Ambulance on Stand By? — On Deck Route 66 Marathon

320362_479224935424341_664089366_nAwesome moments in history — In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston marathon. After realizing that a woman was running, race organizer Jock Semple went after Switzer shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” However, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners provided a protective shield during the entire marathon.The photographs taken of the incident made world headlines, and Kathrine later won the NYC marathon with a time of 3:07:29. [Wiki] /

This woman is amazing!

I’m not even going to do her justice here. Talk about resolve. An official tried to forcibly remove her from the race and other men stepped in to protect her and she was able to finish the race. You can read her online bio HERE

Anyone who has the wherewithal to finish a marathon has my utmost respect, male or female, but do be the first woman ever to run in one and do it like she did, is priceless in my book.

I do not presently have my sights on running a full marathon. Heck, I’m lucky to run down the block without throwing up. I do however want to climb Pikes Peak in Colorado on my 50th birthday (in 2015) and that is going to take some training.

Why Pikes Peak? Because action trumps self pity every day.

The book “Don’t Let Me Go: What My Daughter Taught Me About the Journey Every Parent Must Make” by David Pierce planted this seed of mine back in 2009. It’s about his mountain climbing adventures with his daughter. I almost didn’t read the book because I hate father daughter everything. In a moment of personal bravery, I decided to get over myself and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. They climbed quite a few mountains and ran a lot of races together. I can almost bet if his daughter was the one being attacked in a marathon, he’d be the first man to protect her. I’m a little envious to be honest.

While Don’t Let Me Go opened a desire for adventure it also opened a wound. Bits and pieces of self-pity starting seeping into my veins. Not all at once mind you, just a little here and a little there. I ignored it for a long time and went on my own adventures like horseback riding through the jungles of Belize in 2011 (wicked cool!) and swimming with sharks in Cancun with my husband and boys in 2012 (and amazingly awesome) as well as snorkeling a barrier reef that same year. I love going on adventures with my guys and I hope we get to do many more as the years go by.

Even so, I could not shake the “oh how I wish I had a father to do things with while I was growing up.” bug of a monster in the back of my brain. Self-Pity is a horrible, nasty, terrible disease that lies and festers if you don’t kick it in the butt as soon as it surfaces. I finally had to face it and call it out for what it is — a self absorbed, egotistical, useless waste of time, breath, and energy.

I don’t have a father. There is nothing I can do about that. That is reality. I have a birth father, but that’s not the same thing.

It.

is

what

it

is.

I know, I’m 47 and I have “daddy issues” so sue me. Deep down, I believe a lot of women do. That’ s not always as easy as I can make it sound. Books have been written on it and I’m not going to bore you here. I’m just adding this because for some  reason self-pity told me I could never climb Pikes Peak.

My brain is bad neighborhood and I cannot go there alone most days so I finally I decided to talk this out with a friend of mine. She’s ruthless mind you which is why I talk to her only when I’m ready.

“Let me get this straight. You want to climb Pikes Peak because of a book you read, but you can’t because you don’t have a dad and your husband’s knees are too bad to join you? Well that sounds ridiculous.  Call a friend to go with you and climb the stupid mountain. Don’t call me because I have arthritis, but I’m sure there is at least one other crazy person in Tulsa who will travel with you.”

Sure enough I mentioned my desire while at a friend’s house and one of the gals at the table said she’d driven UP the mountain but had never climbed it, she’d love to go with me.

Huhn.

And there you have it. On August 27, 2015 – my 50th birthday, I Deana will summit Pikes Peak – without using the train, or a four-wheeler. I will do it the old-fashioned way – hiking up and I will be doing it with friends.

I have some hurdles to get over before attempting to climb this mountain. It’s a two-day climb I have some physical issues that need to be addressed. My son’s doctor was correct, parent’s of special needs kids do great taking care of their kids, but are lousy at taking care of themselves. My youngest is now grown, seizure free (because of the right meds)  functioning as an adult with a job, a car, and is going to college. I can relax. I get to take care of me now. That’s a good thing. I can either feel lost and un-needed (and that does come up some days) or I can remind myself that I am needed, by me, to take care of me because no one else can do that quite like I can.

