27 Nov Thankful For Health, Friends, Family, and Peace
Two weeks ago, the day after we started our kickstarter campaign, I posted a blog that detailed my first two months of running since my back went out many years ago. Even though I was active and exercising I avoided running because I thought that my leg was too weak. It was certainly true that my ankle was very prone to spraining and that my knee prone to swelling when I tried to run. However, it was also true that I was scared. When my new friend Craig, who was very familiar with Dr. Sarno’s work challenged me by asking “What would Sarno say?” when I told him that my leg was too messed up to run, I recognized that fear was keeping me stuck. I started running that morning. As I detailed in the earlier post, I had some difficulties, but my leg has steadily become stronger. A couple of days after I wrote that post my friend Caroline asked if I wanted to run an 8k road race on Thanksgiving. Caroline often prompts me to try things that challenge me. This summer we did the master cleanse together and last fall we went on a long swim that almost killed me.
A year ago we went camping with Caroline and her family at a lake. I casually suggested to Caroline that we swim across and she immediately dove in and started swimming, and I followed. I had recently started meditating, so I thought about the swim as a mediation practice and I focused on my breath. It was about a half mile across which means it felt kind of like an endless swim. We had to dive deep a couple of times to avoid speeding motor boats. By the time we got across, the wind had picked up and it the water was getting a little choppy. It was late September and it had also gotten quite a bit chillier than when we set out. To make a long story short, about halfway across Caroline started to swim the crawl and I followed suit. As I did so, I thought about how I was usually ok with the breast stroke but that my leg often cramped when I did the crawl. Within moments the calf of my weaker leg cramped severely. We were in the middle of the lake and I knew that I was in trouble. Thankfully, the mediation had already helped me to remain calmer than I might have been. It was also lucky that Caroline used to be a lifeguard. I could barely keep my head above water as she held up my leg and tried to get it to un-cramp. The pain was intense and I was aware that there was a real chance that I might drown. I also knew that being scared would not help. We treaded water for about 15 minutes before Caroline was able to hail a passing kayak. Slowly we made our way back to shore. My leg was sore from the cramping but I was fine.
I didn’t think the race would be the same kind of challenge, but I was a little nervous before it. I ran the five miles at a steady solid pace, pushing myself harder than I had planned to. My leg felt stronger than it has in years and I ran way faster than I expected to run. I hope that my experience can inspire others to recognize how their own fear keeps them stuck in the same way that it does me. I am thankful that my work on “All The Rage” has not only helped me to heal, but that it will also help others.