Monthly Archives: August 2015

Leaky Goggles and Learning to Run Again

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Wow. Where has the summer gone? Has it really been 2 whole months since I’ve shown up around here? Did you think I dropped off the face of the earth? Well, I sort of did, actually. But that’s a story in itself, so we’ll get to that.

Since I last posted, here’s what I’ve been up to…

I finished up my first session of school, was added to the Dean’s List, completed my second session of school, stayed on the Dean’s List, and am now just past the half way point to my certification with my 4.0 holding strong. I’ve learned to take vitals, administer some tests, give injections and draw blood.

My last day at Fleet Feet came and went, and while I miss my peeps terribly, I’ve been so busy, I’m not sure where I would have fit work into my schedule. Unless it took the place of sleep.

My bff brought her whole clan for a visit from Chicago. This is the first time they’ve seen me all set up in my own house and I finally got to make good on a promise to take them to the City Museum. I still remember calling Britta from the outside climbing structure on my first visit there 4 years ago, exclaiming, “Andreas will LOVE this place!”

I’ve been to a family wedding in Quincy that ended abruptly with a massive storm headed toward the vineyard, I’ve driven to and from Michigan twice, and in July the beau and I drove to Moab, Utah for an “all too short” long weekend where we toured, hiked and did actually leave the planet for about 7 minutes when we jumped out of a plane and plummeted toward the Earth at 120 miles per hour. Yes, that really happened. There is absolutely nothing like the moment you are sitting in an airplane and the door opens and you’re looking down at ground a mile away and the guy tells you to get out. It was spectacularly, fantastically, unequivocally Ahhhh-mazing! Fortunately, and as you might have guessed, the parachute did in fact open (for both of us) and we landed safely with matching ear to ear grins.

Other highlights include Ethan’s team winning their division in baseball, Silas’ birthday extravaganza at Raging Rivers water park, a Cubs/Cardinals show-down at Busch stadium for me and Ethan, a Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire concert, spending the 4th of July in Kirksville, my nephew’s first birthday and last but certainly not least, a clean bill of health for me! Clean blood and fully functioning kidneys meant…I get to run again. Or…maybe someday. With all of that going on, who has time???

I have managed to get some workouts in here and there, but mostly I’ve been smart and avoided the Missouri summer humidity by driving down the road and making use of my membership at Gold’s. Surprisingly, the thing I’ve been enjoying the most is…drumroll please…the pool.

Yes, that’s right. Thanks to the Midwest heat and a mild fear of overdoing it, I have gotten very familiar with the best times to avoid the Gold’s Gym pool, like weekdays at 5:30 when it’s 3 people to a lane. Uh, no thanks. I’ve had a few really good swims where I feel comfortable in the water. And then the other day I was struggling so much with my goggles leaking that I almost called it quits and left after 2 laps. But I persevered and managed a half mile and I felt much better because of it.

Anyway, I’m glad to say that tonight while Ethan had his first soccer practice in the valley, I went back to visit an old friend…the levee. I haven’t run in weeks, but since we finally had a break in the heat today, and I had a break in the crazy, I took advantage of the opportunity to get back on the path where I logged so many miles back in my prime. Well, calling it my prime might be a bit of stretch, but it was back when I was running marathons and earning an occasional PR. I haven’t seen those days in a while. But focuses change and life takes different turns.

Which is a good lead in to the fact that tonight I ran 3 miles. Slowly. And it left me feeling beat. But to be honest, it was still a win. Because since this whole kidney situation, I’ve become a little afraid of running. What? RRG Afraid of the thing she loves most?! I know. It’s weird. But not really.

My run tonight hurt. And chances are I will hurt worse on Saturday. I was mildly afraid of the pain, more afraid of how slow I would be, but mostly afraid that I’ve lost it and that I won’t get it back. I didn’t want to start and even after I started, I kind of wanted to quit. But I thought about my swim the other day with the leaky goggles. If I had given up after just a couple laps because of that, I would have missed what turned out to be a great swim. So I didn’t quit, I did what I set out to do.

Here’s the other funny thing about those goggles. They are the same goggles I used the day I became an Ironman. They had never leaked before, but then on race day, they were beyond frustrating. 2.4 miles of dealing with leaky goggles. What if I would have given up during that swim because of that? I would have missed out on something truly incredible.

Here’s something I know…Life is full of obstacles, like leaky goggles. And here’s something else I know…I’m not a quitter. Obviously. But even I need an occasional reminder to push through the obstacles, and the frustrations and the fears, to get the job done. So, as I go forward in an attempt to reclaim my ability, my distance, my pace, my passion, I’ll remember that I’ve gotten through the hard stuff before. It will come back, I just have to keep going.

Maybe next time I run, I’ll wear those goggles as a reminder.

Nah, maybe not.

Mission Accomplished.

Mission Accomplished.

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