I’ve had a rough couple of weeks at work lately. Things have been happening that are beyond my control and I’m left feeling like I am hanging from a trapeze wire by my fingertips. This sense of helplessness makes me go a bit inwards and lose my sense of self. The world becomes narrow and grey and I find it hard to focus.
To keep connected to the world, I have to keep doing all the things that feel good and right. I need to keep going to dance class and laughing with my friends. I have to keep going to the gym, no matter how grim I feel on first wakening. I have to eat healthy. I am an emotional eater aka when I feel crap = I will eat that whole pack of cookies and wash it down with half a bottle of wine. Then I feel even worse.
I have to go to work everyday, smile and behave like everything is fine and dandy!
But most of all I need to hug my dog George . He’s a therapy dog. I’ve written about him in previous posts here and here and also here. We have volunteered at aged care homes; childcare centers; schools and universities. George has worked with Psychologists to help children overcome their fear of dogs. He is a lovely, gentle and beautiful dog. He absolutely knows when things are not right with me and he will just quietly snuggle up with me and make sure I am ok.
Are the best. There is a lot of research on animals and their positive impact on people. I read an article last week about a prison in Indiana having inmates look after shelter cats. This was hands down the best thing I read all week and helped pulled me out of my funk. If nothing else, look at the pics – those cats!! If prison is to be rehabilitative as well as punitive, having programs whereby inmates can participate in something that connects them back to the world, that is a good thing.
Tell me what you think – yoga, pilates or comment if you have a better idea!
Y’all know I’m into being really active. I run, swim, dance, hike and walk George (my therapy dog). And I’m all for “feelin’ the pain” (actually no, I’m not, but you know that thing – “no pain/no gain” 😛 ) But this is a whole other level of pain! Dislike!
It’s worse in the mornings and it truly is a comical sight watching me try to put my socks on so I can get my joggers on. Luckily, there’s (usually) only George and my cat Blossom around to snigger at my sad attempts at foot sockage.
Seriously, I can’t actually bend first thing in the morning without excruciating lower back pain, so putting on socks has become no small feat (hahahaha feat/feet). I usually put my foot up on my knee and try to lasso the sock over my toes!
Oh and to add injury to insult – here’s a pic of me at my last running event – The Perth Women’s Classic 10k fun run. I literally face planted on the finish line! Cut my chin open, but got free champagne and I still recorded a good time! (check the blood on my nice white event t-shirt! much ouch!)
Research on back pain
I’ve done a bunch of research and discovered the following useful (useless?) facts:
My doctor prescribed anti-inflammatories and said “arthritis, it’s your age, get used to it” (rude!!)
Google told me I need a new mattress, preferably firm/medium (there’s actually a research study on it and it’s a thing y’all)
Google also told me to do back stretches when I first wake up (didn’t help)
Then Google told me my sleeping position sucks and I need to sleep with a pillow between my legs and sleep on my side (y’ha, I do that – helps a little bit, but not enough to get my socks on!!)
My PT at the gym told me to give up running! (not gonna happen)
My girlfriends tell me to take up yoga or pilates. Trouble is they are all devotees of one or the other, so I’m kinda stuck.
Need your help to make a decision – there’s a poll at the top of this post, so vote your fave stretchy exercise and help me make a decision. Not to bias the poll, but I’m thinking of doing a Yoga Challenge (don’t see the point in just plain ole go to the community hall and getting my stretch on).
I just read a blog post by one of my favorite bloggers, Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess and found she is playing PokemonGo and so am I (along with a gazillion other people around the world!!)… here’s a link to Jenny’s blog just in case you’d like to read more… and she is absolutely correct – this game does help with anxiety 🙂
…and I totally get her comment on the rats… why on earth are there so many Rattatas wandering about? Here’s one sneaking up on George my therapy dog
…on being sick 😦
Now, back to staying fit and healthy… well that’s a bit easier now. It’s winter over here in Australia and of course I’ve had all my work colleagues sneezing, snuffling and coughing up a lung all around me. And one by one, we have all succumbed to the dreaded bug/virus/plague from hell!!
I’ve managed to catch it twice in a month, both times I had to take time off work because I was so sick. Seriously, wtf is it with colds these days? I’m sure back in the day you had a runny nose, sore throat, bit of a cough and then you’d be right as rain within 7 days. Now it seems the cold has mutated into an evil demon that causes all of the above, plus fevers, crashing headaches, doing weird things to your voice – well, more like losing your voice and squeaking like a demented mouse!! and keeping you out of action for weeks.
Running, because, running…
Anyway, I’m all better now, thank you for asking 🙂 and back to running. I ran in the Swan River Run on Sunday and managed a really good time. I’m so glad I’m back to being fighting fit… more pics on the run soon… for now, here’s a pic of one of my morning running routes – it’s so pretty!!
Love and romance
…and on a final note – I haven’t updated y’all on my relationship lately, suffice to say it’s had a few ups and downs, which is normal (although it never feels that way when you are going through it, does it?)… this morning Nick sent through a text of a saying he’d found: “we come by love, not by finding the perfect person, but learning to love the imperfect perfectly” …and you know what? I think that is just perfect!! 🙂
I know it’s hard to find the time and the energy to exercise on a regular basis. I always get asked how I find the motivation to run most mornings (especially now that it’s winter in my part of the world and cold and dark in the mornings!!) and like I’ve said before motivation is only a small part of the equation.
Motivation might get you up and running, swimming, dancing or off to that spin or yoga class, but it’s habit (and a goodly dose of bloody mindedness!!) that keeps you going for the long term!
And maybe you could set a goat (wtf keyboard? goat? Really??) goal, set a goal!! Some people work well setting a personal goal like getting in shape for a special occasion (wedding, birthday, holiday) and some work better setting an external goal. Get fitter to chase the kids around or enter a fun run and fundraise for a charitable cause.
My latest run was the 12kms in the HBF Run for a Reason. A big part of the event is raising much needed funds and this year I run in support of Guide Dogs WA’s #Jog4ADog team to sponsor a new Guide Dog (each puppy costs more than $35,000 to train!) in memory of a friend’s guide dog who died recently.
Every step of the way (especially the last few kms….) I was thinking of the puppies and as a reward the Guide Dogs Association had guide dogs to welcome us at the finish line 🙂
…and to finish up here’s a pic of George the Therapy Dog in full running mode – he couldn’t enter the race with me because it was a human only race, but he surely was my inspiration in my training runs leading up to the day!! Check out George’s facebook page here for more pics and stories about his adventures as a therapy dog!!