Weird title, I know. The thing is, there really are two stories to tell here. I’ll be the first to warn you that the first story has nothing to do with running, but a lot to do with something near and dear to my heart. Quick side note though, I do want to start writing about more than just running, eventually.
I don’t want to go into dramatics here and apologize for my lack of writing over the past month, but both my head and my heart have been out of whack. It’s not that I haven’t thought about writing, or even concocted several blog posts in my mind because I have; I’ve just struggled with whether or not to share my sorrows. As a person who is typically not emotional and is a self-proclaimed stoic, I don’t know how to handle emotion well, so for the past month, I’ve been trying to figure out “how to deal”. I finally decided that writing my feelings down, and sharing them with family, friends, and strangers alike, might actually help me out (verdict hasn’t come in yet).
For those of you that are thinking, “my God, get to the point already” kudos to you. You’ve caught on to my need to try and avoid writing this out, but rest assured, here goes. Three weeks ago I had the most amazing and most awful day ever. The amazing part is the second story I’ll get to eventually, but the awful was the realization that my super awesome dog is not immortal. In fact after noticing he was breathing awkwardly like an accordion, and taking him to the vet, the realization was all too real as our vet told us she suspected he was suffering from heart cancer. My heart stopped for a good few moments too and hasn’t been quite the same since. At 13 years old, Tag still acts like a puppy with every step he takes and is just as happy as he’s always been. In fact, I often dub over the lyrics of Pharrell’s “I’m Happy” with, “because Tag’s happy”, so I am sure you can understand how heartbreaking this news actually was. Our vet recommended that if we wanted to try to buy Tag some time, we could take him to see a specialist to have the fluid from around his heart removed. We took a few short moments to think about it and decided to do it. To this day, I truly believe that was one of the best decisions we ever made because after taking him to the specialist, we found out it wasn’t heart cancer, but a unique case of heart failure (huge thanks to the small animal clinic in Guelph). I know it sound strange to say out loud, but heart failure is actually easier to deal with over heart cancer. Needless to say, his condition is serious, yet touch and go at the same time, but Tag, as happy and resilient as ever, is doing well. His owner however, is trying to understand how to live in a world where her best friend’s time is limited.
For someone that isn’t emotional, I have felt everything from joy that I still have time to enjoy all of his awesomeness, to extreme guilt for ever having been annoyed by him. As I type this out, I’m still struggling. On the outside, he’s his normal self, oblivious to the fact that his heart is tired, and as I worry about him everyday, Tag, being his super awesome self, comes to comfort me with his puppy kisses and cuddles which only makes my heart break more. I’ve said this so many times to so many people. I don’t know what’s worse, feeling a state of chaos, or knowing the end is near, but as time passes, I’m coming to another more important realization – no one knows these things. I’m always over thinking and trying to control things, but the truth is, I can only control myself (another wisdom I often tell others but rarely listen to). So, from here on out, while I can’t promise it will be emotionless, I will try my damnedest to look on the bright side and enjoy these moments, because deep down in my heart of hearts, I know everything is going to be alright.
And now, onto the amazing part of that awful day. THIS is the story of Alex Mac and the 7 hills. That’s right, S-E-V-E-N. Before, I delve into the details (I totally named each hill), I just wanted to sit back and remember when I couldn’t even run for 30 seconds without wanting to die, and now, well now, I can proudly say I ran 7 hills, and here they are:
1. Fearful – yup, I was terrified as I approached the first set, so fearful seemed like a great name choice.
2. Doubtful – after the first set I was tired, mostly because I thought if I went faster they’d be over sooner, but that was a horrible thing to think since it only made me doubt myself in actually reaching 7 sets.
3. Willful – by the 3rd set my will decided to show up to the game and it was quite welcomed as it helped spark my happy vibes.
4. Hopeful – those happy vibes brought the sunshine and the light because by the 4th set, I was realizing more and more that 7 hills were going to happen, THAT and the fact that I was over 50% done.
5. Tireful – by the 5th set, I was ready to nap.
6. Joyful – realizing I only had one more set left brought on some major excitement.
7. Successful – pretty sure I did the Rocky moves at the top of the hill on this set – there were some serious feelings of happiness, so much so, I almost cried, but chose to smile all the way down the hill AND during my 10 minute cool down.
Bet you’d never thought you’d read a running rendition of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, but there it is, and now, onto preparing myself for my next big accomplishment – running 100 minutes tomorrow. #probablyshouldbesleeping