Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Chasing My Victory- A WarmUp, An EMOM, A WOD, and a Run...

One of the many surgical rooms where my
 Grandmother would have had ECT- electro
convulsive shock therapy, at St. Elizabeth's
I have no memory of my paternal grandmother.  I was just two years old, when she died of a heart attack, after being released from St. Elizabeth's Hospital,
in Washington, D.C.  She'd been there for over twenty years, suffering the ravages of a lifetime of major depressive disorder.  Years of institutionalization, medication, and electroconvulsive shock therapy had done nothing to ease her pain.  She never made it beyond the sidewalk, outside of the facility, where she collapsed.  She was seventy-two. 

My favorite part of Mt.
 Lebanon Cemetary, along all
of the loops we run, is this. 
Forty-two years later....and I'm running the 800 meter loop through Mt. Lebanon Cemetery
, the buy- out at the conclusion of today's WOD, and my mind finds her. And I wonder if she's looking down on me.  I wonder if she sees how hard I'm working to beat this thing.  I wonder if my efforts can overcome my genetics.  I wonder...oh, how I wonder.

Its been a tough week.  For the first time since joining Crossfit Mt. Lebanon, at the end of March, I've begun to let my negative inner-voice hold me captive, away from the box.  And with each day, of three that I missed since last Thursday, I could feel the slide of the slippery slope that is the lie of depression.  The one that seduces you into staying on the couch, or under the covers.  The one that tells you that moving your body will hurt too much.  The one that whispers "why bother?"

But the truth- MY TRUTH- is that my DNA, or the 30mg of Prozac that I take, each night, before bed, doesn't decide the outcome of this battle.  I do.  I decide. Every morning that the Good Lord allows me to wake, is a new day.  And its a choice. Not the choice to be happy or sad, as some would claim.  Not the choice to be sick or in remissionNot the choice to be in any of the diagnoses that I may have or even to be clean of the behaviors that may stem from those diagnoses.  Every morning, every hour, every minute of my day, I must decide to move forward, or to be stuck.  Period.  Its not easy, but its very simple.  I cannot help the miserable genetics which have done a number on my brain.  But I CAN decide, despite how I feel, to not let that stop me from living. 

So today, I got out of bed early.  I made coffee for the first time in my life. I put on my workout wear.  And, with the encouragement of some terrific women from CFMTL, my husband, daughter, and eleven year-old son, I went to the box.  The warm-up threatened to undue me.  I seriously considered leaving.  The core work of a ten minute EMOM of V-UPs and jumping jacks, and my staggering through both, winded me.  The WOD that followed found me breathless and full of self-doubt.  But the run...oh, that run.  The 800 meters, that felt like 800 miles. That run... 

As everyone else forged ahead, at an admirable pace, I slowed- with the limitations of weight, which are with me everyday, though less than before.  But this time was different.  This day, this time, I carried her burdens- the ones that took the life out of her.  My grandmother.  Whose name I hold in the middle of my own.  Whose name my daughter holds- Lily.  Lily Mae, they called her.  I carried those burdens, on my back, for Lily Mae-the woman I don't remember, but from whom my soul feels warmth and abiding love.  And I carried, in my arms, in front of me, the hopes, beyond all hopes, that this battle is finished with me- leaving all four of my children a life that is less rough around the edges- less mired in suffering.  As I came upon the steepest climb of the path back to the box,  I seemed almost to be running in place. It felt like I might fall over at any moment. But I promised myself that I wouldn't stop. So I kept running through the back door. And that, that promise to keep going, I carried, with all that my legs could muster, for me. I carried the moving forward just for me.

I'm not sure I have ever felt so winded, as I did this morning.  I struggled to catch my breath for what seemed to be an eternity, long after the WOD was done.  Then I cried.  The cries of generations that want this story to be rewritten.  The cries of a girl who didn't want to show up for her life today, but who did it anyway.  The cries that don't come from the lows of mental illness but from the letting go of stories that are not mine.  The cries that say "I finished." and all that that means for my going forward.

Because I'm going forward.  Oh,Yes. I am. And with each foot in front of the other, the story that is mine becomes a victory.  Today, for all of its struggles.was.a.victory.

No comments:

Post a Comment