Late last November, like many people who got that 26% effective flu shot (or didn’t get one at all), I came down with a creeping crud that really kicked my butt. Along with the typical fever and aches, I was short of breath, with a scary cough that seemed to come from someplace down by my toes.
Normally I tough it out when I get something like this. A few days of taking it easy, drinking lots of fluids, and binge-watching Netflix takes care of the problem. However this time I actually required medical attention.
The verdict: Influenza A.
People, it was not pretty. And it was not until a couple weeks ago that I felt well enough to exercise again. And by “exercise,” today that means that I’m finally able to drag my butt around the half-mile circle road in my neighborhood and not need a nap afterwards.
Yep, my current workout regimen is a literal couch to 5K.
This experience has been hard, both physically and emotionally. I’ve come to realize that my self-perception as an athlete and trainer is tied up in being that badass supergirl who lifts heavy for an hour, then runs hell-for-leather on the elliptical for 45 minutes; and despite being human, with all the imperfections, illnesses, and injuries inherent in that condition, failure to maintain that level of conditioning (even while under attack from a nasty virus) is a source of shame and somehow a loss of what makes me, me.
Sounds kind of silly now that I’m writing it down.
This is my real-life refresher course in HAES. Health at Every Size is a practice that takes us as we are, in the bodies we live in today. It teaches us to use our capabilities (not the ones we used to have, or the ones we wish we had) and “[f]ind the joy in moving your body and becoming more physically vital in your everyday life.”
Today’s half-mile was better than yesterday’s, and that is fabulous. And it is enough.