Monday, April 30, 2012

Running as a Barometer

I should be putting my brain in a box
and allowing it to power down
while I get restorative sleep.

Apparently, I’m at it again. Pushing myself too much & trying too hard to cram in as much as I can into a day. Consequently, I’m not focusing enough on sleep. I’m having fun, but the lack of sleep makes me hit the snooze in the morning and fumble through my catalogue of excuses why I can’t run in the morning. Usually, the excuses are valid- I NEED SLEEP. I’ve already shortchanged myself by staying out too late on a school night and to function efficiently at work, I need to capture as many winks as I can without being late to work.  

The drought of less sleep was short.  I had one brief date with a guy in February. In late March, after my hypnotherapy sessions with Brennan Smith to relieve my PTSD, I did what has become my bigger modus operandi - live with enthusiasm. We had several dates a week & they often took us past my bed time. The dates had deep conversation and we were sharing our joys and passions as we explored LA together. He knew I was a runner, and I knew he wasn’t particularly fond of the sport and smoked on occasion. Nonetheless, when he wanted to support me on the Nike Women’s 10k and we found out he would have to buy a bib to enter the Paramount Pictures lot, I invited him to join me. (I thought it may be fun as he loved movies and I used to work at Paramount.) This was ill-advised. I had intended to run with my female friends, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings by telling him “stay home” when he was making an effort to come out and see me.  This was particularly hammered into my head by one male friend who insisted I had to honor the new guy’s wishes and allow him to support me. With no training and only grim determination, this guy ran his very first 10k with me. He completed the 6.2 miles and several hours after the race, he cracked like a nut.   

I have mixed feelings about the outcome. I know this was a very difficult undertaking even if you are trained as I remember how tough my first 5 miles were. On the other hand, the race was a catalyst. I learned in short order some ugly things that may have taken me months to learn otherwise. Letting go of this guy was difficult as he had so many admirable qualities but after my surgery, I do not feel the desire to love a man into being the man my heart believes he can be. Will I be making future suitors run with me? Absolutely. It was a fluke the above mentioned gentleman ran a 10k with me so early into our dating. I will be easing future men into the sport by introducing them to my running group. Do future men I date need to run? No. In fact, in early email correspondence, I mentioned to one I hoped to share my love of the sport & on our first coffee date he told me in no uncertain terms that he would not run. At least he stood up to me & was self aware of himself to know this. He quickly followed it up that he cycles.
The world famous Bronson Gate.
Where an actor named Charles
Buchinski  changed his name...

I will not be using a running shoe as my glass slipper, but an interest in athletics is a must. I’ve come too far to backslide. I must focus on my health, sleep and the Hartford ING half marathon that is about 24 weeks away. There is no time to doddle.

Post Script - It seems a shame not to mention all the great things that I was able to reminisce about while being back on the Paramount since during my tenure I gave two hour tours and was also a mail carrier.  But, we never know what we're going to take away from any experience. I'm sure there will be more races and visits to the Paramount lot where I can wax fondly of my time there.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Breakthrough

Life is getting better. The challenges still vary and sometimes come out of left field. Some of the most difficult days are a result of days where I’ve felt great and skimped on sleep to work on creative projects. It’s tough because after surgery, I’ve been inspired to write more stories, try new genres of writing, & pick up my sword and go on crusades for funding for medical research. My friends have called me out on my lack of sleep, especially when they see I’ve written something and posted it on Face Book past my bedtime. Yes, they’ve given me a bedtime. They’ve allocated time to get ready, fall asleep and have time to get 8 hours so I can get up and get my morning runs in.

But, as I stated earlier, things are getting better, meaning anxiety in parking lots and the fear of touch are dissipating. My session with Brennan helped tremendously. The same weekend I had my session, I went out with friends and had a date. I did not feel a supreme need to punch someone despite the fact I was in a crowd. Interestingly, while my date and I were walking to the Santa Monica Pier (a tourist hot spot) a self-indulgent woman ran me over with her runaway baby stroller and proceeded to run over other victims. The woman behind me hollered, “I wish that was me; I would’ve hit her.” I chuckled to myself, and while moderately irked, I did not feel the need to retaliate. The new me (which is more like the pre-surgery me) felt even better when my date walked me back to my car.  I did not feel wary of being touched by him. In fact when he hugged me, I was able to judge him harshly with the quality of hug he gave.  (It was terrible.)

One of the many good things about Certified Hypnotherapist (CHt), Brennan Smith, is that he records our sessions so I am able to listen and reinforce the groundwork he laid.  I gave myself room to breath and assess the progress I made between our session two weeks ago and the following days. Since our sessions build on what was learned before, I needed to experience life to make the proper assessment.  Before Brennan and I were going to reconvene and discuss the progress, I had my 2nd date with a different fellow. I thought it would be prudent to listen to our session again before the date so the trust principles could be reinforced.  Date two was different than the first date we had in mid-February since I owned the anxiety I was experiencing. I was still resistant to sitting too close since I didn’t want to engage in handholding. I was more receptive to the idea, which is fortunate because as the date was winding down, he commented on an email I had sent him earlier (which contains a link to my blog in the signature). He quietly prodded, “I see you have a blog.” And as I was kicking myself for not being more careful in my email communication, he put out his hand. My friends and I have debated how much of the blog this man has read and if he saw my recent post of being resistant to hand holding.  Weather he read that post or not, my truth is that I’m getting over my anxiety of touch and that I’m still recovering from surgery.  I took a deep breath and took his hand and then told him about my surgery & some of the challenges that have come out of it.  He has not run away— We’re planning a hike for our 4th date.