Thursday, December 28, 2006

Geared OUT! ... and some thoughts on acceptance

Mornings are hard enough without jet lag!! It's been rough dragging my behind out of bed. Those three hours make a world of difference. But once I got going this morning, I was super motivated for my run. I had all kinds of new gear to try out! I typically am a minimalist when I run - nothing but me and the trails and the rhythm of my heart and breathing. But I got a couple of toys for Christmas and I had to try them all today! I had my heart rate monitor, an iPod shuffle all loaded up, new technical running socks and a thermal shirt, and of course, my pepper spray! I felt serious. :)

The heart rate monitor has not endeared itself to me yet... The fault is mine -- I did only a basic skimming of the manual before I started off, and it kept beeping at me once I started running. I had to turn off the exercise mode, so it didn't record my time or HR. But I was watching the HR display, and it stayed between 160 and 175. High for me for a moderate run, but I felt good.

The shuffle is fun. It's so cute and tiny. It was nice to have a change and the music made the time go by faster. I won't use it all the time - especially when the trails are crowded, because you can't hear the bikers sneaking up on you. Some of them rudely blast by without any alert anyway, and it's doubly disarming when you don't hear them. There is one biker who sometimes - instead of calling, "Passing on your left," will yell at people who don't wear enough reflective gear (it's pretty dark at 6 am). Once he yelled at me, "Can't see you in RED!!!" when I forgot to wear my reflector vest. Sheesh! I've heard him yell similar things at others. Today he (I'm sure it was him, it had to be him!) yelled at me again, "Look at that sunrise!!" He's a chatty fellow. It would have startled me without headphones in... I almost had a heart attack, I think! The sky was pretty. Pink and orange and bright. I love seeing the sun rise in the mornings.

Thank God I can still run. Seriously, I am so thankful for that. I know I am fit and healthy, even though I complain about detraining. The reason it is so frustrating and bothersome is that I'm not choosing it - it's happening to me beyond my control. Like everyone, I can be hard on myself. Sometimes it's really a good thing - it makes me motivated, driven, and disciplined. It also has its negative and angsty moments. I do struggle to find balance in my life - it was a struggle even before cancer. And it is a different challenge now because finding balance and peace is also about accepting cancer and all its limitations. It's hard to stay positive when it's just happening to you.

At this point, I just want to say that I'm not trying to glorify my challenges and difficulties. I know people struggle with all kinds of things - there are way worse things that could be happening to me besides thyroid cancer. I know I am lucky, and believe me, just the experience of thyroid cancer has brought that home for me in a way nothing else could. Not a day goes by that I don't think about that - how lucky I am in so many aspects of my life and how thankful I am that I'm alive to struggle and hurt and be angsty and peaceful and joyful. But also, this is my experience. Lots of people say, oh it's the Good Cancer - it will all turn out fine in the end, etc. I know that's true, and people mean to be comforting when they say it, but in some way it belittles what I'm going through.

That being said, though, I have to reiterate that having cancer has made me realize how much grace I have in my life. Cancer can be a blessing in disguise. It has been for me. It has brought me closer to my family, brought my priorities into focus, and changed my perspective on life. And that whole bit about learning acceptance and self-love? Cancer is a special impetus for that. It becomes all that much more important and, in some ironic way, easier. Because (this is going to sound really cheesy) I realize that life is a gift, with all its warts and quirks, and every moment is precious, and I am thankful just to be here for it. So there - everyone needed a dose of Hallmark today, right?!

1 comment:

maxie's pad said...

Thankyou for this post. I definitely needed a real "hallmark" today. I LOVE what you said about cancer being an "impetus" for greater "self acceptance and self love." I had thyroid cancer at 17. But, noone told me it was "cancer". I found out accidently a few years later. These days I'm using the "cancer" diagnosis to express my deeper passions. I give myself permission to love more, do nothing more, doing everything more, and focus on what is really important to me. Cancer sucks. And yet, it brings with it gifts. The yin and yang of life is everywhere. You go girl !!!