Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Run Half a Mile in My Shoes

The human body is remarkable. It's both fragile and very strong. It's a complex organism that regularly exceeds my expectations. Even though my body has not been cooperating in the last few weeks, I'm still amazed that it can take such a beating and keep on going. I told my colleague earlier today that if my body could talk it would have spend the last month or so telling me to go f*ck myself. Apparently my body would also have a potty mouth.

Recovering is a weird thing. Last week I came back to work, but I left early Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to go home and rest. On Thursday I headed to Muskegon, Michigan for a two-day work trip. I had rescheduled one day of meetings from the week I was in the hospital so I could do the two days in a block and stay overnight. I figured staying overnight would at least allow me to rest after all my meetings and not chase a toddler around.

My first meeting was at 9:30 (Muskegon is about an hour and a half drive). By the time my meetings ended at 3 (back to back without a break) I was exhausted. As we were leaving our last meeting my colleague said to me: "Are you okay? You look low." I felt low. I went back to the hotel and napped nearly three hours before getting up and walking around downtown and heading out to check out the city's beaches on Lake Michigan. I will admit I was extremely tired, but I felt like this was my version of a compromise. I got several snarky "glad to see you're feeling better" texts, and I ignored them. I'm doing my version of a slow down, and I will do it my way. 

Selfies on Lake Michigan
On Friday morning I woke up sluggish, and I decided to walk around downtown a bit. I put on running clothes and started walking in a historic neighborhood. I live in a historic home, so I know how cool they are. But these houses in Muskegon were phenomenal. I was so impressed. I even let myself run for a block here and there mostly because my legs just started taking off without my mind even realizing what was happening.

Lovely downtown Muskegon
Nearly five years ago I wrote a blog about how running makes me feel normal. That's still true today. When I'm running I don't feel like a woman with Crohn's. Right now I feel like a sick person, and when I was running (for a half a mile total according to my Garmin) I felt strong and normal. I miss it. I miss my normal.

I ran only a half a mile, but by the time I was touring Muskegon's nature preserve later in the morning, I suddenly felt exhausted. I was supposed to have a late meeting scouting some sites for a meeting we're having in Muskegon later in the summer, and I canceled. I knew I had pushed too hard, and I needed to rest. Trust me, it's a step for me to even recognize this.

Over the weekend I didn't nap, but I didn't run. My body is still figuring out what's going on, and I'm trying to be kind to it. I had running clothes on last night with full intentions of going for a quick run, but I didn't feel well. And instead of pushing it I rested.

I'm hoping to start running again this week if only to feel normal. My body feels weak, and it's not a familiar feeling. Running half a mile shouldn't give me side stitches and leave me out of breath, but it did. But I'm getting into to my new normal slowly and surely. I'm doing very little travel this week and sitting here with a glass of wine as I type this trying to channel the inner piece that writing (one of my other big stress relievers) provides me. Running half a mile reiterated what a remarkable and fragile thing the human body is. I've never appreciated it more.

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