Fear hasn't been the only thing keeping me from regular or vigorous workouts in recent years. Since my second battle with cancer my lungs have felt heavy and I've failed to catch my breath after any length of a run. There are at least two possible reasons for this--and maybe even a combination; scar tissue inside--- or the lasting souvenir side effects of my nasty, but necessary bleomycin. "Bleo", as I affectionately call it, is undeniably a miracle drug--but so notorious for its harmful lasting effect on lungs that Lance had it removed from his protocol during treatment.
And now...I cant help but think Bleo was having its little laugh on me. But does it have to be that way?
One avoids what one fears...because fear is protection. Fear is like a shelter. Living within its confines seems so comfortable for a while. Yet it restricts us-- preventing us from experiencing anything new and in the end it just traps us in stasis.
I had to get to a point recently where I admitted a fear had gotten the best of me. Sure, I am a busy girl---I work a lot, I play a lot...I am always on the go...but my excuses were running out.
I avoided running because it scared me. And then I remember Zach. His voice still rings in my ears.
What the heck am I afraid of? I know that's what he would say if he were here.
Three weeks ago I started jogging around my block...I started tracking my progress easily by following the ordered grid of my street. I am at the H end of a line of alphabetical intersecting streets...and when I first started with this plan I could barely get from H to E without stopping. Yet--over the last three weeks something has happened...I've gotten farther. I now am beginning to work toward looping around the alphabet.
When I've felt that pressure on my lungs...I have resisted the urge to stop, but instead I slow the pace...change my breathing. The progress has been very gradual-- day to day.
I've felt stronger...and something has replaced that former fear. It's not to say that I'm fearless. I still move with the caution of someone who knows what it means to suffer a setback--but I just don't feel that same tension anymore. Instead I feel something childlike and exciting.
I feel curiosity.
Every day my curiosity, instead of my fear, kicks in first as I lace up.
I'm curious because I want to see how much farther I'll go today...