The Common Cold

A week ago I woke up feeling great. I went for a run and then went for brunch by myself and read a book. Everything was amazing. Slightly less than a week ago, I woke up with a migraine, nausea, dizziness, sore throat, etc. Something was wrong. (I did get a C19 test and the results were negative, so it’s not that).

It is the very beginning of summer. Patios and indoor dining are available. I have less than three months to train for an ultra-marathon. We aren’t limited to a 2-person bubble.

Presenting: The Common Cold. I tried to go for a walk and even just two kilometres nearly ended me. I’ve been living on cough syrup, soup and ice cream now. I had to take a few days off work because I was so sick. When I spoke I sounded like the Grim Reaper. My eyes hurt to read or look at a screen because of the headache. I’ve had one view from my (figurative) deathbed. Balancing daytime cough syrup and nighttime cough syrup with my medication was a feat worthy of Dr. Frankenstein. My body is more vulnerable to seizures when I am sick.

What’s a person to do?

The race is still in September. Work is waiting. I can’t avoid screens and books forever. So I guess that is just going to mean, as I am starting to slowly feel a bit better, that I’m just going to have to get back at all of it. This is important.

When I registered for the ultra-marathon, I thought I was starting from a basic running point. I had been peacefully, casually, regularly running beforehand, so at least I had some degree of distance, pace and time to base my beginning on. Now suddenly, I’m back to zero. Maybe even further back, because if I push too hard too soon, that will be worse for my throat and lungs. So instead of adding 8-ish kilometres onto each long run weekly, I have to slowly and carefully evaluate how I am breathing every 2 kilometres. I’ve had injuries before but never like this. Muscles, yes. Joints, yes. Seizures, yes. Mental motivation, yes. Lungs? Nope.

Overall, it’s made me think about a lot of things. When I haven’t been asleep this last week, I’ve been lying in bed and thinking. There are a lot of things that we cannot anticipate and they can come at the best or worst of times. The best of times and then all of a sudden that world comes crashing down. The worst of times and then it is just one more thing to try and survive.

That’s the thing about it though. We persevere and so we survive. To survive, we need to persevere.

The catalyst doesn’t need to be colossal. I’m not referring to a David-and-Goliath situation here. I’m specifically referring to just anything we don’t anticipate. In my case here, The Common Cold. I just mean that we are always at risk of something changing unexpectedly and impacting our lives. My world isn’t perfect. I don’t think anyone has a perfect world. Things are hard and when unexpected things add to it, it may be even harder. Just one more thing to deal with, no matter how big or small. The important thing to remember is that we can endure. We are resilient. We can persevere and survive.

I don’t want to slow down my running. I don’t want to have to deal with a cold when the world is opening after a global pandemic. Yet in a week or two, if I am careful, I can get back to training. Yes, this is one more thing to survive. I also know that I can persevere. I’m resilient, even in the face of The (treacherous) Common Cold.

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