“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard…is what makes it great!” -Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own
This past weekend I’ve had a mixture of brown, black, green and pink moments, making for mixed up days. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, refer to Dr. Seuss’ “My Many Colored Days“. Brown is for when you’re feeling low, black is for when you’re mad, green is cool and collected, and pink is for being happy!
On Saturday I went to Caribana. It’s a festival held here in Toronto and I got to experience some of the Caribbean culture, music and food. I was in awe of the amount of people, the music and beautiful costumes all around. I saw a bit of the parade, and I had the most yummy Jerk Chicken ever! Defintely pink moments.
Then as the day progressed I found that my energy levels were depleting rapidly. My legs grew heavy, my mind was stuffy and I needed to sit down every so often. It was hot and humid that day, so I concluded that my body just couldn’t handle it. I went home and was in bed very early that evening. A grey momment (tired).
The next day, yesterday, I had a hard time getting out of bed. I was tired, very tired. I puttered around the house, doing some chores but I found that I would get easily tired. I became annoyed. I decided to do some banking as it wasn’t taxing on the body. I took a look at my account and became really depressed, wondering how much longer I could go on like this, with this costly divorce, waiting for the house to sell, daily expenses and being unemployed. I saw no end in sight and I freaked. I was a crying mess. Definitely brown and black moments.
After some time, when I had no more tears left to cry, I decided to go for a walk. I wandered to a park nearby and walked along the trails. It was beautiful, regenerating, and calming. There was a slight breeze, the ponds were gorgeous and seeing the people having bbq’s, sitting on the benches, and the lovers laying on blankets under the trees was uplifting. So much of a pink moment. Being out in the outdoors always had an revitalizing effect on me.
But I found it difficult to walk after a while. I was out of breath – again! What was going on?
Thinking to a few weeks back, while in Italy in the Amalfi Coast, to get to our apartment meant to climb 47 stairs. And during the day we were always walking. We never stopped. In Paris, it was 98 stairs to the apartment. Heck, in one days I climbed the 98 stairs to the apartment twice, climbed to the second level of the Eiffel tower, the Arch de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur and the gazillion subway stairs for a total of 1,400 stairs in one day, let alone all the walking along the way. I didn’t have any trouble then. So why on earth am I having trouble walking a park trail?
It because I’m now out of shape.
I find it interesting that after a couple of weeks of decreased activity my body is having trouble functioning the way I want it to, the way it used to. After my little getaway to Paris, when I returned to Italy to visit family, I didn’t walk a lot, and there weren’t many stairs to climb. When I returned back to Toronto, my activity levels decreased further. With this I find that my coping levels have been hit hard, that emotionally I’m all over the place. My stamina for anything has plummeted. This means only one thing. I have to exercise. I need more red (enegergetic), blue (lively), orange (fun) and pink (happy) moments in my life.
I don’t mind exercising. I quite enjoy it. I used to run at least four or five 10k races a year. I’m not a fast runner, and that’s ok. I completed every race I began and for me, that’s what matters most. I earned every medal I set out for. And above all else, it’s what has got me through some very tough times.
But this year I haven’t done much exercise, let alone any running. Haven’t done much of anything. It’s taken some time to get used to this new lifestyle of being a single Mom. There isn’t as much free time as there used to be, even with being unemployed as there are many things that need to be taken care of. Earlier this year I decided to sign up for a 5k run, and couldn’t get any training in. While running the race I felt as if my lungs were being ripped out of my chest.
I need to do something about this, fast.
So my cousin and Godfather have decided to run the Niagara Falls 10k race in October, and want me to join them this year. This was an annual race for us, up until two years ago when my life changed dramatically. I think I will go for it. I’ll train as best as I can. It will be tough to get out there and train for the long distance runs. I’ll have to get my little one to join me on her bike.
It’s great to have goals set like that, but my problem is in the present time, not the future. I have been thinking about strapping on my runners all day, but can’t get myself to do it. Not sure what is stopping me. I’m also worried that I’ll start this endeavor, and eventually will let it die off.
Enough of this analysing, now off I go to do something – to get myself moving. I want to get feel better. I’d love to hear what your coping strategies are, so please do share.