Roar

The first time I voluntarily went for a run (outside of some forced PE class in elementary school), I was 12 years old. It was after Jennifer Bonneau’s 13th birthday party at Trey Yuen, the fancy Chinese restaurant in town. I had eaten so much food that I felt like I either had to run or to throw up. I chose the former. I made it about two blocks and am pretty sure I ended up doing the latter anyway.

Since then, running (or more appropriate for me, plodding, as my go to speed is a sonic 13 minute mile) has been a constant non-constant. It’s my fall back. We have an intense love hate relationship with each other. It has gotten me through heartbreak and loss, nerves, joy, just about any emotion you can fathom. And I have plenty of them. The bitch about running though is that every time we meet up again, I have to start from the very beginning. I’m running around the block after Jennifer Bonneau’s birthday party.

When I was first diagnosed, one of the first things I did was to go for a run. Partially for therapeutic reasons, but also, I have this memory (which may or may not be true) that when my cousin Jill had her babies, she walked 45 minutes every day and come day of birth, pop, easiest delivery ever. (I apologize Jill if that’s a totally false memory). But I figured if I could get back on the horse, getting my running feet back on, my surgery and subsequent recovery would also be pop, easiest thing ever.

I remember that first night at the gym. I was conscious of everything. I’ve always been a bit broader in the top-section kind of girl, so unless I’m in a straight jacket, I feel things moving. Katy Perry’s song Roar came on my playlist and I found my rhythm, feet in motion, chest swaying, and I remember starting to tear up. Remember this moment. Remember what it’s like to breathe deep and feel my body.

After my mastectomy, I found myself back at the gym. This time, walking. 25 minute miles to be exact. Slow and sore, but still aware. Feeling my movement, or lack thereof, and choking up when Roar came on. Same playlist (I’m a sucker for repetition), different time. But I was still there. I survived step one.

Last night, I was there again. My first week of chemo completed. Praise praise praise, the worse I got was a little nauseous (without even being physically sick) and tired. A little emotional, but anyone that knows me knows that’s more of daily occurrence than anything else. The biggest loss has been my desire for seltzer water, in all honesty. Now I’m on a furious affair with some orange vitamin drink Lauren Lagarde Hudson sent me (it is heaven in a glass, thank you thank you!)

One of the things my doctors kept telling me was to exercise daily. As exhausted as I’ve been that didn’t happen until yesterday. And the most I could muster was sitting on the bike, burning a whopping 65 calories for 30 minutes. I was huffing and puffing the whole time, all at a resistance of 2. Damn Trey Yuen, all over. I started crying, more than just the occasional tear. I felt like a complete asshat. Boohooing in my GraveDigger hat, covering up my one inch head of hair. I was so damn frustrated at my body.

Then, you guessed it, my trusty playlist song comes on.

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

I got this one. Just wait.

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4 thoughts on “Roar

  1. You taught me to – run at your own pace so you can run for a long time. I took this one to heart and the year after we met I found myself running 1 or 2 hours a few times a week – Inconceivable then (er, and now!) Everytime I reminded myself to find and slow my pace, I would think of you 🙂

  2. Pingback: Slow | Bitsey with Cancer

  3. Pingback: Signs | Bitsey with Cancer

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