any other gear.

Peace to you in running :)