The fine art of being hard on yourself

“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.



7 thoughts on “The fine art of being hard on yourself

  1. good job dave, I am also a person that have hidden in clothes for years. I weigh in now at 329 pounds. I think one of my downfalls is also diet soda. I didn’t realize how much damage it can do. I have cut back on the soda but probably need to cut it out all together. I try to eat healthier ever day. its a lot easier to look at the smaller picture than the bigger picture. I try to look at it one pound at a time. thanks for writing this blog it made me realize that other people are going the same thing. thanks and good luck

    1. Thanks Barry.

      Giving that stuff up was the best thing I could have done at the time. In a month or so it’ll be a year since I last had any of it. And I don’t miss it a bit. Water is good. Loves it. Heh. Keep on keepin’ on. Dave

  2. HI Dave you are doing awesome you have a lot of courage and love for yourself now…I don’t know if you remember me I was the coach of Learn to Run Clinic..I will keep reading your blog.
    Exie Harris…you go Dave

    1. Of course I remember you. You were the last person I saw before pneumonia. Heh. I went back. Rand for the first three weeks. Still running, but I’ve had to adjust my interval time to allow for strengthening of my limbs. Plan is to run the tele next year. Hope to see you there. Dave

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