The Finishing Touch


This has been quite an introspective weekend for me.  On Friday evening I went down to pick up my run package.  Deciding to take a look at all the offerings at the fitness fare I came upon the offer of free physio / massage treatments.  This helped me tremendously.  She worked out the knot that was at the base of my calf muscle.

Perusing the other offerings, for which there were many, I came upon all natural massage oils.  Turns out they also have drinks and consumables that have no chemical content as well.  I purchased the Massage Warming Oil by Sportique and I must say, I have very quickly become a fan.

Friday was an interesting evening.  I had a conversation with a co-worker who would be participating in the run today as well and we were discussing diet options.  She suggested that I get some red meat into me.  She had found this beneficial.  So I headed down to The Terminal as I know they have a decent Steak Sandwich.

The hockey game was on.  Unfortunately we lost and it was a heart breaker.

Loud voices screaming obscenities filtered through and I found myself thinking about the ‘mob mentality’.  I recognize it’s ignorance.  Energy is such that it feeds on what is in the vicinity.  The choice is ours to accept or reject what surrounds us.

If trashing cars and looting stores seems like a ‘fun’ thing to do or a way to blow off steam then perhaps you need to take a deeper look at why you feel this way.  Blame it on a hockey game?  Blame it on the crowd?  Own what you did and hopefully learn from it.

Some of you may not be aware that back in 2010 Vancouver went to game seven against Boston for the Stanley Cup.  We lost and a riot ensued.  It was a very sad turn of events considering that crowds of up to 100,000 had been gathering to watch the games in the downtown core with no issues…until we came to the final game.

I had several things filtering through my head that night.  A bit of anxiety existed regarding my legs.  Would they be ready?  I’ve been having these odd little hang-ups; this weird little mix of good and bad.  I don’t know.  At times it’s tough coming to terms with who I want to become vs. who I am.

Sounds strange, I know, but old habits & trains of thought that have not only been ingrained into my thinking but beaten in as well are at times difficult to persuade.

And so I walk a fine line these days.  Daring myself at times and trying to shake loose of these strongholds that in some odd way still cling to my being.  At times something of a paradox.

I am trying to beat these demons back.  Meet them and deal with them.  God, I wish it was easier.  Why do I find it so difficult to commit wholly to a healthy lifestyle?  A big part of me is pushing toward this.  I know the benefit and have witnessed and felt the result.  Yet I have these moments where I rebel?

But against what?

What am I trying to balance?  What do I think I am wanting to hang onto?  Change is never easy.  I guess we hang onto what we know, even if it is bad for us, simply because it is familiar.  Expanding outside the comfort zone, even if it is hot as Hades requires…..

And there is the stumbling block.  This is where  I get tangled up.  I just need to press on.

Saturday found me anxious. I followed my diet regiment as prescribed.  Took it easy.  Tended at length to my legs and feet.  I was in bed far too early for a Saturday night.  Man!  Haven’t been to bed on a Saturday at 9:00 PM  in I can’t remember how long.

I rose at 4:15AM.  Cleaned up, dressed and had my toast and peanut butter.  I was out of the house by 5:00 AM.

Race day had finally come.  I watched the sun come up in a cloudless sky.  Absolutely beautiful out.  And so it began.  At times it seemed the kilometers were getting just a little longer as I progressed.  At times I wanted to quit and reminded myself why I was doing this again.  A few times I stopped and stretched out the muscles as they felt a little too tight and at 18 KM I stopped at the First Aid station and had them apply a muscle rub.  It helped immeasurably.  The final kilometer felt the longest.  I could see the Finish Line.  I was exhausted and exhilarated and something of a puddle.

It’s done.  I finished.  My time 3:07.  My pace 8:23.  I’ll take it.  And you know what?  I will do it again next year.  I will tend to my health issues and be prepared because no sooner had I finished than I was considering where I could have improved.

I did it.  At times I came close to crying.  I thought of how far I have come.  A sense of humble appreciation and a quiet pride washed over me.  I met the challenge.

Nothing was easy in this.  I pondered at one point if it does get easier.  Who’s to say?

I continually dug a little deeper and just got into the movement, moved past the pain and let it slip away.  Emotionally this was just incredibly rewarding.   I ran this as a 10 and 1 as decided due to some of the health issues that have cropped up and the fact that there was a bit of an interruption in the level of training.  I had to roll it back a bit.  Yet as each kilometer rolled by I saw more clearly the woman who has never given up.

At times I could have settled into mediocrity. At times I could have just accepted that my life would never improve.  I could very easily remained a victim of my circumstances.

I didn’t do that.  I laid down the challenge then tackled it and will continue to do so.

I was met by my daughter, her boyfriend and a girlfriend of mine and we went for brunch.  On the drive home she commented about a guy on a scooter. She stated she sees many in these devices who are apparently able to get up and walk around.  We pondered their state of being.

At one point my health issues came up she smiled at me stating that had I not made the changes that I have I might well be dead.

It is a potent statement and one I understand completely.  She’s known me for a very long time.  She has watched me evolve from my punishing treatment of self and watched as I pulled myself out of a crippling darkness.

I don’t know that I would necessarily be dead but I think I would likely have some very serious health issues had I not changed my ways.

At 55 I have proven the resilience of the human physical form  and the amazing way the spirit rejuvenates us.  I have embraced the heart centre with such tenacity.  It is this that assists in my expansion as a human being and that lets me commit to being a kinder, gentler person.

And so it is done.

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