Some of you may know this already but it was my birthday this past weekend. I was pleased this year that I had plans to be in the recording studio for the weekend. My friend Rayvon Pettis and I embarked on tackling tunes we have been working on together for the past half year and we really had a blast doing it. We recorded at Magnetic Sound right around the corner from my house. Baba even stopped in for a visit! Baba is kind of like a teenage dog at this point... you can see some pics of him on my Instagram page and he also has his own page (where he’s developing quite a following!)
In addition to raising a dog and getting engaged (gasp!) this summer I’ve been training for the Mt. Hood Half Marathon later this month in Oregon. Mind you, this is a downhill race. We get in a bus and drive up the mountain. They drop us off and we run down it. Two of my sisters are also participating. They are pretty avid runners at this point so I don’t expect to be as speedy as them but my goal is to finish and to run most of the time. And the reason I decided to do this (which requires training in the hottest and most humid part of the year here in Nashville, gahhhhh) has more to do with really being back in my body and possibly getting to know myself for the first time.
My mastectomy was 7/8/2016, the day after my birthday that year. I finished treatment and reconstruction by the end of the year, but seriously last year when I toured Alaska I realized I was not completely healed and it’s strange that even though there are so many words discussed when fighting cancer like ‘strong’ and ‘winning’ or ‘beating’ ... just to get through the whole thing... truly I felt weathered and beat up after it all commenced. Of course I was so relieved to be cancer free but resuming my prior life was a whole other thing. They talk about a ‘new normal’ and the adjustment period, but honestly I was pissed off about that. What, after all this, it just can’t be over? I have to take a pill every day that will slow down my metabolism and trick my body into thinking I’m already hitting menopause??? That despite healthy eating I will gain 10 pounds??? That when I go to crush a 5k I’m gasping for breath by the end of the first mile? That I can’t drink more than 2 glasses of wine or else? And on and on....
When I read that back I feel a little bit embarrassed and that’s why I won’t delete it. Prior to having cancer I truly believed I was invincible and I stopped listening to my body.
Then I felt like my body declared war on me. Thus the battle begins.
But the true beauty of really what was happening, was that it wasn’t a war after all. It was an opportunity to actually get to know my whole self by learning about what it means to be alive. To allow love to be let in. To access the ‘help center’ in which we take the offerings that are held up. I used to be someone who would suffer all alone and be the superwoman we all imagine ourselves to be. I think I even felt guilty when I got cancer, as if it was something I had control over!
So diligently training for this 13.1 miles this year, to commemorate my new friendship with my body, has been some kind of rebirth for me. Don’t get me wrong, it has been hard. I’ve had days where I ran out of gas and felt like it was impossible. But then I have been reminding myself to take the cues being offered to take care of myself. And little by little, I’ve been getting stronger and developing more endurance. And little by little, I am feeling a lot better!
So July 28th, I’ll be running down the mountain, at a slower pace than I may desire, but that will just give me the opportunity to take in all the beauty that much more.