This is a tough post to write. I didn’t write yesterday because I still wasn’t feeling well and could barely get out of bed to go to work let alone get up and go for a run. By the time I got to work I had a feeling of constant pressure in my chest and heart palputations/flutters. The last time I had gone through these feelings of nausea and chest/heart stuff was when I was under extreme stress. So I realize that I don’t have the flu, I didn’t eat bad food…I’m stressed. But what about, I’m don’t know. Except that I kinda do. Over my lunch I went across the street to the mall to run some errands and I see a veteran selling poppies. I want to buy one from him, but I realize that there is no way I could look him in the eyes without bursting into tears.
I realize that I can’t talk about the events of last week, soldiers or emergency responders without crying. It’s not that I’m afraid that I’m going to get attacked or that it’s going to happen again here in Ottawa. No, it’s that the grief I assume the families of those who lost loved ones are going through is weighing very heavily on me. So heavily that I’m finding it hard to breathe. That I struggle to sleep through the night. That my stomach feels like a rock is in it. That I think I can hear my heart beat it’s so loud. And it kinda shocks me. I’m normally someone who keeps things so “under control”.
But now understanding a bit more why I’m having these physical symptoms will help me figure out what I need to do. Right now I’m focusing on going through my normal routine (sleep, run, eat), avoiding the news (until it is not the front page of every paper, lead story on TV, etc) and trying to relax and take deep breaths. I know where and how to access extra help if I need it. And will do so.
One of the downfalls of being a runner (or an active person)…when you can’t workout because your body isn’t cooperating, you can often feel even worse (the exception for me here is when I’m sick with a cold/flu..I’m totally ok not working out then!!). And it can be like a vicious cycle. So last night, after my parents left (they had come over for dinner), despite it being close to my bedtime (yes, I go to bed when my grandparents go to bed!), I knew I had to do something – to try and break the cycle. So I changed into workout clothes, headed down to my basement “gym”, turned up the music REALLY loud, and did a short but intense leg workout.
I started with a 5 minute run on the treadmill just to warm my legs up a bit. Then I did “Monster Walks” – difficult to describe the volume, but let’s just say I did 3 sets of 1 minute walks forward and backward. Focusing on keeping my butt low as much as I could. Wow – do you ever feel a burn at the end of each set!!!
Then I did Single-leg deadlifts – 3 sets of 10 on each leg. I will probably not be able to walk tomorrow LOL.
And then I did something new – I did lunges (or split squats) with my back leg in the TRX straps. It was COOL!! I did 3 sets of 10 on each leg.
I finished it off with 3 sets of 10 Box Jumps. Love these. You just feel cool doing them. Because you can do something so silly without falling on your face! Ha!
It felt good to have done the workout. I did a little foam rolling and then went to bed – and slept through the night. When my alarm went off, I just went on autopilot and got myself out of bed – trying to stick with my normal routine.
Walked Abby in the pitch black of the morning…and scared the crap out of myself when I came around a corner and saw these guys hanging from a tree – and with the breeze this morning, they were slightly swaying!!
And then I ran. Just for the pleasure of running. Just to make my heart pound and my breathing increase from running rather than from anxiety/grief.
Am very grateful for running today. And for the friends who I can, and have, reached out to, for support.