You might have noticed that I haven’t written a post for several weeks. I could blame it on the three nights a week soccer games for the boys, traveling back and forth to Calgary to see my dad, getting my new blog ready and in general just having a busy life but that is only part of the picture. The other part is I didn’t know what to write about, or rather I thought I would only be able to write about my failure, my failure to keep up with all the good habits I started last year.
When you find out that someone in your life has a very serious illness there is a tendency to stop drop and roll. Stop everything you’re doing so you can be there for the person, drop all commitments that you have made to yourself and others, and roll up into a little ball to cope with the massive waves of emotions and in truth feel a little (or a lot) sorry for yourself. Or at least that has been my experience.
I was going to try something new this spring and play ball hockey but I realized I wouldn’t be able to make the necessary time commitment. I stopped all pretense of healthy eating and dove head first into every bag of chocolate I could find. I cut back on my workouts. I halted all future plans lest that future change and upset those plans. As I later realized, I was trying to predict the future and make the ultimate right choice. It was the classic “what if?” What if my dad gets sicker? What if I’m needed at work that day? What if a giant blue monster with pink spots comes out of the sky and eats the dog…. I was trying to prepare for every eventuality.
Then one day I realized that I wasn’t living my life anymore. I had absolutely nothing to look forward to. I was in a holding pattern. I had a cheery talk with my doctor about this, my dad’s illness and how I was coping. He said, “Remember Vaughn this is a marathon not a sprint.” It was as Oprah says an “Ah-Hah” moment. Yes, I know Oprah – le fromage but you get the idea. I had to stop operating in panic mode and continue to live my life.
And so I have started to make plans. I started small by making a date with a friend for a pedicure. I registered for the Rock and Roll ½ marathon in Vegas despite a serious lack of training on my part – it’s not until November so I’m not panicking… yet. I created my very own blog and this inaugural post. I went to San Francisco with my husband for the first vacation we have taken sans les enfants since our first child was born almost 8 years ago.
And now it’s time to climb back on the wagon after it has disappeared around a bend over a hill and is in a land far far away. While my training with Paul has stayed steady although somewhat reduced to compensate for my trips to Calgary, my running has been non-existent. I’m lucky if I’ve done one run per week for the last three months. And my healthy eating habits have vanished. I subsisted for the last three months entirely on pure sugar alone, which is surprisingly seen as “Not-A-Good-Idea” by those picky Nutritional Nazis. And as everyone who has ever stopped exercising and eating healthy can guess I regained some of the weight I’d lost. The new clothes I bought are tight, and in general I have felt quite worthless and defeated. Hence the total lack of desire to write a blog post. Who wants to read about someone’s failure?
But then I thought maybe some of you do like to read about personal failure. Maybe you have a sense of schadenfreude and you’re secretly pleased to see someone fail (don’t be afraid to admit it – you know who you are :> ). Or maybe more charitably you feel a kinship for people who have experienced what is a common human condition – trying to make big changes in your lifestyle and habits and failing. Very few people throw away the cigarette pack on their first attempt to quit and never look back. I think even fewer make healthy eating and exercise changes permanent.
Maybe the best part of sharing personal failings is that people know that they are not alone, that failure should not be shameful (although I am very embarrassed to admit it) and that it need not be permanent. Indeed I think a better word to use is “stumble.” It’s a more comfortable word; it’s more fun to say and implies a moment of losing one’s balance and then regaining it and carrying on.
And so I have begun the process of regaining my footing. My eating has slowly begun to turn around to include other non-sugar nutrients. I’m working my way back to three runs and three training sessions a week. I’ve stumbled but I’m climbing back on that wagon. Want to join me? Anyone need a boost? Let me know.