Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Week of Firsts


Dogs are the best. Yesterday, (Saturday April 2) I was having a typical Saturday since I started treatment in that it was almost noon and I was still in bed. Roswitha and Max had just returned from their run and Max blasted up the stairs, tore open the curtains to let a beautiful day shine in on me, jumped up on the bed and started giving me puppy kisses. I think he said something like “It’s a glorious day outside; I think it would do you a lot of good if you take me for a walk.” OK I have to admit I might have exaggerated on the curtains, Roswitha probably opened them. There’s also a good possibility that it was her that mentioned taking Max for a walk. But he DID give me puppy kisses. Dogs are the best!

This week was a week of firsts and has been very encouraging. Before I started treatment there were few things that gave me the absolute joy that running and cycling did. When I was out running or riding my bike, I felt like a little kid out exploring the world, or a dog let loose to run his heart out in a field of rabbits; pure bliss. I haven’t had that feeling in months. Practically every run, every ride has been a real test of my will. I don’t enjoy them and I can feel wiped out for days if I push too hard. But, I continue to get out there and keep the faith, that when this is over I’ll love running & riding again.

One of the firsts this week was (after Max’s puppy kisses) we went out on a 2+ hour hike in Ute Park. Contrast that to last Saturday and many Saturday’s before that, where it takes all of my will power to drag myself out of bed at 2:30 – 3:00 PM, force myself to do what I call “my 90 year old man shuffle” around the neighborhood, then spend the rest of the day sitting in the kitchen, with my head buried in my hands, or laying on the couch, or going back to bed until about noon Sunday. It is during these “old man shuffles” that sometimes I think about those incredibly epic runs with CRUD and those great mountain bike adventures with Sharon, Dan, Kara, Nick, James, Ralph & others in the past. It sometimes seems like that was a different life, and I was a different person. It’s during these times that my morale can get low and I wonder if I’ll ever be able (or even want) to do that stuff again.

Another 1st Shorts & T-shirt Weather!

This week, again another first, I was feeling unusually good by Wednesday. Now I always feel somewhat better by Wednesday but never GOOD. Thursday, I rode my bike to work and felt traces of my old self again. I actually enjoyed the ride, felt a hint of strength on the small climbs, and even sprinted through a traffic light. (It was green). I didn’t feel wiped out until later that evening, and Friday morning I had an enjoyable “run” in Ute Park. I even “ran” (probably a better description would be “didn’t walk”) the hills, and again, felt traces of my old self and my past love and joy for running! And I felt GOOD at work!

Now this is all very encouraging and inspirational for me. So much so, I started making a list of races for my come back. I know I probably won’t be competitive this summer but my goal is to do some epic races, enjoy them, and finish. It’s been a bit of journey and it ain’t over yet . 17 weeks down, 7 to go. I don’t know what the next 7 weeks will bring but if I have a couple more like this, I’ll gladly take em. Oh and by the way… dogs are the best!

And here is a heartwarming dog story

Family dog kept watch over missing 2-year-old overnight