Because I can

Holding plank position in class, the woman next to me asked me “Gosh, I NEVER hear you complain in this class. Why don’t you ever complain.” I looked at her.

“Because I choose to be here.” I said.

As I walk through the gym I notice all the other people having these roaring laughing conversations with their personal trainers. In all honesty when I am working with Steve I don’t think I could have a roaring laughing conversation if I was paid to. I am totally unable to. I am working too hard. I am focused. If you have ever seen me in the gym you know I have the highest sweat rate of anyone in the damn world. Not only do I fuel as my fueling plan calls for I seriously consider adding extra sodium. Even when I am standing still.

When I am holding myself up on a pullup machine and curling a dumbbell somehow as I am suspended in mid air all I can do is stare at the tennis court where it says Player 23, and listen to him remind me to breathe, remind me to keep my elbow in, and tell me not to fall the hell off the pull up machine! Or I am shuffling side to side grabbing basketballs that he’s rolling just out of my range and throwing them back at him while he yells to throw the ball….. higher higher.

You will never hear me complain. I might roll my eyes and I might give Steve the finger behind his back (I haven’t yet but I have come close), but I am here because I choose to be here. Now Michelle….. no I haven’t flipped her off either. I may have sh*t myself when I saw zone 3 but I didn’t complain. I chose them both. I asked them both. Because they are the best and neither will give me what I can’t handle, and neither is afraid to make me reach for it.

Later on that morning I approached the bottom of the hill. The hill. Yes, the hill. My hill bounding hill. (click here, reference page 11, and welcome to my happy place). This hill is nothing short of a b*tch. Ward Hill Road. I don’t mess around. I have thrown up on this hill and today came 5 sets of bounding. I am sore, I am tired and I am in a rare four week build…… but I do not complain. I do what I am told. Michelle knows what I need. I might lay in the lawn at the bottom of the hill after number five, but I will not complain to her. I won’t complain to her about hill bounding, volume, or anything she throws at me. This is all my choice.

“This is going to be uncomfortable. Possibly even painful.” Steve had said that in class earlier, and it stuck with me. Words like that for some reason speak to me. They are truth.

If I wanted someone to tell me I am pretty and I am good enough I would call my Mom. I wouldn’t go to Michelle and Steve.

So I bounded and I focused and I executed. I had a long day ahead on my feet, Curt is in Vegas, the house is a bio-hazard I had tons of work to do and bedtime was further away than I wanted to admit. It was uncomfortable. It was painful (not in an injury way…. there is a fine line) but at the same time it was exactly the feeling I have craved.

In those moments I don’t think ahead. In fact I don’t think. I focus on what my body is doing. I find the here and now. Whether it’s a backward lunge on a bosu ball or my fifth hill bound….. I am right here and right now. Nowhere else.

What I do is not only my choice, but it’s a privilege. If I didn’t want to be pushed, smashed and challenged I would stay home in bed. Perhaps it is because of what I have been through that’s made me this way. I have gone from the bottom to the top to the bottom again. I have lost the ability to train, I have had it threatened and those experiences will teach you to never….. ever take it for granted. The ability to move. The ability to push. The ability to feel your body from the inside out.

It’s an incredible privilege.

So you won’t hear me complain. Ever. Give me a six hour zone whatever ride and I will do it. At the same time give me recovery and I make it my b*tch. I don’t mess around. I can push and I can recover. I never ever bonk. I am finding my way into an amazing place mentally…. where I have not been for a long time.

I talked with a friend before I left the gym….. an old friend, one that I haven’t seen in a long time.

“You have been through so much.” She acknowledged, “And you always find your way.” I smiled. She was right, as hard as that compliment was to accept, she was right and I was thankful. I have been through a lot. Some of it hard, some of it impossible….. but it all contributes to where I am right now.

And I would not trade that for the world.

Every morning that I wake up the first thing I do is look to the quote I receive in my inbox. I love the words that come to me. The right ones always do. Despite how tired I might be I feel hungry for the day ahead of me. My days are long. I know what it’s like to be up for 76 straight hours and on my feet for 16 at a time. While I am past those days I never took those for granted either. Those days taught me, and they taught me well.

As I said to the woman in class…. I don’t complain because I choose to do this. I get to do this. After everything I have been through I am well aware that I shouldn’t still be doing this but by the grace of God I still am. And trust me my gratitude that I am doing what I do is stronger than anything. I don’t take it for granted and I never will.

It only takes losing it all one time to teach you that.

I am in the best hands. Michelle, Rachel (my RD) and Steve are pushing me and at the same time watching out for me. I have the best possible team in them and in my family to make this comeback, to rise above and to reach for new heights. The road hasn’t been easy. The road will never be easy. The brick walls in life are there to keep the others out.

“This will be uncomfortable. Possibly even painful.” … quote of the week as far as I am concerned. If I wanted easy…. I would stay in bed. If I wanted a hand to hold I would call my mom. Nothing worth overcoming or accomplishing is ever easy. It wouldn’t be worth it if it were.

As I bounded up the hill and the rediculous amount of sweat dripped off of me I tore of my shirt (I was decent)…. I tend to do that when things get to that point. I kept my head clear but at the same time fully engaged on what was happening. And when it was done I smiled. I felt shelled after the consecutive workouts of the morning that began long before 5am.

But I felt accomplished. And awesome. And hungry for more. But not before a recovery day.

December 2020