Friday, February 8, 2013

I've Come A Long Way, But I've Still A Long Way To Go

I've been plugging along getting ever so slowly more and more healthy. At times it's been really hard because it's most certainly not been a continuous path of improvement. Over the course of weeks and months I have had definitive improvement, but I have stretches of a few days at a time in which I feel worse than I did previous to that. It's these phases when I have the hardest time staying positive and upbeat about my health. Luckily these "bad" stretches never seem to last more than a few days at a time.

This said, I have been able to start to be a bit active most everyday. Some days this means just biking to the store and back or doing a little 30 minute strength/balance/flexibility routine at home, but on good days I'm able to get out and run for 30 or 40 minutes or bike for 10 or 15 miles. I still haven't had a single day in over 6 months now in which I would say I've felt 100%, but it's nice to finally be in a place where I can at least do a little something with my body most every day.

As I start to get a little more active it's been interesting to begin to notice just how out of shape I've gotten. It's been so long since my muscles have been as weak and undeveloped as they are right now. It would have been great to never sink as low as I have, but at the same time I feel like I'm being given a great opportunity to do the whole getting into shape thing all over again, and with a lot more knowledge and experience than I had the last time around. Should be fun to see where that takes me.

Currently I'm in Alaska for a short one week visit. Got out yesterday on a 4 hour mountain snowshoe on a ridge line that I've never been on before. After a couple month stretch in the fall in which my health was so compromised that I thought I might never run in the mountains again it feels so nice to be back to the point in which I have the health to head up into the mountains and explore new places and absorb the energy of remote, largely untraveled places. It might sound dramatic, but I certainly got pretty emotional about being able to do something like this yesterday, after not even having the option to do this for 6 months. I still have a long ways to go to get back to anything resembling "normal," but yesterday was a huge step in moving closer to where I want to be eventually.

In other news, I was recently interviewed for the current Talk Ultra episode. Some stuff about Western States 2010 (as well as my thoughts on Western States this past year), Iditarod Invitational, and my current health struggles (among other things). Click here to listen.

Also, a little update on this summer's Alaska Mountain ultrarunning camp sessions:  we are still taking applicants for both sessions. There are 3 or 4 spaces left in each session so if you want to join us for a week in running paradise this summer try to get the application/deposit to us soon to guarantee your space. Click here for all the info.  Also, we are still taking applications for need based camp scholarships until the end of February. Here's the link for that.

That's about all for now. Spring is just around the corner. Get out and enjoy these last several weeks of winter, all the while gaining a little more energy each day with the lengthening days, the warmer weather, and the promise of a new season. I know this is what I'll be doing these next several weeks.


Tony Mollica said...

Geoff good luck with your health and getting back in shape!I would guess that you will come back with a greater appreciation of this wonderful sport that we are so lucky to participate in. I am definitely not saying that you did not appreciate it before; but after not being able to participate at all it is going to feel great to have that option again.

Enjoy my friend!

Brice said...

Courage Geoff!
I'm sure that you had the force, the mental to come back. You ll be the phénix ! ;)
The main thing, it s to see that you fell better, fell the muscle, the breath, the life...
Sure, je crois en toi Geoff and I bring you all that I can, even if it s not usefull.
In France, there a great poet: Baudelaire who writtent that:
"Sois sage, ô ma Douleur, et tiens-toi plus tranquille.
Tu réclamais le Soir ; il descend ; le voici :
Une atmosphère obscure enveloppe la ville,
Aux uns portant la paix, aux autres le souci.

Pendant que des mortels la multitude vile,
Sous le fouet du Plaisir, ce bourreau sans merci,
Va cueillir des remords dans la fête servile,
Ma douleur, donne-moi la main ; viens par ici,

Loin d'eux. Vois se pencher les défuntes Années,
Sur les balcons du ciel, en robes surannées ;
Surgir du fond des eaux le Regret souriant ;

Le Soleil moribond s'endormir sous une arche,
Et, comme un long linceul traînant à l'Orient,
Entends, ma chère, entends la douce Nuit qui marche."
I love the first sentence: Be quiet and more discreet, O my Grief!

Jarob said...

Geoff, it's great to hear that you're feeling better. We met at the Lithia Loop race and chatted about the wonders of Coca Cola.

At some point I'd love (and I'd venture to guess other runners would as well) to see you post about how you're planning to approach things differently this time around as you rebuild your fitness. Could be that you touch on that in the TalkUltra podcast--haven't had a chance to listen yet. At any rate, yours is an inspirational journey, and one that will make for a great comeback tale, that's for sure. Best of luck!

Jamie said...

Good luck with your continuing recovery Geoff. It's great to hear that your health is progressing.

I will be very interested to hear how your return to fitness goes. I had a period several years ago where I broke my leg after having shoulder surgery, and my return to fitness was at the same time one of the most difficult and one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Hopefully something similar (and I believe both the difficult and rewarding parts were necessary) will occur for you.

gene said...

Hang in there Geoff! Hope things continue to improve.

eric said...

keep at it Geoff. glad to hear you're still getting the same level (if not more) of enjoyment out of your excursions these days!