A post has been ruminating in my brain for a while now. Not entirely sure what stops me from penning on a daily basis; my brain is so full I feel like one of those weird athletes at the hot dog eating contests….nauseated, and yet…And yet, there seems to be boundless room in their tummies for bread and hog pieces. Yep, that’s what my brain feels like.
I’ve been off my Zoloft for several weeks now. Really, I’ve been off of it for a few months, but every so often I get a headache of dynamic proportions and deduce it’s something seretonin related so I slip a teency sliver of Zoloft down the hatch, and that usually takes care of my ache.
Anyway, I’ve been off of it for a while now, and my therapist’s main concern was not depression, but anxiety. I didn’t really listen to her because I’m so excited that I might actually survive being without it, that I won’t be hitched to a pill for the rest of my life. But anxiety has run my life for the last month, too.
I started a running program through the YMCA. It’s a group running class that I paid to join. The idea is that they give you a group environment, education on stretching, injury prevention, healthy snacks, and at the end you run a 5K, about three miles.I found solace in two girls who seemed like they’d enjoy being silly with me. The first two weeks of class I felt I’d been transported back to High School P.E. class and there are only a few “real” athletes…The rest of us joke around and try to make the best of it without using a competitive bone in our body. Those first two weeks weren’t exceptionally rough from an endurance standpoint, but I never had any intention of being “that” runner who laps everyone. And don’t worry, this isn’t a story about how I became that runner. Ha.
Running is hard, you know it? In fact, exercise freaking sucks. I’m convinced anything that increases your cardiac output over an extended period is 85% mental. I started the class because I wanted to learn how to run again. As a (slightly crappy) sprinter in High School, I never learned the physical or mental discipline of running long distances. All the long distance runners in High School were tall and skinny and ate bagels from the inside out. Okay, not all of them. But some of them were really very strange with that bagel eating thing….Where they’d devour the meat inside and then maybe eat the outer skin?
Maybe a Wisconsin thing?
I swam today because my shins have been hurting. I’m going to the chiropractor tomorrow because my left foot has been going numb for several weeks now. I feel old and broken and I’m only twenty seven. Ha. Even swimming, a sport I’ve been doing since I was five, was tough today. I kept having to tell myself, “keep going, don’t stop, do a flip turn on the wall, don’t be lazy and do a two hand touch just to get another four breaths in…” My set I gave myself was 1900 yards, but I think I only did 1700. Sometimes I think I make goals that are too lofty for me on purpose because I have a real problem giving myself grace. I was somewhat upset with my crappy performance, but I thought, “some movement is better than none at all,” and got dressed to go stretch upstairs.
When you walk upstairs at the Y, there is a long wall of gargantuan televisions that are designed to distract you from the gnawing inside you that wants to give up. As I walked upstairs the row of TV’s all said the same thing:
BREAKING NEWS: BOMBING AT THE BOSTON MARATHON….. 2 CONFIRMED DEAD, 117 INJURED….
Scrolling at the bottom were stats about how many people had run in the iconic race, how many spectators were there. A video kept playing over and over of the exact moment one of the bombs went off. A runner in a red shirt collapsed onto the ground from the propulsion of the bomb some idiot put in a garbage can. His knee gave out. I hope he’s OK.
I wanted to crumple and cry in the middle of the workout floor. I wanted to cry because as people were having the best freaking day of their freaking life, someone decided to ruin everyone’s day. Folks train for this marathon for years. I’ve heard it’s not exactly for the faint of heart. All the mental fortitude it takes to accomplish a marathon is something I can’t say I resonate with, but runners are tough–they’re an intrepid bunch. We’re an intrepid bunch.
That finish line represents a place of such growth, of suffering, of sacrifice, of defeat, of disappointment, a lot of sweat, screaming and crying. And now death? Friends…. here I am, crying, noting that this should not be so. Such a dichotomy pains my ticker.
Tonight I met my brother David for dinner in some place in Oklahoma because he’s here for work. All the way there I listened to the AM station for updated news information. FM radio stations kept playing Ke$ha. This woman called in who had run 52 marathons in her life, including the Boston Marathon, and kept saying she was devastated, absolutely devastated. A man called in suggesting this was all just a distraction, and it was a conspiracy by the US to, and something about stocks. He was cut off and another caller was allowed to speak. The guy on the radio repeated this phrase several times: yes, there may be evil in the world, but there are more of us that are good, and good will always win. Always.
That may be true, but my heart still hurts.