Snippets of Spring

29 Apr
  • Darting outdoors during lunch for a gorgeous spring run. “You’re such a workhorse” my coworker says when I pass him at the door. Maybe. But what I feel is grateful that I can take a mental and physical break from my job and spend it outdoors, on bridges crisscrossing my river.
  • A month ago, my friend would have asked a random guy at the gym to spot him for his third set on the chest and incline bench press.  And I would stand there useless, the third wheel, waiting for my turn. (I get spotted during every single set.) This month, I get to spot him during that third set and I feel strong and helpful, things I haven’t felt during this entire injury period.  Not only that, but I did one entire chest bench press set on my own (but I got a little anxious at the end so maybe I’m not ready to be alone yet.)
  • Sitting at the Bruins playoff game. Chatting with my boss’ son and realizing that I can do this – talk to people I don’t really know very well and enjoy it.  Then realizing how much people watch out for me – my boss and his son speaking to someone about the guy behind me (one of the owners of the suite we were in) and his inappropriate behavior toward me. Even though it may mean they don’t get invited to any more games.  And my good friend carefully listing off what foods are vinegar free that I can eat and filling the water bottle we were sharing during every TV break. In the past, I would have bristled at people doing things for me, but I’m learning to be grateful.
  • My long run.  Gorgeous weather.  Gorgeous ocean. Hilarious podcast. Such an unbelievably fun time that I didn’t want it to end. I chose to make it longer than it needed to be because I was in a happy groove. (Although the groove was less happy when I didn’t hit any red lights on the long last 3 miles.  Those red lights give me a chance to breathe and prepare my sprint for the next one…)
  • “This is good news” the PT says.  “You don’t really need me anymore.  Let’s only meet once every other week instead of twice a week.  And see how your leg does with the additional running.”  And then I spot my PT running a few hundred yards behind me on an evening run that week.  I feel self-conscious.  She will notice my stride.  She will think “Why did I bother to get her healthy if that’s how slow she runs.”  And then I realize that she’s probably actually overjoyed to see her patient healed – running where I couldn’t run before, jumping where I couldn’t jump before, smiling where I was often moody and downcast.
  • There was a bad allergic reaction last week during dinner with friends. Our laid back dinner – discussing mostly running and marathons and beer and hockey and soccer – was suddenly disturbed because I could not breathe. So I went outside by myself until it passed.  ( And there was a strange woman who kept trying to talk to me “Are you a smoker?  Why are you here by yourself?  Too much testosterone in there?”)  And I kept hoping the boys would come rescue me but they were too engrossed in their conversation. “We were about to come find you” they said when I got back. And I tried to smile but I knew that my reactions always come in pairs. And the second one is the worst. So this time I asked one of them to come with me. And he did. And it wasn’t fun to feel like you’re drowning inside and you can’t panic because that makes it worse but you need to just envision that tiny sliver of an opening in your throat expanding until you can breathe regularly again.  And then I turned around and he said “Are you okay now?” and I said “I think that was a little bit scary. Can I please have a hug?”  And then, as soon as I felt safe, I started crying. Which turned into laughing.  And then wiping away my tears so my inside-friend would not be upset (he looked a little nervous when we got back inside until I sat down next to him).
  • I don’t cry when I’m scared.  I cry later, when I feel safe.  Does that make sense?  Is that a natural reaction?  And I don’t like people to see me weak and upset and crying.  Only a chosen few. But I also feel the need to be real and raw.  Which partially explains why I told outside-friend “We can’t go inside until I stop crying. I don’t want to upset inside-friend.”  And he understood and hugged me super tight (the way I like it) and said calming things until I was giggling. And then I went inside and inside-friend asked if I was okay and I said “I am now. But I may have cried a little outside. And I didn’t want you to know.”  People are strange. And I am particularly that way.
  • Apparently, I gave good advice to a friend. I told her to not lose herself in her next relationship but to make a list of things that she wanted to do for herself. Her own personal goals.  So she did. And I never saw the list but exactly 12 months later, she found it.  And four of the main items were: Begin an MBA program (she is, and I got to write a recommendation).  See a ballet (she did, my sister starred).  Run a half marathon (done, with me) and a marathon (totally on her own because I was injured but I ran what I could with her).  Unbeknownst to either of us, we checked 4 things off her list. And I was there to coach her thru every single one.  Not only did that really bless me – I am not always the weak one needing a PT and someone to hug me and someone to spot me lifting weights – but it reminded me that it is my turn to write a list and her turn to coach me.  

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