Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stretching out, or, what motivates me?

I’m honestly not sure why this ocurred to me as I was driving to work the other day, but since I love to beat a dead analogy, I can take the potato bug one step further. While the lowly potato bug is curled up in a little ball, it’s legs are all inside. It can’t move forward.

So the entire time I’ve been curling up in a little ball, sometimes almost literaly, I’ve been stuck.  So now I have to figure it out- what will make me move forward?

I’ve become VERY good at finding things that aren’t enough to make me break out of my protective shell. (Which I could think of my fat suit as that, but then we’re really mixing those metaphors!)
  • Fear of being the “fat mom” hasn’t worked, I’m kinda there.
  • Training for a total of now five triathlons, three 5ks and a 150 mile bike ride? Nope, evidently I can do these things with the bare min.
  • Wanting to make my husband happy, or my son proud? Well, the dog loves me no matter what, right?
  • Wanting to look, better, live longer, be more active? Still obviously not hitting my trigger.

After my last, much more positive post, where did Debbie Downer come from? Well, in my defense, I did start this blog before that one... and self-depreciation is a well learned and deeply ingrained habit, but I’ve also been finding some great excuses NOT to work out. I got a tetanus shot at my doctor’s appt, so my arm hurts.  It was almost sleeting on the way home, so I don’t want to drive back to the gym.  I’m making cookies and washing the dog. I’m making more cookies. It’s cold. I’m tired. The half marathon is still five months away... see, I’m REALLY good at it.

But Wednesday I had lunch with my friend, Tricia Moen.  She is half of the reason I’m planning to organize a team for the Mercer Island Half. And was the reason I washed the dog last night, as well as made one of the sets of cookies.  She has been fighting colon cancer for almost two years now. She was only 37 when she was diagnosed. And in a recent visit to her doctor, was told that she should plan on chemo of some sort for the rest of her life.

This blog started, before today, as, maybe I should buy myself something that I don’t actually GET until I log a certain number of miles. Or some other way to compete with myself, or maybe even someone else, to help get back to getting my butt in gear. 

But last week, when my arm hurt from my one little shot, I couldn’t complain to my mom.  She was missing her 9th of 12 chemo sessions because she had to get two shots every day for three days. One shot to raise her platelet count, the other to raise her white cell count. The first 8 sessions of chemo have worked so well, they have killed too many of the good cells. She tells the doctors that she’s fine, but she’s afraid to eat because she doesn’t want to be sick to her stomach. And with chemo every two weeks, she no longer has those days where she feels like the old normal again. There are no longer truly good weeks and bad weeks. Just bad, and not quite as bad.

I have a sneaking suspicion that she’s where I learned some of my potato bug tendencies.  She doesn’t want any help. She doesn’t want us to see her at her worst. So she internalizes and powers through.  But every couple of weeks, I bring her the best reason I’ve found, other than her own sheer strength of will and refusal to any kind of victim, to keep fighting.  A second-grader who is planning to be a scientist and cure cancer when he grows up, and still likes to sit in his grandma’s lap.

I keep telling Mom that if she wants to see him graduate from MIT, she’s got to hang around for at least another 12 years or so, since we aren’t letting him skip grades. So I know that she’s got at least one reason to fight.

Now I just have to convince myself that I need to be fighting, and gathering my community of friends, not hiding from it. Seeing Trish is one of the first steps for me in getting myself moving forward.

Seeing Trish reminded me that I need to carpe every damn diem. Because you never, ever know what tomorrow may bring.  And I’ll never find out if I stay curled up in a little ball.  But if I stretch out and take more steps forward, I just might find something amazing.

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