Monday, 3 June 2013

Breakthroughs on PEI

This past weekend, my partner and I decided to take a spontaneous camping trip over to PEI. This is the advantage of being off work and having a partner who is currently unemployed due to the saturated economy of 20-somethings with bachelor degrees, massive student loans, and no practical work experience.

So we loaded the car with our bikes and camping equipment and off we went to PEI. He thought it would be fun to bike the confederation trail for a few days and I thought it would be fun to sit on the beach and eat smores. It was a fun weekend, we camped two nights and crashed with family on the third rainy night.

Over the past few years, since my health has been declining, I have been lamenting on activities I can no long accomplish. I get exhausted if I go on long hikes, I can't cycle for hours on end, I get winded when I spent too much time cooking or cleaning the house (not an activity often lamented about), I can no longer spend 3 weeks trekking around a country without being shattered for awhile afterward, and if I laugh too hard, I cough for an embarrassing amount of time afterward. Due to this, I have stopped doing a lot of the physical activities that I enjoy because I am not able to finish it until the end. I have been telling myself that if I can't hike the full trail, what is the point of hiking any of it. I think it is my competitive streak that stops me as I do not do well with losing or being seen as 'less than able' so it is hard to start something and then not be able to complete it.

I just want to point out that this is fully in my head and that my friends and family are completely supportive and would be more then understanding if I ever said that I needed to turn around or stop for a little bit. My loving partner has been telling me for years that I need to just do what I can and not compare myself to my old self or anyone else but I have not been listening to him.

However, something seemed to click this weekend and I think I've had a bit of a mental breakthrough while I was cycling along a coastal trail (with my oxygen of course) and thoroughly enjoying myself. I kept thinking how stupid it was to keep myself from participating in things that I enjoy just because I'm not as capable as I use to be.  I am still able to cycle for an hour hear and there and I need to keep doing what I want while I'm still able. That while I have been doing  some awesome things, there is still a lot I have kept myself from doing. Like when I stopped going to those intro dance classes at university because I kept coughing afterward or during, or not trying a new exercise class because it might be too hard, or not going out dancing with some friends because I might need to go home early. I still need to be able to try new things and be ok when I'm not always physically able to finish them. Breakthrough!

Does everyone who has a decline in health have this fight and then acceptance of themselves? 

Hanging out at the beach while waiting for my partner to cycle back to get the car.

No comments: