If you love it, chase it.
On being tired and sad that you can’t accomplish everything you want.
It’s that time of year again. While other people are jetting off on a summer holiday to explore more tropical climates, I’m on my way to take in the sights and sounds of Costa Del MRI Machine.
When trying to come up with a title for this I kept trying to think of something to do with the number three, because that’s now the number of bone related injuries I’ve had in as many years. But as three is supposed to be a lucky number, let’s go with 64.
I wonder if I’ll be this tired at 64?
I wonder how my bone health compares to that of a 64 year old?
At 26 years old, I’ve repeated this cycle of “run-injury-cross-train” as a runner more times than I’d have liked over the last few years. Not quite 64 times, but if I carry on the way I’m going I’ll get pretty close.
And now I’m really tired.
And my bones are really weak.
But I’m not 64.
Myself, like so many others, even in the face of exhaustion continue to push through. Not for self punishment, but because I, we, truly love it. And it’s so hard to let go of the ideal version of myself, ourselves, that’s been created in our heads to just be normal. But that’s the thing, it’s scary to let yourself feel a new kind of normal.
What is normal? More importantly, what do you or I even want anymore? Sometimes we get so far from knowing what that version of ourselves is and what we want, that for me, it’s time to take a step back. Do what I need to do to really invest in focusing on real health. For the time being, that’s no cross training, minimal walking, asking for and accepting help, and an extra vanilla slice.
So many others have been sharing their stories and there are so many common themes. We’re all bright, ambitious, headstrong women educated to degree level with big dreams. Yet we’re all falling into the same trap of pushing to breaking point and losing sight of why we started, why we’re doing this and what we want, thinking that if we don’t push we’re wasting potential. But in fact it’s quite the opposite.
We’ve know this from the beginning, yet it still happens. But culture eats strategy for breakfast, so the more we talk the less we’ll see this happening.
I know there will be times when I’ll be sat thinking that doing no exercise, minimal walking and resting is a waste of potential, but I have to remember this is a short term situation for a lifetime gain (thanks Matt)- a lifetime that’s full of potential.
This isn’t about fast times or performances. It’s about health, happiness and just letting myself fucking enjoy life to be honest.
Going through this is shit. Really shit. It’s hard and there’s a whole lot of tears and stress. Sitting here is hard and uncomfortable. But thinking of going through this again will, even though it may not feel like it, will be even harder and even more uncomfortable.
I’ll sit here for my bones, for my hormones, for my feet and for everything and just look around at and allow myself to have other options.
I think I owe myself, and those supporting me that.
So when The Beatles chime, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?” on one my favourite infamous jingles of theirs, the answer is yes. People will still need me, they will still feed me, as I will myself, and I will still be running up mountains when I’m 64.
When life gives you lemons, add some water and a little sugar and turn it into lemonade.