As I said a couple of posts ago, I’ve started riding again. And I use the term a bit loosely! I went out for my third ride in a month; doesn’t quite classify me as a cyclist to the purists! Anyway, I went back to the park. Yup, the park at which I received a parking ticket. I didn’t forget to pay the two bucks for the privilege this time!
It seems the park lays host to all sorts of memories, emotions, reactions. Many triathletes were already finishing their ride and transitioning in the parking lot, a signal of my “late” arrival. The sun was shining but there was a bit of a cool breeze on my skin. My back was a little tight as I headed out, but I perked up and settled in as I saw the long distance runners coming back in from their training. I was dry, they were drenched. I was rusty, they were well oiled. I smiled, they managed a slight wave. I was home. These are my people, this is my weather, and even though my brain had to catch up a little, my body knew exactly what to do. Thank goodness for that.
For the last couple of years I’ve been training a woman. I am familiar with her former trainer. We don’t “work” the same way so there have been plenty of new lessons to learn. I’m a firm believer that when the student is ready the teacher appears; I’m not always prepared for or happy with how long that process takes. Seems I’ve been laying the groundwork of student/teacher for a long time. She just doesn’t learn the lessons I want exactly when I want her to learn them. (I clearly have control issues.) Anyway, about six months ago I got her over the hurdle of “working” her muscles. She had never really felt the good burn of a strength workout. Burn=Bad, so she thought. She’s much more buff than she’s ever been now.
About two months ago we had a break-through with cardiovascular work. She never allowed her heart rate to TRULY get into her training zone because of her asthma. In a fit of I’m-so-fed-up-with-your-whining-excuses I yelled, “When was the last time you had an asthma attack?”. She looked at me blankly and said “A what?”. “EXACTLY!!!”, I screamed, “You’ve never had a bloody asthma attack because you DON”T HAVE ASTHMA!”. Who the heck planted that seed, and why the heck was it allowed to park itself in her brain for the last 20 years. Geeeeesh!
And yet another great moment came last week whilst climbing stairs. “You WILL get to the top, even though it may not be speedy or pretty. Just do it. We’ll debrief later”, I told her. Well, we stopped. A lot. And that’s OK, because everyone knows your first trip up 42 flights feels…like shit. But during the climb all sorts of emotions started surfacing. “My heart rate’s too high.” No it’s not. “I can’t do it.” Yes you can. “This isn’t right.” Right for what? She got shaky. She got dizzy. She wanted to sit down. “Climb on,” I said, “and we will get to the top.”
Seems her father had what we would not probably label as general anxiety or panic disorder. And the line he would use when getting anxious was “…and you have to watch it when your heart rate starts to beat too fast because you’ll have a heart attack.” And one day the man got anxious, had a heart attack, and died.
There you have it. It took me more than two years to find it, but the limiting factor had just been unearthed. We stood on the 42nd floor of the Bank of America Building and waited for her heart rate to come down. And for the shaking to stop. And for the irritation of the stupid lessons that were taught by parents who just didn’t know any better. And for the ignorance to not just let it all go.
We talked about the future; how her brain would need to remember to let some of the crap go. And that even though the brain might be thinking one thing, that the body might just want to go through its own, well worn route. And that the training and retraining can actually be accomplished…so that the brain would forget and the body would remember.
I rode the little workout that has been working for me; one loop of warm up/spin, one loop of steady effort, one loop of intervals. And my body fell right into that well thought out plan. And then Mr. Pain came knocking. Like the proper hostess my mother taught me to be I ran to the front door and got ready to welcome with open arms and a big smile. Darn the lessons of the parents.
My clients come in as a vast, open land. As I circle the park I always find some critter that likes to nest in a comfortable nook, often breeding with recklass abandon. As the Ranger they get to decide to comes and goes, who builds relationships, when the fee for parking increases, and when the park closes. I like to think I’m a little like the Parks and Forestry Chief…here I come to save the daaaaaaaayyyy!!
But aren’t I the one who got a parking ticket just a couple of weeks ago?