Walking to work the other day, I spotted an old tree that captured my attention standing against the backdrop of the breaking dawn. I couldn’t resist snapping a picture. Later, I felt compelled to garnish the image with a few inspiring words.
The tree in Me
I stretch out my arms,
lifting them to the sky.
Even as events happen
I don’t understand why.
Aging boughs creak, groan,
swaying in an angry wind.
Hope arises in the morning
when the sun warms my limbs.
If you are like me, there is nothing better than a cup of coffee to start your day. It brings me great joy. Can a person experience the same feeling of joy the rest of the day; even on a bad one?
Anyone who has run in religious circles for any length of time has probably heard this verse:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
An online dictionary defines rejoice as: feeling or displaying great joy or delight. Feeling great joy is easy when I am happy. But happiness and joy are two different things. Happiness is greatly dependent on my personal circumstances, whereas joy is not. I’ve learned I have the capacity to experience joy no matter what befalls me. Examples include: being content with what I have, or finding peace in the middle of a stormy crisis. The source of my joy comes from the spiritual realm, in the person of Jesus. I know the Lord of the universe is with me throughout my day. I never have to wonder if he will show up. Even though the day may be painful, He is there with me.
Well, I certainly didn’t expect my couch to 5k experience to include a trip to the emergency department by ambulance but that’s what transpired last week. I now have a number of firsts I can cross off my bucket list. Among them a ride in an ambulance, a stress test and an overnight stay in the ED for observation.
I went through the ordeal alone but I had a peaceful calmness regarding the whole matter. I’m sure my personal religious faith had everything to do with it. I jokingly said to a relative, “I’m considering this a spiritual prayer retreat!”
During my stay, I had numerous tests performed. The result: all indications are I have a healthy, undamaged heart. My blood pressure on the other hand needs to come down.
While I wrestle with whether or not to participate in a 5k fun run in the future, I am dead serious about shedding the excess weight I’ve been carrying around. If my cloud of trouble has a silver lining, it’s the 19.5 pounds I’ve lost. Until then, I’m eating healthy and walking my butt off (pun intended). A wise woman once told me, “Bill, you can never outrun (as in exercise) your fork!”
Here is a quick update on my couch to 5k experience. As of now I am staying away from all forms of exercise until I get and understanding of my cardio system. I say this because a continuously elevated blood pressure and lightheadedness landed me in the ER. When you are 60 you can’t fool around by trying to dodge symptoms. I am hoping that some test will reveal the source of the problem and that it is treatable. Until then…?
For starters I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it feels to walk anywhere and everywhere with a normal gait. The tightness in my legs has abated. Hallelujah!!
During my brief sabbatical I purchased a pair of Asics gel running shoes. Unfortunately, there was virtually no arch support in them. My wife will tell you I’ve been known to watch an infomercial or two on the TV when I’m bored. Being bored, I managed to find one for a pair of Copper Fit balance insoles designed by an orthopedic doctor. A couple of clicks later on the computer and they were headed my way. I found them to be a nice compliment to my Asics.
Down to more serious business. Summers here in western NY are known more for their humidity than their heat. This past week we had a 6 day stretch of temps in the mid 90s. I walked four of those miserable days; Day 1 (4 laps); Day 2 (5 laps); Day 3 (6 laps); Day 4 (8 laps). The last day I pushed myself on the second and third lap to test my legs. My best lap walking was 3:48 (minutes:seconds). I still have a long ways to go before I’m running like the wind.