You can pick up doses of inspiration where you least expect it. I was suffering through an Orangetheory Fitness class about a year ago with a coach I had decided I wasn’t going to like. I thought she was too serious and kind of stern… I thought she was exactly what I didn’t want at 5 am. I was wrong. Since then, I take her class every other Wednesday before I go in to get bloodwork at the NIH. Bumping the heart rate up helps elevate white blood cell counts, and it’s worked for me for years now, helping keep me in whatever clinical trial I am in at the moment.. The more of Emily’s classes I took, the more I realized what a motivating and effective coach she is. She’s engaged and is one of those people who pushes you to do better. And she has incredible timing. Just when I am sure I can’t run another 10 seconds or do one more chest press, she shouts, “Yes, you can!” That’s all. No elaboration, just a straightforward message of belief. I decided that I am going to use that message of belief in myself on a daily basis and not just as I’m suffering through an Endurance Day at Orangetheory (how is it that I was an ultra distance triathlete for so many years and now I dread running on the treadmill for two straight minutes?).
Right before Labor Day (wow, I haven’t posted in a while), I decided to sign up for a 5K in Park City. No matter that I hadn’t “run” consecutive miles in months and am never home long enough to acclimate to the elevation. Truth: I did think about bailing a half-dozen times before and during the race. But you know, there’s not a race of any distance that I’ve done in my life during which I DIDN’T think about walking off the course, 5K’s included. I finished in just under 45 minutes, which is pretty much twice the time I used to run 5Ks in. I got passed by a lot of people who didn’t look like they should pass me, but I wasn’t last and I have this:
Yes I can.
As you know, I volunteer to help with equine therapy lessons at the National Ability Center. A couple of weeks ago, I was helping with a lesson for an older woman who didn’t have much of a clue about riding horses. She did well, though and said she couldn’t wait to come back. Later, I found out that she is 87 years old and and only been on a horse a couple of times before. But she decided that she wanted to experience something new at 87 because age doesn’t have to be an obstacle, and Yes, She Can.
And speaking of trying something new, I have a new Vespa! I’ve been wanting one for years, but actually have never ridden one. I’ve only been on the back of a motorcycle, so the learning curve was steep. My first few times out (after I dumped the Vespa at an intersection because I forgot that the right hand grip is the acceleration), were in parking lots, trying to get the feel of something completely new and different and kind of scary. But now, I think it’s so fun (still a bit scary) to be on the scooter, zooming around Park City. I always like a steep learning curve; it means a new adventure is probably materializing. Never driven a Vespa? But now, Yes I Can.
A few weeks ago, two of my dearest friends’ son was having a pre-wedding celebration in Aspen. Cramming another trip in between all of the travel I do is rarely thrilling. But I haven’t seen this group of friends for a very long time, it really wasn’t going to be impossible to pull this off. So I packed my car for Aspen, flew to the NIH for appointments, flew back to the Salt Lake Airport, picked up my car, drove to Aspen, soaked up all the goodness I could from my friends, drove back to Park City and flew to Phoenix the next day to work for Ivanhoe Broadcast News for the week. Everything had to fall into place exactly for me to pull this off, and it did. My priority in executing and planning this crazy trip was spending time with positive people who give me strength and love. Enough strength and love that I didn’t dread those 7 hour drives (each way) or having to pack for three trips at the same time, which I am, unfortunately, getting better at. Creating time to spend with friends who recharge you, even if it’s not easy: Yes, I (You) Can.
I think the mantra works with crappy situations, too, and I’ve had a few of those. My NIH team has finally given up on my port, which is causing blood clots, causing me to take blood thinners that I hate, and only working sporadically. That means on top of everything else, I have to have the port replaced next week. Another surgery that isn’t even for the cancer itself, it’s to make drug delivery and blood draws easier. Of course, the blood clots do necessitate the port being replaced or at least coming out anyway. I’m not psyched. But I’ll have the procedure of course, because it’s part of the bigger scenario. In this case, I really don’t have the chance to say no, because of the potentially life-threatening situation the blood clot(s) is/are causing. So, a little less enthusiastically than I usually will say it, Yes, I Can. Because sometimes, you’re not pushing forward to have a new adventure. Sometimes it’s to get through the grind of whatever’s facing you. But the motivation is the same Yes, You Can. Thanks, Emily. #defy