Strength… What is it?
That’s a good question. I always believed being strong meant never quitting no matter the risks… I’ve slowly been learning that sometimes strength is walking away, knowing that it is the best choice.
On the 25th of September there will be a 10k race running through the streets of Pittsburgh. A race that I committed running to a few months back. A race that I’ve been training for and even ran a 10k last month in preparationfor it. During that race I ended up aggravating my lungs. I was very disappointed and not just with the time of the race, but with how my body reacted. My will to succeed and body just are not on the same page currently. So I took sometime off and was lightly running.
Fast forward then to last week and I’m at work, I go to a different floor for a meeting, I return and within 5 minutes I start coughing. Now this is not your run of a mill coughing. No, this is the coughing that I did when I was fighting the Whooping Cough. My co-worker sense my uneasiness in my eyes. We both knew something was not right. I had not coughed like this in months. Something was going terribly wrong. I was sent home so no one had to listen to the cough. My boss was gracious enough to let me work from home on Thursday to rest and recover and hope that it was not more serious. I called one of my Doctor’s on Thursday and they said that due to my sensitivity with my bronchial tubes, allergies for me could turn up in the form of a cough. Awesome. Right?
During this bought with this issue that I have been dealing with since July 2010. I’ve learned a lot of things. I was determined to not let it get me down. I rested when I should, I took the medications when I was told. I learned that just because everything you do does not always mean you get the result you want, no matter how much you wish and pray. I’ve learned that living a healthy lifestyle is the only way to go, as I can’t even imagine how I would have gotten through all of this being the person I was back in 2009. I learned that I am so much mentally stronger than I ever believe I could be. I learned that I will never take being able to breathe without thinking about how the air quality with irrate my lungs and cause me to cough ever again. Most importantly, I learned that sometimes walking away does not mean you are weak, it just means you are strong enough to realize that maybe this isn’t the best course for you to be on.
With that, earlier in the week I took a run outside with one of my gym rats. We ran a slow (about 10 minute mile) 2.5 miles along side the river on Tuesday. It was perfect conditions, the sun was shinning it was in the upper 60’s with light winds. However, on the side, I was struggling. My legs felt great but my lungs were falling apart. They actually felt like they were on fire at one point. The next thing I knew, I could barely breathe. The amount of frustration, of disappointment was huge. I couldn’t understand why I’m still dealing with this because for once I actually have followed the advice I have been given by the medical professionals treating me. I quickly got over it and realized how far I have come in the past year, physically. My workout that I do, I couldn’t have done a year ago. I would have laughed in your face if you told me my program would be like this.
So as I sit today and think about the next week and a half and the 6.2 miles looming in front of me, it makes me nervous and a little disappointed. I am planning on doing one run today. If I have the same result as Monday, I’ve told myself that it’s okay to withdraw from the race. I could try to run it, but I know me, and I won’t quit when I should and things would get worse from there. I keep reminding myself that this is probably the best course of action, but it’s hard for me to withdrawal because of circumstances that I can not control. Maybe that’s the real lesson this past year has been trying to teach me, sometimes no matter how hard you want, desire, train, there are circumstances that are out of our control and all you can do is control your reactions to them. So yes, I’m quiet bummed I might not be joining the other 14,500 people running through the streets of Pittsburgh. I guess this just gives me more time to focus on my lifting.
Not matter how old I get, quitting still sucks.
Take it easy.