Yesterday Paula and I did the Heart and Sole 5K walk in Salinas to benefit the Children’s Hospital. Rob had forwarded me a link from his work a few weeks ago and since I am in training for the 10K run in July, I thought this would be a good thing to see how I have progressed as far as walking.
Being able to walk long distances is a huge thing for me. I know that sounds dumb coming from someone who has never had a physical problem with the use of her legs but it really is significant to me.
When I weighed over 300 pounds, to walk longer than about two minutes would make my lower back seize up and put me in extreme pain. Not to mention how out of breath it made me just to walk at a normal pace. Rob and I would take Romie for a walk back in AZ and in just the short distance to the end of the street, there were times I thought of asking him to go get the car and come get pick me up to get me back home.
When I had lost a lot of the weight but was riddled with anxiety to walk in an open space was sheer torture. To walk across the parking lot at work after most of the cars had left would make me want to cry. I had this irrational fear that I was going to fall down. I can’t really explain it but anyone who has ever had acute anxiety may know the feeling. It feels like you get a little dizzy but it’s really just a panic attack starting in. By the time you realize what is happening you are hunched over, lurching forward for your destination as fast as you can. I can’t imagine what people must have thought seeing me walk like that. It was not something I could control. I would have to try and talk myself down and it rarely worked.
Shopping parking lots were alright as long as I had the shopping cart to hold onto. A crowded parking lot was okay because the cars next to me would catch me if I were to suddenly fall over. I know it sounds so incredibly stupid but I lived with this for a good year and a half to two years.
Now that I am somewhat back to being a normal human being in both weight and anxiety levels, being able to go for walks on my own is kinda a big deal to me. Rob and I have done periodic 5K walks here and there since we moved to California. His company encourages fitness and will pay for the fees to do the run/walks around our area. I never really trained for any of them and was always really sore the next couple of days and my time had never really been under an hour. At first it was more about being able to do it without any anxiety than about speed.
I now try to walk at least every other day on my lunch hour at work. My anxiety over the years has lessened by leaps and bounds and I am happy to say that I finally feel normal.
Yesterday Paula and I braved high temps(for where we live) and sunburns and walked the 5K in Salinas. It was mostly flat and was a nice walk around pretty neighborhoods. There was a light breeze and good conversation. We shaved about 13 minutes off our time for the last 5K we both did together in September and finished at 53 minutes. My back never hurt. I never had anything close to a panic attack. And I am not sore today except for one blister on the bottom of my foot. To say I am very proud of this would be a severe understatement. Dare I say, I even had fun?
After the race we rewarded ourselves with a lovely breakfast of biscuits and gravy at the Toro Park Cafe.
It was a wonderful day but there was one casualty. Paula’s cell phone. Since she had no pockets in her sweatpants, she took a page from our friend Jenn and placed her cell phone in her bra, right between her boobs. Well, I guess the combination of the hot day and the sweat from her skin was a little too much for the phone to handle…And while Verizon replaced the phone, she lost all her pictures and contacts. Lesson learned. 😉
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