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sarah brennan

sarah brennan
Location
Connecticut,
Birthday
December 31
Bio
Greetings! I often forget to cross-post here. You can find me at musingsfromdave.blogspot.com as well.

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Salon.com
MARCH 27, 2012 7:50PM

on pain, comfort zones, and a bit of the hair of the dog that bit me

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I am, sad to say, sensitive to pain. I’m just wired that way. I like to think of it as being the downside of being such a lovely, empathic person (cough, cough). You know, all tenderhearted and whatnot, on the inside, and the outside. This has been on my mind lately, starting with the other day, when I had a crown installed. That’s where they do to the top of your tooth what the coal industry has done to the state of West Virginia: file that puppy down to a nubbin. And then pop a cover on it that’s modeled on your own tooth.

I knew from experience to get a block shot – that’s where the Novocaine goes into the nerve that affects about a quarter of your face, way more than just the tooth to be worked on. Just to be safe, since the last time I had a crown, this became a rather urgent necessity partway through, I also got a handful of added bonus shots all around the tooth itself. By this point, I’d say my whole head was nicely anesthetized and I was a happy camper.

Fast forward to yesterday, the day after the Tough Mudder exercise class. Now, that was a tough workout. But I didn’t realize how tough until yesterday. When I couldn’t move without pain. My quads were in agony. My hamstrings were even worse. Searing stabs of pain lit up muscles in my stomach I had previously only a passing acquaintance with. 

And, interestingly, I found I had no energy of any OTHER kind, either. I mean, it’s not like “well, at least my brain’s on fire with shiny ideas!” Nope, all was blaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Mondays are normally my day to be kind to other people (via giving Reiki to folks at the chemo unit at the hospital), but I couldn’t even envision that happening. Sigh. (Like my post-exercise pain even compares to the side effects of chemo.)  I managed to turn that particular toxic brain channel off, since I find that inspiration is a better fuel mix than guilt. And I just took it easy yesterday.

Today was only marginally better. In the afternoon, I wondered what I should do about my planned run. When in doubt, turn to more experienced people: in this case, my cousin Emily, who’s run like, five marathons.

photo

Aww, crap, I knew she’d say that. Why’d I even ask? What do you MEAN, lying on the couch eating 70% dark chocolate isn’t the recommended remedy? Grumble, grumble. So I hopped gingerly stepped on the treadmill, walked a few minutes, dialed it all the way up to “old lady” speed, and ran for a mile and a half. I only winced for the first four minutes. And then by gum, I felt a little looser. Yay.

You may ask, what’s a wuss like me doing the Tough Mudder for? It’s not because I want to overcome my sensitivity to pain – I figure that’s how I’m built. It’s more that honest to god, it looks like fun. But it’s really only fun if you’re strong enough. And the only way to get stronger is to challenge myself. That’s just how it works.

To borrow from a friend:

where the magic happens

Now, the daffodils out on the side of the driveway are going to disagree with me on this. They have a comfort zone. And that comfort zone does not include overnight temperatures well below freezing.

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Good luck, little one.

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These little heath buggers seem tougher – I’ll bet they’ll be OK.

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The crocuses by the woodpile are looking a little worse for wear – like when the fridge settings are off, and the lettuce freezes.

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I’d move, but he’s standing on my foot. He’s eating grass. Which, with any luck, he’ll puke up on our nice Indian carpet later on. That’s my boy!

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Comments

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Although your post is good, I like the photos the best. I've discovered that I truly enjoy taking close up photos, but can't seem to get close enough to satisfy my photographic desires! I would like to get a macro lens, but have no idea which one.
By the way, have you read the book, THE NON-RUNNER'S MARATHON TRAINER? I just got it because I'm contemplating running a marathon.....something I've always wanted to do.
They always puke on the most expensive surfaces, never on linoleum. If there is carpet, the hurl WILL be on the field with the least color and pattern, preferably a field of cream, so that you have no prayer of disguising the stain. It's a law of dogs and cats. Probably Pot Bellied Pigs and Boa constrictors have this law, too. I enjoyed your read.
They always puke on the most expensive surfaces, never on linoleum. If there is carpet, the hurl WILL be on the field with the least color and pattern, preferably a field of cream, so that you have no prayer of disguising the stain. It's a law of dogs and cats. Probably Pot Bellied Pigs and Boa constrictors have this law, too. I enjoyed your read.
Ms. I Love Life, hello again! I have not read that particular book. The only running book I've read is Jeff Galloway's "Half Marathon: You Can Do It!" I've never done a full, only a half - three times now. How about you, have you ever done a half? It's such a great distance - tough, but doable!
My sister would love this post. She has done full marathons.
She is 62 & still, uh, runs for her life. Half marathons
are her thing now, and of course the occasional
local run-for-(some charity).

I wish 'comfort zone' and 'miracles happen' intersected a bit.

By the way, not to brag, but i got 26 teeth extracted
while awake. The pain was supposed to be masked by
a gallon of Novocaine , but i gotta say,
it hurt like hell.
The yanking-out sensation will stay with me forever.
Pain is beneficial when it leads to better health.
I cannot imagine what the pain of a degenerative condition
might be like.
I suppose i will have to face it someday.

Meanwhile, i shall browse lovely pictures, like yours.
oh gosh spring is springing! how i adore those plucky
flora for making life worth living, observing their quiet
annual exhibition of Nature's Art.