I’ve been very quiet lately, I know. Trying to think of something inspiring to write, while taking care of an ill mother-in-law, and my two young children bouncing off the walls during school holidays. Well, it has all ended somewhat well. My mother-in-law flew back home 48 hours ago, and arrived okay. We were all a little frightened to have her board a plane again, as last time, she spent a week in hospital. The kids are back at school, and after two full days, they are tired and have finally gone to bed.
Me? I have been using my running, as always, as a very valuable coping strategy during stressful times. Trouble is, I may have overdone it. One too many interval runs while upset perhaps, or maybe it was the 21km run in the Dandenong Ranges last weekend. Or perhaps the 28km Two Bays Trail Race a few weeks ago? So many things it could be. Changing shoes to minimalist is probably having an impact too. I ran 35km in my zero-drop shoes last week for the first time, previously only managing 20km in one week.
So here’s the status. My feet hurt a lot for a week or so. Then I taught a couple of BodyPump classes. My back hurt. I had to sit in the back of the car between two children’s booster seats for a month, which had thrown my pelvis out of alignment. And my neck. So today, when someone in my BodyPump class asked if she should do the class after having a biopsy the day before, and I sent her away, I wanted to send myself away too. I wanted to admit I was teaching on anti-inflamatories, that I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of running more than 50km per week at age forty-six. That I was beginning to doubt myself.
To doubt the wisdom of running a 43km and 50km race in the next six months. To doubt my ability to heal quickly enough, to train well enough, to do this.
I don’t know the answer. But having lived in Hong Kong for six years, I know I still think of Chinese New Year as another new start to year. And for someone born on my birthday, which is always on the cusp of the Chinese New Year, this is a powerful time of year indeed. I didn’t know why until I lived in Hong Kong; now I do. For me, February has always been a time of powerful change, for tossing out the old and creating the new. For sifting through what should be kept and what should be discarded. For descending into wisdom.
So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to wait another week. Let myself rest and recover from the stress of other’s illnesses, from being a full-time caregiver, and just be. I’ll trot along as if I’m going after my big goals and then I’ll re-evaluate. Because sometimes the pot needs to simmer on the back burner a while. Sometimes we have to wait to know what to do.
It will become clear. It always does.