Today was one of those Not Easy days. I did not bounce out of bed all excited to get into my new triathlon week. First, I had a super tough day at work. It was psychologically tough. Sometimes I work with people who are in a lot of pain and who have huge physical limitations. Today was one of those days. I just felt such incredible sadness, and the folks I worked with were in despair and I felt like I could not do a thing to help them. As the day went on I felt myself getting more and more tired and weighed down. I went to Starbucks after lunch for iced coffee and a cookie (note: did not help in the LEAST). By the end of the work day I just felt glued to my chair, dragging with no energy and dreading my swim workout.
A little part of me contemplated not going. But I knew that this would just be a horrible slippery slope and if I didn’t go once, then it would just set a precedent for not going again and again.
I was bummed because my buddy Lily couldn’t join me today. I haven’t seen her since last Friday and I miiiiisssssss her. Funny how quickly we establish routines and traditions. I got used to working out with her last week! It feels like an eternity!
I came home after work to print out the workout and get my swim gear. Of course I COULD have done that before leaving in the morning, but I hadn’t done that. I knew it was going to be dangerous to come in the house and sit on a chair. I did not allow myself to lie on the bed (which I really wanted to do). I dragged myself over to the gym after 7.
As I was driving, I got a little flash thinking about my work clients. And it struck me that I was feeling kind of guilty. That here I could work out and do all these things with my body that they just can’t do. It struck me how unfair that was. And I realized that that exhaustion hit me in the afternoon, I think partly because I was overwhelmed with the fact that I get to go and train for a triathlon and they can barely walk down the hall. I felt like I was showing off. And that I didn’t have the right to go work out when people are suffering in their bodies. (this is something along the lines of not finishing one’s plate when there are children starving in X…….. country)
Then I remembered something that our coaches say to us at almost every workout. That when we are tired, or not sure we can start or finish a workout, we should think about our honorees who have, or did have cancer, and that what we go through in our workouts is a mere tiny infinitesemal fraction of what they go through. And that we have to keep going.
My triathlon training is unfortunately not going to help every single person who is suffering in every way in the world. But it can help some people who are dealing with blood cancers. I thought about Izzy and about Susan, another one of my honorees (just diagnosed a few weeks ago) who has already inspired me so much – post about her coming in the next week, and about Scott Simmons and Ruthann Cons and Robert Allen, my “in memory of” honorees. Then I realized that I just passed 25% (!!!!!!!!!!!!) of my fundraising goal (awesome, but that means I have 75% to go! hint hint!) , and that gave me some good energy.
So I went to the pool feeling tired, pretty grim, but determined to do it anyway.
I got in the water and right away I felt calmer. We were supposed to do a total of 700 yards of drills and freestyle. I did it and it was not a struggle. It actually felt really good. When I was done I added an extra 50 yards just because I felt like it. It made me excited to feel the progress I have been making with my swimming.
I was feeling so happy when I got out of the water.
After I took a shower I put on the shirt I’d tossed randomly into my bag. It was my shirt that I got at the Fight for Air StairClimb. In case you can’t read backwards, it says “I climb because I can.” And I guess I swim because I can.