“My skin is a song
A fleet-footed dream
Of a dancing God
With harpsichord arms
That made me
Just as much a masterpiece
As anyone else.” Joshua Bennett
So, here I am. Slightly less fleet-footed than the above quote would have you believe.
The last post was about sickness and listening to your body when it needs healing.
Well, I’m still healing. I wound up with viral pneumonia and a couple of infections on top of it. Which, unfortunately, meant my running career has been put on hold until I’m better.
I’ve been on and off work for the past two weeks, mainly off — which I hate. The worst thing you can do to a workaholic is take away the work. But, alas, I’m without options, I need to heal. The good news is it’s on its way out. After tomorrow I should be grand. I only discovered it was pneumonia this morning. Luckily I’m at the tail end.
Recently I had a full blood panel done, along with several tests on my ticker. Heart disease moves like a freight train through my family, so the new Doc and I figured it wise to get it all checked while I’m in the process of working out and running. Seemed smart.
To say that I was terrified about the results from either test would be the understatement of the century. I knew something was wrong — you don’t walk out of years of fast food addiction unscathed.
As I waited, every burger, French fry, ice cream, and cookie I’d ever piled into my mouth was recalled. When the day came to receive the blood work results I walked into the Doc’s office coated in sweat, sat down, looked him in the eye and said, “alright, it’s time I knew. Go ahead.”
“You’re fine,” he said. “Your cholesterol is a little higher than I’d like it. But all in all you’re great.”
The cholesterol, by the way, was lower than it was eight years ago, the last time it was measured.
Two weeks later I went back for the results of my heart tests and it was the same thing.
“You’re normal,” he said.
Not even normal. Better than normal. The last time I had my heart rate checked by a doctor it was resting at 105 BPM. A lot of that has to do with the immense amount of white coat anxiety I carry around with me.
My resting heart rate was down 30 BPM to 75, which is, as the good Doctor said, “normal.”
This is going to sound a bit strange, but I felt kind of depressed. I felt as though I didn’t deserve the news I was getting.
You often hear stories of people who drink and smoke anything that they can get their hands on and eat all kinds of crap, and yet they outlive many of their friends.
I felt like that guy a bit.
Here I was shamefully abusing my body for years and years… and yet… nothing. Apart from the tremendous weight gain.
I felt as though I’d gotten off easy.
It took me a couple of days to really come around to the fact that the work I’ve been doing in the past five or so months has had an impact on my overall health.
I’m not talking at the moment, because I’m a dirty old state at the moment.
But the truth of the matter is that I’ve made changes, and these results are proof positive that they’re having an impact.
It struck me that I was searching for punishment. A slap on the wrist for being so awful to myself. As if I’d not been punished enough.
How foolish is that?
I think. It’s about time I gave myself a bit of grace.
And in terms of this current predicament I’m in with the pneumonia shenanigans — it’ll pass. I’m chomping at the bit to get back at it, and I will soon. These harpsichord arms are itching to lift things.