1 January 2020

I am kicking myself...I meant to grab a screen shot of my total mileage for 2019, but I completely forgot until after midnight, when the numbers rolled over to a big fat ZERO.

As of November 20th I was at 2002.6, which got me over my goal for the year, but still. The last time I looked I was in the 2200 range, but that was before Christmas and I can only guess that I did another 50-75 (on foot, not the bike, surprisingly.)

I've committed to a couple of Run the Year things for this year. 2020 miles by December 31, 2020. But I think I want to shoot for 2500--something doable but perhaps just out of my reach. I want to stretch to get it. resolutions for the year. Goals, yes, resolutions, no.

As always, I just want to get healthier and fitter. The need for this smacked me in the face this week, when one friend announced to our common friends that she's done, and ending dialysis. Which means she'll be gone soon. She knows this; she was a nurse for as many years as I've been alive, I think. I met her on a Fibromyalgia newsgroup; she and a few others, people who became true friends all those pre-Facebook years ago, took me by my virtual hand and led me through the beginnings of dealing with chronic pain.

She's witty, sarcastic, funny, took no crap from other people, and she loves her family hard.

I respect the hell out of her decision. She's been in pain for decades; she's been on dialysis for years. Last year she was in and out of the hospital. She's tired. She's done. I accept what she wants, I respect how hard the decision was. But I will miss the hell out of her.

Another friend posted yesterday that she's had a heart attack. She's not old. Not much older than I am. So it was a shock. If you believe in prayer or Mojo or the power of hope, send it her way. Her name is Jane; she's a teacher, the kind you want your kids to have. The kind you want to have. The ethereals in charge of directing those wishes will get them where they need to be, I think.

And today I read a post from a total stranger who was reaching out for help. Thirty years old, and on the day after Christmas he was told by his doctor that if he didn't do something now, he probably won't see 2021. So he decided to go for it, took an old bike out of storage, and headed out with the idea that he would start small. Just a mile or two.

He got to the end of his driveway and had to stop. Spokes in his rear wheel  popped, one went into the chain, wrapped around the cogs, and things just...broke. He swallowed his embarrassment--he admitted, he was horrified and terrified and very glad no one else witnessed it or the crying jag that resulted--and asked for help. He was pretty sure the damage was significant, enough to make repairs cost more than another bike. But what was the point? It would just happen again. And he couldn't afford a new one, not one that would take his weight.

My heart broke for him. He's so freaking young, and is just afraid that this is his last year; and what if he's much closer to the end? What if his wakeup call came too late?

Others who read the post reached out. Some are local to him; he'll have a new-to-him, stronger bike by this weekend. People to ride with. People who offered to teach him to cook.

It's not a resolution, not some platitude to be discarded like New Year's Eve confetti when it gets to be too irritating. One friend is letting go; that's resolve. Another is fighting; that's resolve. A stranger reminded me of where I don't want to be by having the courage to tell his story; he is resolute in his determination.

New Year's Day is about refocusing, not making tough promises that feel like failure when you reach for a cookie or skip a gym day. It's opening yourself to the stories other people have to tell you, and listening. Learn from them.

All I want is to be better at taking care of myself. I say it every year, and I'm getting a little bit better each time.

And that's enough.


Roses said...


Mark's Mews (Ayla, Marley, and Laz) said...

There are times to feel alive and push yourself. There are times when you start to think "I don't want to do this anymore", and there are times when you get told "bad news, get your affairs in order.

I'm still in the first category. But I know there will come a time when a doctor tells me I'm not. I hope it is a decade or maybe 2 until then, but the thought comes to mind more often as I hear of people younger than me being (I assume) surprised to die from natural causes.

Heart attacks, but also the surprise bus, or even being in the wrong place with a crazy person. One never knows...

You do what you can, but then there is reality. I'm not trying to be depressing, really. But "at a certain age", you start NOT assuming immortality.

Ride on, Max's strong Woman. Delay the end and live well in all health.