1. I’m way out of shape — 50+ pounds out of shape.

2. My right ankle cannot tolerate long distance walking and PP is a lot of walking. (I shattered it as a kid and it’s pretty messed up today)

3. My left foot likes to go to sleep randomly, without warning. – no clue why and yes my doc is looking into it.

4. I’ve never been to Colorado. I have no idea if I can handle the altitude.

I have to start somewhere and the best place to start is where my feet are.

How do I start? by planning smaller steps, acknowledging my obstacles and planning ways to overcome those. — (I learned all this from Storyline by the way.)

Baby Steps:

  1. I will be in cycling events, starting with 25 miles this June and culminating with the MS-150 in 2014. (my base mileage is still at 10-15. I need to bring it up a lot)
  2. I will participate in 5k’s. Walking at first and eventually running in those. – I’ll be posting these events on my side bar for accountability.
  3. I will (Big Gulp) participate in the Route 66 half marathon this November. I signed up yesterday. This to me is a big hairy audacious deal. I make fun of marathon runners. Who knows maybe I’ll like it so much that I actually want to run in the full one next year.  Don’t laugh, it could happen. I swam with sharks last year — anything’s possible. And I’m told they have medics on stand-by just in case, so it’s all good.

I’m not in a holding pattern between being a Mom and waiting to be a Grandma — I’m a woman. I have a story to write. I have my story to live.

BE BOLD

BE BRAVE

DARE TO LIVE

Full Circle…

People ride bikes for different reasons. Some like the fellowship. Some like being outdoors. Me? I want to live. It really is that simple.

Tiffany’s death last fall scared me. We’d grown up together back in Michigan. One day she was Facebooking about the most recent cuteness of her 5-year-old son and the next day she was gone. pulmonary Embolism. That’s not fair.

My mother is 71 and is dying from COPD. She has suffered from severe depression on and off for most of my life and hasn’t had a drink since Aug 12, 1977. I would do anything for her, we even offered to buy her a house so she could live near us and she turned me down. Her depression keeps her from truly seeing and receiving love and some days it’s hard. She has convinced herself she would be miserable here and that she would die within six months if she moved. I have no choice but to let her live her end of life as she sees best.

While I spent roughly 30 years in Alanon, Mom doesn’t have a recovery program and I wish she did. Maybe that’s why I like Anne Lammot so much. She and my mother are a lot alike, only Anne chose a different path. I get jealous sometimes when I read her books. I still read them because I hope they can help me find my path and stop trying to live everyone else’s.

Don’t even ask about my Dad. I feel responsible for him as well.

I started having chest pains last summer and was sent to a cardiologist. When the tests came back perfect (except for a slight murmur) we assessed that perhaps my issues were more on the emotional bend rather than physical. I finally fessed up to some of the stress I was feeling and told her what was on my plate. Her response was a very simple statement. “I’d smoke too.”

Not the answer I was looking for, but she was right Codependency can kill.

I’m one of those people who puts off dealing with things until I can get away from people for a few days and have a private melt down. Then I pull up my bootstraps and carry on as the song goes. I didn’t get to do that last summer. August was full of commitments and I kept telling myself that this would have to wait. I could cope for a while, I’ll deal with it later. As if later will somehow take the sting away.

I should have known I was in trouble when I went in for my annual check up. If my doctor had been any nicer I would have burst into tears on the spot. It’s hard to handle kindness when we aren’t being very kind to ourselves. I had a very difficult time hearing his kindness over the voices in my head and my own woundedness screaming “What do you want from me!”

A middle of the night trip to the ER with stomach pain that made childbirth feel like a paper cut and chest pains that made me throw up scared me enough to change.

I can’t fix the people I love. I can’t make their choices for them, nor do I need to make myself responsible for their choices. The serenity prayer tells me to accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can, and find the wisdom to know the difference.

Instead of buying a house for my Mom, I bought a bike for myself. That’s a good step in the right direction.

Instead of reading blogs on fixing other people, I read blogs written by people who are after the same things I am; Healthy living. Emotionally, Spiritually, and Physically. The link below is one such writer. He’s a recovering alcoholic and is open about it. He rides to live, just like I do. I hope it inspires you as much as it does me. Click on the link to read his story.  Full Circle….

If nothing changes, nothing changes. Let it begin with me.

Ride.

Live.