Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The message

So, I hurt my back while helping my sister paint her new house. By wednesday I was imobilized. Laying in bed on an icepace gave me plenty of time to reflect on how much importance I place on my health. Too much importance. I idolize my health. Not a good thing to idolize since we will all loose our health somewhere along the way.

I am aware that these ailments, the knee, the back, the ongoing endometriosis issues, are sending me messages and these messages are teaching me how to let go of what I cannot keep. They are saying that there is nothing in this lifetime that cannot be taken away. We all live surrounded by this false appearance of security. The messages remind me to focus on what will last. The pain helps me to refocus on the quality of my relationships, on the health of my soul and the growth of my spiritual life.

There is a section in ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ that asks the reader to think on their funeral. What would people say about you? What would your family and friends say about you had they the chance to stand up at your funeral service? What DEFINES you is what they will reference. Good way to stay centered on priority, right? I don’t want the only thing a friend or family member has to say is, ‘’Tracey was in good shape and she was healthy….she liked to exercise alot.” Heck, I don’t even want them to say I was a great artist. (Well, maybe a little….) Being an artist is great and that is part of who I am, but I don’t want to be defined by that or by my physical conditioning. My friend Jay said years ago, “Everyone has to have something to be crazy about.”

We are made to have a purpose, not to fritter our lives away on things that are passing and without merit. I am a big believer in balance in life. We all have a really hard time finding balance. Most of us are extreme with something in our lives. I have a long history of being extreme with exercise. I beginning to be thankful for the painful (literally) reminders that help me rebalance. Once I stop kicking and screaming I can hear the message.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Battle of the wounded knee

So, now I have injured my knee. After my lovely run on tuesday upon healing up from the aforementioned dog attack, I noticed a weird tightness in my left knee when I squated down throughout the day. I finally noticed this fluid bubble squeezing out from the side of my knee. Though I had no pain at all, I felt a sick panicky feeling come over me. I am pretty tough; been through a lot of painful things physical and mental, but
that nauseating water bubble popping out from under my kneecap made me feel lightheaded.

Every runner knows a knee injury is the worst thing that can happen.
So, I am wallowing in a little sadness these few days of rest trying to keep my mind off of the sunshine outside each day, off of another missed run. All of my maladies are overwhelming me a bit tonight. I have a few ongoing, a few short term……

This weekend we are off to Norfolk to help my sister and brother-in-law paint their new house before they move in. It will be a welcome escape from my self-centeredness this week. Betweem the Philly gallery trip, the dog thing, my back, and the knee ailment I can really feel the crushing weight of myself these days.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bad dog, bad week

Last week I was attacked by a dog while I was running in my neighborhood. In my 14 years of running I have never had any real incidents which is amazing. I am pretty sure footed and quick, but a dog running full on into my legs from behind made all of those qualities obsolete. I fell very hard on my back and my head snapped back and hit the pavement. It could have been much worse if the dog who was standing over me growling had decided to take a chunk out of me. After a trip to the emergency room and a few to the chiropractor, I have been recovering at home.

Unable to do any painting or running or much less any walking has made me really focused on being thankful for a healthy body and working parts. I sorely miss running. Sorely. I curse that dog. Like painting, I really feel like myself fully when I run. I had not realized that before now.

Running started for me when a boyfriend made a comment to me about “carrying around a little winter weight.” Those of you who have seen me bodily know how ridiculous this is. But it was really hurtful and frightening and I immediately threw myself into running hardcore at 21. I ran every day for at least 6 miles. I also began to eat very little. If I missed a run it would ruin my day. If I had a bad run it would ruin my day. Gradually, my motivation changed to running to manage my depression. At this place in my life, as my self image improved and the depression has subsided I run because I love to run. It has been an activity that has birthed loads of creative energy and numerous lightbulb moments. So, I was back on the road today and though I didn’t run well, I was really thankful to be able to do it at all. Setbacks make the return more priceless.