Wednesday, September 19, 2012

To Increase Anxiety Click Here

Not much time left until the “big” race I’ve been training for.  Sunday I will be doing my first 5 km run…well I will be walking/jogging, next June I will be running the whole 5 km! : )  This has been a real roller coaster ride training for race day.  My anxiety has kicked into full force considering I thought I didn’t have anxiety issues.  My partner/trainer has had a rough go of it with me also.  He has been patient, if not somewhat discerning, with me throughout the process but he has also been supportive, encouraging and the inspiration for this new endeavour.


My partner wisely indicated to me that this undertaking is more of a mental challenge for me than a physical challenge.  And he is right.  The anxiety begins when I think about running (and by running I mean doing interval training by walking a short distance/time and then jogging a short distance/time, continuously alternating until the end of a pre-determined distance/time).  I don’t know what my anxiety is all about.  Just thinking about it to type about it gives me anxiety!  I think about and I get sweaty and panicky and can’t breathe. Even my forearms sweat during my anxiety attacks.  It often takes 2 hours for me to be coaxed out of wherever it is that I have holed myself up (mentally and/or physically/literally).  My partner knows that if I’m having a bad day (i.e. don’t get out of bed) that he just has to wait it out and I will at least get out and walk, even if I don’t run.  But I manage to make it to the track or wherever it is we are training that day.  When I do run, I complain and swear and bitch and moan almost the whole time.


My first attempt at the whole 5 km last week resulted in a major anxiety attack half way through.  A stitch in my side caused my breathing to get even worse than it was and I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t run, I basically couldn’t function at that moment in time.  I cried and cried and the negative self-talk came out in audible gasps and gulps.  I sobbed into my hoodie and wailed that I wasn’t going to be able to do it this Sunday and what’s the point.  My partner waited patiently, calmly, a gentle hand on my shoulder. “C’mon, let’s walk it off” he said.  And I did.  And I completed the (approximately) 5 km route my first try in less than 45 minutes, including the meltdown time.  “You didn’t stop for very long, 5 minutes at the most” he told me.  It may have felt like forever, he said, and he’s right.  It did feel like forever.  But I survived, I conquered that hurdle.  I’m sure there will be more but for now, I know that I don’t have to do it alone. I have a lot of support behind me, friends that will train with me so I don’t need to do it alone.  On race day my partner/trainer/friend and another friend will be beside me.  I take great comfort in knowing that I am not alone in this.  I really don’t think I would be able to do it alone…yet.  One day I will though!


I will leave you with some inspirational words from a friend of mine as I take my leave to work on where my anxiety is coming from. : )


I always told my son, who struggled with asthma and wanted to compete in public school “If you don’t try you can’t even say ‘I didn’t finish’.  If you don’t try you will never finish, and even if you come in last, lots of kids/people never had the courage to try.”  His first race he finished 43 out of 47.  He and I both felt as good as if he had won first.  I almost cried when I saw him round that last corner, his face grimaced in pain, his arms clutching his chest, but his little legs still pumping.  That picture is on my wall, and I remember it like it was yesterday.  So many kids who didn’t have his challenge didn’t even try.  Seeing you take this on, with everything else you deal with is why I kicked my ass to get back in shape. Believe in yourself, you are way stronger than you think, mentally AND physically….YOU GO GIRL!




PS  In follow up to my last entry on September 5, the switch has not gone off again and my loved one is receiving help.  It was not a struggle or a fight to get them to agree to go for help.  They were glad to do it and even the small changes they have made in their lifestyle have produced an improvement in their demeanour.  We are both living by my credo now:  One day at a time, one thing at a time, one step at a time.


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