Friday, August 24, 2012

Two Weeks Travel

Totem Poles @ Stanley Park,
Vancouver, BC, Canada
I have returned from a whirlwind trip to CT, Seattle, & British Columbia. I’m not quite settling into normal… The normal I have had is not the normal I am pushing myself to shift into. I still desire to get back to running several times a week. I need to remind myself of what Sherry Lansing said during my college commencement, “you can have it all; you just can’t have it all at once.” I am certain that she was not figuring brain surgery or any kind of health set back. Set backs and bumps in the road are expected. It could be seeing Jeff, or it could be the talk of commencement speeches, but it makes me recall high school. The valedictorian was a mutual friend of Jeff & me. In her speech she told us we would have bumps in the road. She spoke of the pet goat who was neutered & on the same day of his operation, was hit by the lawnmower & his horn was cut short. Despite the goat withstanding these traumas all in an afternoon, he lived a very full & vibrant life. She encouraged us to do the same.

2-hour sunset kayak tour
I doubt the goat was concerned about shifting his paradigm to something more similar to the life he had before surgery. I know I am not the same person I was when I had surgery. Priorities have shifted- most for the better. While not fully enjoying the demand for sleep, I am making it more of a priority. Needing to stay active is also a  priority. This need is not driven fear to be fit for the next surgery. It is driven by joy & the pure ability that I can do it. I like being able to run 10 miles & I LOVE the new coordination I have because I don’t have the tumor pressing on my cerebellum.

While traveling in the Pacific Northwest, I was outside every day & walked everywhere… likely 3-5 miles a day. I never quite grasped the metric system until I took up running & because of it, I could assimilate & speak in kilometers when talking distance. The bike ride around Stanley Park was 10k (6.2 miles) & the round trip distance from my hostel to the breakwater in Victoria was roughly 5k. I probably kayaked 3k in Victoria harbor (with Kelp Reef Adventures) and my Vancouver walking tour (including a trip to Lynn Canyon) is an estimated 6k. The hike with Jeff through a path in the Cascades just outside of Seattle was 7.2 miles. I was never at a shortage of activities & even though I gained 1 lb, my clothes fit better. (I’m hoping that 1 pound is muscle, not pastry/ice cream/coffee.)

Lynn Canyon Suspension 
Bridge. Next time, Capilano
Suspension Bridge
I'm back home and it's time to get back to reality. Instead of 8-10+ hours of activity, I am 8-10+ hours behind a desk and wheel of the car.  I need to shift again and carve out time to exercise. Also, as Jeanette at Soloma Fitness has been reminding me, I need to build in activities throughout my workday, particularly because I have a stationary job. Small stretches, leg lifts, etc, will keep me in better health. Jeanette is also the reason I keep a carafe of water on my desk to drink through the day.

With the strength I have built from vacation travel and a focus on "some distance is better than no distance," consistent long distance will become normal again. (The dance classes I start next month should also add a fun cardiovascular activity while helping cross another thing on my to-do list.) 

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