Last time I wrote, I was focused on one thing: just get through a week that was full of nightly social obligations, and some good byes. I promised myself that I would go for forty minutes as best as I could everyday, for at least five of the seven days. For the most part I was able to do that. Normally at this time of the year, I am both sad and relieved and a little excited. Summer coming and some way less stressful days would allow for me to regroup in every area of my life, including running and biking. For reasons I haven’t been able to fully define I have been out of sorts and it is affecting every area of my life So I promised myself that I would just get to the last day of school and then step back and evaluate what the hell was wrong with me.
And then my grandmother died. I don’t believe in making people saints posthumously, I think it is a stupid thing to do brought on by guilt. But I can honestly say that my grandmother was one of the best people I had the gift of knowing. To me. I can’t speak for anyone else. My mother called her Lady, because she said my grandmother was always, no matter what a lady. I think this is high praise from a daughter in law. I started visiting my grandmother weekly after my son was born, every Wednesday for four years. What started out as an awkward visit, became something I looked forward to every week. For four years I learned exactly why my mother called my grandmother Lady. She had a way of hearing me complain and then somehow not make me feel small for doing it and yet never taking up the battle against whomever it was that was making me crazy, normally my mother in law. And I had the gift of hearing the stories of what life was like when she was younger, my father, my aunts, my uncles. We had amazing conversations, and shared in the love of my son. And then I went back to work, and wasn’t smart enough to continue making time. I felt overwhelmed and sorry for myself and gradually, let the relationship slide. And then she moved away and rarely seeing her became never. And then, even when I did see her, we never found time alone to really talk, and then her senses began to fail her. Her hearing and then her sight, and then some weren’t sure she even knew who was there. But I felt as though she knew I was there. I felt her eyes track me when I was in the room, and I believed she knew me. And I felt both joy and guilt. But still, when I found out last Saturday she died, I was stunned. There was a part of me that believed I would have the opportunity to reconnect. To share some of what was going on in my life, to get her advice, to listen to her talk about old times, and how old photos just made her sad, and how she hated feeling old. To hear her laugh at herself and to just know the world was okay. Because my grandmom was there. She was here for ninety nine years, and somehow I had convinced myself she would always be here. But she isn’t. And I should be happy that she is no longer stuck in a body that won’t connect with the world, but of course instead I am feeling sorry for my own loss.
I thought I could run or bike it out. But I found myself in a perpetual state of exhaustion last week. Getting up and going to work was an effort, I had this odd feeling of air filling my insides as though there were huge gaps around my organs and that space was being filled with cold air. I did run and I did bike, some. I never made it to the gym. I managed to keep it all together until Thursday which was the funeral. As I was getting ready for the funeral I got a phone call. A person close to me was struggling with a self induced medical issue. I needed to know this, to prepare for what I was going to see. Drama. Only when it is your life it doesn’t feel like drama. It feels like shit.
Finally, Friday. Finally, the funeral is over. Finally, I am down to the last day of school and I can start to look forward to putting things back together. To gathering my work out routine and pushing myself harder. I kicked it off with the first really good ride in awhile. I promised myself I could put it behind me and then recapture whatever zest I had generated last year. And then a bad run on Saturday followed by a sunburned day at the beach on Sunday. After taking yesterday as a final day to feel sorry for myself and a hope that my sunburn would feel better after a day, I pushed myself out of bed today and went to the gym. I had a very thorough weight work out followed by some speed work on the treadmill. It was hard, but doable. It didn’t save me. It still hurts. I don’t feel any more or less motivated. I don’t feel miraculously cured from the challenges in my life. But I don’t think staying home would have helped at all.
Last year when I started this I wasn’t sure how far I would get, or even if I would continue working out. Over the year I have challenged myself to go farther and faster. Right now, my biggest challenge is to just go. Just to get out of bed and continue out the door. Because this is a part of my life that I love. It is something I really like about me. At a time when I feel as though the world is slipping away beneath my feet I need to keep putting one in front of the other. To just go.