(Warning: Large ego-check in progress. Watch for falling self-opinions.)
So I rode last night.
I decided that I would do an hour. That’s easy enough, right? I mean, come on, that’s like a warm-up for me right?
Wrong. So very, very, wrong.
I called it quits at about 45 minutes. I was gasping for air, sweat pouring off me, even though I stayed in a easy, cruising gear the whole time.
And Megan being Megan, I got frustrated with myself, and the conversation went a little bit like this:
Me: 45 minutes?!?!?!!? Are you kidding me?!?! I hate you, you stupid body.
Body: Hate you right back! Why do you keep doing this to me? I give and I give and I give, and you just take and take and then make me do things I am not ready for. Give me a break for crying out loud!
Me: Oh stop complaining. You did IM three weeks ago, I know you can break through this pain. I know you are better then this.
Body: I am, Megan, but you need to give me some time. If you don’t, I am going to revolt against you in a way you never imagined. LAY.OFF.ME. If 45 minutes is all I give, then you need to be happy with it. Get over yourself, you ego-maniac. END.OF.STORY.
Megan: *grumble….grumble* Fine….Still hate you.
Body: Whatever. And while we're on the topic, maybe you should stop feeding me boxes of candy instead of meals. What - did we all of the sudden forget about protien? The doctor says specifcally, "Eat protien" and you give me Red Vines? For breakfast?!? Grow up.
So I am learning, among other things, how to re-think and re-talk to myself.
Oh boy - is this “Square One” approach a test of my patience. I told Cheese last night - I always consider myself to be the exception. We all do, right? I mean, the doctor says, "Most people will take about four to six weeks to feel recovered, go back to work...." and we think, "Well, maybe, but I'm not like most people."
I know I am not the only one who thinks like this, right?
I think it would not be so bad if I didn’t have the two utmost extremes of physical ability within two weeks of each other - going from feeling invincible to totally broken.
This was never more clear then my little attempts at walking on the treadmill at the gym.
See, I’ve posted before about how I get this secret satisfaction when I go to the gym to run the treadmill after riding the trainer for 3-4-5 hours. I like running and thinking, “Yeah, this is like my 4th or 5th or 6th hour of working out today.” I like knowing that.
But I never really thought that in a narcissistic or superiority way. I was never snide out it – just proud, and proud of myself for being able to do it.
In fact, throughout the training, I have always felt proud – and mostly because, at the beginning of each new and long workout, I was terrified of what that workout would bring – pain, tears, injury, etc. So in finishing a workout, the pride was about overcoming that fear, and pushing through.
The payoff was non-quantifiable. To finish Ironman, and race the way I wanted – I was at the extreme peak of what my body could do.
And then fast forward to two weeks later. Scene: Me, on the treadmill, surrounded by people running, singing along to their iPods while bouncing along. I found myself overwhelmed with the desire to scream, “But I just did Ironman!!! Three weeks ago! I am just walking because I had surgery! But I am better than this!”
Okay, how narcissistic is that?!?!
Like, who effing care that I am walking and why? No one cares. NO ONE. It’s only my own ego about what I think I SHOULD be doing. I am embarrassed about this and yes, I know I need to take myself down a notch.
It occurred to me that my mental strength was what ultimately got me through Ironman, and my mental strength is the thing that is going to make or break this recovery. If I keep getting in my own way, I am going to have setback after setback. But if I can just teach myself to accept life as it is in this moment, then I can comeback slowly but strong.
Sigh. Sounds so easy, but we are talking about a girl’s whose second most obvious “hole” is the place when my patience should be.
So 45 minutes on the bike will do for now. I will say this though – I woke up this morning feeling like I did a 7-hour brick.
But I guess I have never been one to turn down a challenge.