Different Kind of Challenge

Jeanne's fourth journal entry on her 8 Week Challenge fitness journey. 

I'm pretty sure the words "fitness challenge" and "urgent care" were never meant to inhabit the same sentence. They certainly don't co-exist happily in my life at the moment as I continue my daily visits to Urgent Care to receive intravenous antibiotics. Remember the fall I had in front of the ice cream store? Somewhere along the healing cycle, a few staph bacteria got into the wound. Unfortunately, this was a type of bacteria that's resistant to most antibiotics. My visit with the doctor to have the wound drained and to start antibiotics only resulted in a worsening infection, until my knee was as red as a ruby and so painfully swollen I could hardly walk.

"Be careful where you place your attention." 

I don't remember where I first heard this, but the idea shows up everywhere. What you feed your attention—negative or positive—grows stronger in response. 

I was surprised to find that there were fewer failures to celebrate than I had expected. Or were there? Or was it just that the failures, while still plentiful, had lost their terrible power over me? As a consequence, the overall effect diminished. Failure Lite.

What a relief. Instead of endless self-recriminations, I could simply look at the effect and find the cause. For example, walking around Seward Park first thing in the morning sounded good, but had one fatal flaw: lack of coffee. So I brought a commuter mug with me. Wrong solution—my brisk walk around the park turned into a leisurely saunter. My next try will be in the evening.

Figuring out why I was routinely missing a certain class took a little more examination. Every fitness class I've gone to has been a challenge for me. Surprisingly, it's what happens between the challenging part that influences me the most. When there is too much "easy" time, it affects my overall feeling about the class—making it harder to get out the door. Never mind that there is a lot of challenge during the rest of it.  After talking with Alicia, I found a new class, previously unknown to me, which sounded perfect. I attended the very next one. 

My focus also switched from trying to get in equal bouts of swimming, walking and biking to simply biking everywhere I could. The cardiac conditioning would carry over to the others, and come July, I would start swimming for free in the lake. Even if I wanted to swim laps at the community pool, the $5.25 entry is hard to justify for a 20-minute swim, which is about all I can stand in the indoor warm water. The walks would continue, but I felt just fine about decreasing their frequency to make room for more bicycling.

I bicycled to the gym, grocery store, library and farmers market–pretty much wherever I could. In fact, given my lack of financial resources at the moment, my goal became to save gas by bicycling whenever I didn't need to transport heat-sensitive or living items like foster kittens and deviled eggs. I was having good successes with biking, even feeling optimistic about the future. My fitness challenge was coming along nicely, until I ended up in Urgent Care.

In the last five days, my fitness challenge has consisted of hobbling to and from the car. I've been fighting the frustration of not knowing how long this will take, but there is one bright ray of sunlight: it's an infection, not an injury. Once the infection is mostly gone, I can exercise to my heart's delight. Come to think of it, I never thought "exercise" and "heart's delight" would ever end up in one of my sentences together either. Imagine that.

June 23, 2016

And the challenge continues…

I'm having a hard time staying positive as I watch fitness opportunities pass me by. I am still on IV antibiotics twice a day and I have a central line that goes into my arm and threads along the vein heartward (just made that word up, but I like it). The antibiotic is hard on the veins and a larger blood vessel works better.

I don't know how long I'll have to continue antibiotics, but this infection is persistent! It's also a challenge to eat well because I don't have the energy to fix anything. 

That's about all there is to report. I am hoping things will turnaround shortly.

June 27, 2016

Hallelujah! I have been given the green light to start working out again—just 11 days before the challenge ends. It's going to be tough because I'll be in Texas visiting my parents for seven days of it where the temperature is forecast to be over 100 degrees every single day. I understand it can be somewhat pleasant at 4:30 AM, but we'll see how that works out!

Still, I'm going to give it everything I've got for the final push—it's been a different challenge than I envisioned, but it isn't over yet! 

Jeanne