I am learning that no matter how hard I work or how strong my will is eventually there comes a time for surrender. Last month, I decided that I was going to start logging my daily runs and workouts and so it began…I went almost a month straight logging workouts and sometimes up to 10 mile runs a day. Well, I don’t know if it’s the perfectionist in me, the mania side of Bipolar, or my stubborn strong will that has got me flat on my back because of that….but the past few days have been rough. It is probably the combination of all 3. I am a work in progress when it comes to achieving balance. It is hard when you become addicted to things that are actually healthy for you. Also, when you allow yourself to be pressured by outside influences. I will be 50 next year and I am learning to accept that when I look in the mirror the inevitable is happening. Society is continually telling us women that beauty is on the outside and even though a lot of us know it isn’t true we can still get caught up in the cycle of it all. The potions and lotions, the wrinkle cream, exercises, yoga and things externally for us to do to try and beat the process. Well, my “feel good/look good” method is running and working out. Where some people have gifts or habits like writing, photography, baking, sewing, collecting stamps or antiques, etc… I have athletic ability and running is a gift. I can inspire myself, people at the track, at the gym, my husband runs now, church people, etc… However, that gift can become my monster if I don’t tame it. As good as I feel after a good run it can be unhealthy at times. Most all people look for their own escapes to fulfill them or keep them busy as human beings, but we still have to take a break from it ALL for our own well-being. We aren’t meant to push ourselves beyond limits and consume ourselves with external pleasures whatever they may be. My daughter reminded me a couple of days ago that even God rested. Look at everything He accomplished and the creativity He displayed before He rested. Of course I can’t argue with that. But, I have a hard time with resting or taking a break because running and being physically active helps combat my depression. When I am not depressed I am a better person for myself and my family. I hate depression and I hate not feeling good. So I keep at it…and that gets extreme at times. However, I was forced to rest this past week. I caught a horrible chest cold and sore throat. No matter how hard I tried to fight it and go to the gym or work out it was hopeless. It started on Tuesday and instead of heeding the warning coming against my body I kept getting up everyday more exhausted and pushing myself. I even heard a story lately about a woman whose daughter supposedly caused herself to have an enlarged heart because she pushed herself to extremes while running. Yesterday morning I was at the gym again with all of my stubborn effort in tact. I proceeded to get on the treadmill and do a “slow” walk justifying that I would just go easy on myself and that could be considered my “rest.” After my 30 min. goal was reached I got off the treadmill and walked over to a stationary bike. I was light-headed, shaking, and even had a cold sweat, but I STILL got on the bike. I had to pedal backwards because going forward was causing too much resistance which was making my symptoms worse. While I was slowly pedaling I decided I wasn’t going to listen to music. I was just shaking too bad to mess with it. As I was sitting there I overheard a group of men talking about a runner/sprinter who had a heart attack. I was startled and thought to myself…that could be me. Maybe I do need to chill out. So, after a couple of nights of Theraflu, a few throat lozenges, some pain meds, vitamins and finally REST. I feel better and refreshed. I was literally flat on my back when I finally pretty much said, “Okay God YOU win.” I can’t do it anymore. I am fighting and battling and getting worse I need you to help me REST!! I got instant relief!! I had no idea how tense I was and how sick I was until I could feel ALL of me literally just collapse. I realized that this body can only take so much and I have to continue to learn my limits. I love to run and be active because it does help, but I also have a hard time not allowing it or things to run me. Lessons I have learned are #1 No matter how much in control I think I am the truth of the matter is I am not. #2 Sometimes when a person has a physical ailment…the flu, a broken leg, heart attack, health problems, etc…maybe Someone is trying to get your attention. #3 Sometimes being put flat on your back is the only way you can get back on your feet. #4 Don’t allow something healthy/good for you turn into your monster.
p.s. I am not logging anymore I have found the less I try to keep track of how much I run the freer I am to enjoy it!
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
2 Corinthians 12:9 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.