Inspiration is an intriguing point for me lately.
I have shared this before but it bears repeating… http://www.wicca-spirituality.com/akhilandeshvari.html
Directly relating to some musings I have had lately regarding my own “brokenness” https://truthfreedomjoy.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/the-beauty-of-broken/
Revisiting this yesterday as I returned from running a 10km race, The Victoria Goddess Run. It has been a long haul the last couple of years through grief and depression, ptsd and insomnia that has kicked my ass physically and brought me to a place where most of the time my whole body hurts and I’m habitually exhausted. Mentally, emotionally and physically. Most days, things just feel so hard to do. But I do what needs to get done. And more recently I’ve even started to have fun again and see joy in my life.
A large part of that has been making my physical well-being and happiness a priority again. For those who have known me for years, you know that I am an active person. My usual level of fitness and activity is pretty high and demanding. And I love that. I love my body feeling strong and healthy and capable. I haven’t felt that way for the last couple of years and it’s been steadily wearing me down emotionally.
Feeling disconnected to my physical self is something I hadn’t experienced in years. My Yoga training and being a Yoga teacher, fitness instructor and personal trainer brought me a level of body awareness and somewhat acceptance that was sorely needed starting in my late 20’s.
Two years after Willie’s death and grieving still, 6 months ago I realized that I have found myself almost completely foreign to myself physically. Not able to do what I “normally” would not even blink an eye at… flexibility lost… strength diminished and a body that looks notably different due to extra weight and a lack of muscle definition… Struggling still with insomnia and depression and battling self-harm manifesting in a rearing up of anorexic behaviour again it was time to make changes.
So I set a goal to run a half marathon. I signed up in November 2013 and it was for yesterday, June 1st 2014. I had never run a half marathon but was determined to do it.
Depression and grief held on… insomnia got worse… my weight went up instead of down no matter what I tried it seemed like. Injuries one after the other as I struggled to just push through. Coupled with self-hatred and sheer disgust at myself for what felt like moving farther from my goal every week instead of closer. 2 months ago I made the decision to alter my goal to the 10km distance instead of the half-marathon. This was in the midst of a hamstring pull so bad that I couldn’t even walk, let alone run and the reality that, as Physio pointed out, the idea of running a half-marathon in less than 7 weeks when I couldn’t run 2km without pain was ridiculous.
So, I altered my goal. All the while still looking at other areas of my life and seeing that it was a theme that I was hating. I would make plans to socialize or go out and I would almost always cancel. I had moved from being someone who NEVER didn’t deliver to someone who would shrug and say “whatever”. Part of me, a large part of me, really expected that I would not run even the 10km that I had signed up for. When I found out that my son’s Karate tournament was on the same weekend I thought “of course” and resigned myself to not running it.
Then something clicked. I thought, I can do this. I had been able to rehab to consistently able to complete 5km (still with pain but I could do it). That little part of me that still believed in me was there enough to make a plan and decide that I was going to believe that I could do it.
A weekend of controlled chaos of race package pick-up, ferry and rush hour traffic to Vancouver, not enough sleep… full day at a Karate tournament and a hell of a long trip home to the island … not enough sleep and a morning that came too quickly and there I was. June 1st and the Goddess Run.
Incredulous that I had made it and was doing it. I had set a time of wanting to do it in under 1hr 15 minutes. My last organized race was over 10 years ago and my time was 1hr and 1 minute. In my mind I had a time of 1hr and 8mins that I wanted to meet but felt that was unachievable.
Even as I got set up to run I fought with the feelings of failure that I was running the 10km instead of the half-marathon but as I got going something clicked and I realized that I should be proud of myself for even being there when all along I had been convinced that I wouldn’t even show up. It’s hard to put into words how good it felt – even with just 1km under my feet – to be there and running. I didn’t care about time, just that I was doing it and was going to finish. To feel my body strong and my mind focused and determined was a feeling that I had forgotten I had in me. It’s true that the mind trickles down and what you set in your mind, you create and manifest with your actions. Your body is a vessel for the experiences of your Self.
A moment… I looked up and the woman in front of me was wearing a shirt that read “You Inspire Me”… I felt tears in my eyes and I thought to myself something I hadn’t thought I would ever think… I felt proud of myself and I thought “ I inspire me”. It’s hard for me to write those words because for so long now I have beaten myself up for my failings and hated myself for what I felt like were my weaknesses but those three words are a turning point. The fact that I was running at that moment – achieving what I set out to do when I truly believed that I wouldn’t – that moment showed me that the “me” that I always knew could do and achieve anything is still “me”. Never not broken but always strong and capable.
Finished the 10km in 1:02:57. Better than I hoped for but even if it had been an hour and a half I would have been proud.