I hate words like surrender. I hate actions like surrender. I hate to surrender. And what I hate I’m attempting. And don’t like it. It’s been two years and a few months living a jellyfish status. A new me brought on by a total thyroidectomy February of 2015. A self I have never known.
This past week I hit my limit. That same day I heard a talk on the radio about a famous swimming champion Michael Phelps who kept a paper calendar. Each day he swam, returned home and with red sharpie cut a line through the day. He was determined to keep an unbroken chain of red marks on the calendar, and did so for many years. His collection of medals show how effective his unbroken chain of swims had been.
His story inspired me. Inside I’m an athlete. Yes, an athlete who never was, but still inside I house the drive and dreams and the planning of one who is driven by such things. I have a hard time walking much at all these days. Still, down in the bones I tear through brush to the top of grand mountains. I run and run and run some more. Bike till I’m in shreds. Swim till I’m gasping. I want to be all that, and can’t.
And so this week, I decided to start an unbroken chain of movement. I have moved plenty in the past 2 years, with no results. This time I decided to take the advice of those who help people with my condition for gaining momentum. I decided to force myself to not overdo. What that looks like for me right now is to swim 20 minutes per day, six days a week, with one day of palates and hula and stretching, the other 6 days lap swimming. Just 20 minutes.
Kind of like eating 1/2 spoonful of ice-cream when my body wants the bucket. Because although 20 minutes is all I am able to manage the first week, my core is screaming at me to swim that – times 20. To push myself. To count laps to a mile, two, and then three. Kind of a strain-the-body junkie. An acceptable addiction in this culture, but damaging, nonetheless.
Which brings me to surrender. Surrender what I want to do for what just might help me get my health back. Surrender the fix for what heals. Surrender looking lazy, old and lame for what my body needs. I don’t care for surrender. In fact I hate it. Will following direction and doing what is best for me prove beneficial? At this point, I’m 30 pounds over. I sleep more than I would like. Am foggy brained and weak and limited. I’ll keep you posted as day after day my calendar takes on a sharpie mark. I pray for an unbroken chain. For a stronger body. And a newly discovered contrite spirit.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12: 1 and 2 (a)