Getting to the Heart of it All
I'm not entirely sure how to start this blog. In the past couple of months since my last post, so much has occurred (hence the reason I haven't blogged). A new business, a few races, new training/eating/data. So what do I talk about when there are thousands of topics coming up in my mind? That question has 1 answer: I'm going to talk about heart. The physical and emotional heart. And to be more specific, my heart.
Max Ehrmann "Desiderata"
A couple of months ago I started training with a heart rate (HR) monitor that I borrowed from a fellow triathlete (thank you Robin!) and I realized something, my heart was not doing what it was supposed to be doing. I knew I struggled with breathing, that my labored and frantic respiration was not good. But I didn't realize that along with my breathing, my HR was out of control. (I recently purchased my own Multi-Sport watch and HR monitor, a Suunto, and I love it!!)
Without getting too convoluted with details, my HR would go from 60-110bpm from walking up the very short stairs in my house. I couldn't go from a walk to a perceived easy trot without my HR skyrocketing to 160/170/180?!? But I'm an athlete? I'm supposed to have a resting HR in the 40-50's right (my current resting HR avg is around 66). I'm supposed to be able to run an easy 10 min/mile with a HR of 140, not 170-180! I'm supposed to be better than this! Right?
Then came the light bulb moment: I am exactly where I'm supposed to be.
A lovely friend of mine, Elise Carter (fellow bada$$ yoga teacher) has a tattoo on her wrist that has become so much a mantra to me that I'm seriously considering getting it tattoo'd on my body. It reads "everything is unfolding exactly as it should". Every time I think should/must/supposed to be, I remember, I am exactly where I'm meant to be. The path is there and I'm walking right along it. I may not know what's in the future, but the events of the present are directly connected to where I came from and greatly influence where I will go.
So what do all these should's/supposed to's/musts have to do with my HR? What does it have to do with heart in general?
Attitude. The emotional and physical heart go hand in hand with attitude. Realizing that this is a journey, a process and not about the race. The race is the celebration to a particular part of the journey.
I've been barreling through life like a raging, albeit smiling, bull. Even as I tell everyone, it's a journey, I still struggle with going easy. And guess what is taking the brunt: my heart.
The funny thing about your heart, you can't fake it. You can't will your HR to go down when you've over-stressed it or over-trained anymore then you can will your heart to love or not love. And when your heart is damaged or broken, the only thing that can heal your heart is time.
And I really struggle with giving myself that time.
But the beauty of the human body, the human heart, it will heal over time.
So this past Sunday I raced the awesome Tri Tyler Half. I did the Sprint distance and I came in first in my age group, 5th overall female. I won't recap the race except to say, I had a BLAST!!! Steve Farris and his awesome team did an incredible job.
iTRI365, Cobb Mobb, and ETT Athletes
at the Tri Tyler Half
But I knew going into that race, the real struggle would come after, when I committed to 1 week of recovery. Where I would not let my HR go above 140. Where I would sleep more. Where I would eat without questioning calorie count. Where I would change my attitude and truly start looking at what my body needs and give it that.
My HR is telling me it needs more rest. My heart is telling me it needs love and compassion. So that's what I'm giving it.
And isn't it just beautiful how this translates perfectly into the emotional needs of the heart.
I've been rightly called out many times for being impatient, for not listening to my body. Well my attitude has changed. Each day brings me into more and more alignment with what is. And more importantly I am accepting what is. I am loving what is. I am starting from here and growing from now.
So instead of wishing my HR to be different, I'm actually going to do things to help nurture my heart back into health.
I'm visiting a fantastic chiropractor, Dr. Santo of Santo Chiropractic, who is doing as much research into my HR issues as I am. I'm taking supplements to help heal damage done to my heart through the past year of over-training. I'm also spending more time on the things and people that matter. And let me tell you, the rewards of that are already making my heart sing.
So here's my challenge to you: If you are experiencing heart issues, body issues, emotional or physical issues and you catch yourself saying "I should, I must, I'm supposed", give yourself time. Time to rest, time to recover, time to sit with these thoughts and get to the heart of the issue and move from that place, rather than a place of expectation. Because expectation and frustration often come hand in hand.
Megan and I goofing off in our
Kat is very particular about where where she
puts her beer. My foot seems the be
the perfect place...
Be good to yourself. Love yourself.
Remember to ask for help if you need it.
Have a great week of training or recovery!
Much Love and Namaste,