Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dig Deep

In my last post, I wrote about the amazing experience that was going to South Carolina's Superhero Scramble with The Hero Within-Superman Walks Project to help a little boy fulfill his dream of participating in an obstacle course race. At the end of the post, I intimated that I had one more photo to share, but that I needed to save it for the proverbial rainy day when I might need a little extra inspiration.

Well, it isn't actually raining (yet!), but now is the time when I need the inspiration.

One of the final obstacles at the Superhero Scramble is a huge vertical wall that you have rope-climb to the top. I have really crappy upper-body strength and when we got to this obstacle, my bloodsugar was really low and I felt weaker than normal. I stood at the base watching the rest of the group scramble to the top. I helped others get situated so they could overcome this obstacle... but I was actually gearing up to skip this climb myself.

But then this guy Tim, he pointed to me from the top and said "Amy... you're next." He held my eye contact and saw the fear in my face. I meekly shook my head no, and he told me that it was my turn, and reminded me that we don't leave anyone behind and we all finish together. I was terrified, and I just knew that my feet would slip and I would go plummeting the 14' to 16' to my inevitable death.

Ok, that was a little melodramatic, and even I recognize that now, but a fall could do significant damage. And considering that I broke my wrist falling off of a 10 gallon bucket when I was 16, I had legitimate fears.

But I trusted in Tim (and the other people waiting for me at the top --- sorry I am not remembering names or faces because I was so freaked out), and I approached the obstacle. I wrapped the rope around my legs and sat back. And they pulled me to the top. I used my feet to walk up the side and keep me steady, but they did all of the work. And I was terrified that I was going to fall.

And this picture was taken right about the point where folks were reaching out to have me grab their hands. I was frozen in time. Unable to will my hands away from the rope and into the safety of friends.

What this picture doesn't tell you is that just as it was taken, my feet slipped out from underneath me and I held on for dear life as I slammed into the wall. I knew I was losing my grip, And because the rope was now at a bad angle, the guys at the top couldn't hoist me any further. I had two choices... fall and break my neck, or let go of the rope and reach for the outstretched hands.

Nowhere to go but up. I dug deep. Deeper than I have ever dug before. And I reached. And before I knew it, I had a half dozen hands on my upper arms pulling me up to safety.

I knew I would need this photo to serve as a reminder to myself about not being afraid to trust myself or others, about digging deep, about doing my best, and about reaching out for help and accepting help from others.

And today, this is the kind of reminder that I need.

Earlier this month, I mentioned being really sick and in the hospital. Though my heart wasnt ultimately what brought me in to the Dr. in the first place, the reason I was held so long was because the heart monitors picked up some funny rhythms. At the time, they did a whole bunch of testing, and ultimately sent me on my merry way, with instructions to have a followup with a cardiologist.

That followup was yesterday. Since I've been home, I've had some interesting symptoms relating to my heart, and all of this combined with the rhythms that the monitors were picking up at the hospital, the cardiologist wants to do some more tests. OF COURSE he does!

So next week, I wear a holter monitor for a little while. and I do a cardiac stress test at the hospital. I'm sure it will all be ok, but we want to make sure that I am healthy and wont die while on my 6 in 6 excursion in September.

And, I'm not a big fan of dying.

So I guess the tests are a good thing. but in the meantime I've been told to take it easy and not push myself too much with my training... which is easy for someone without ridiculous goals to suggest... but not so easy in reality. The happy medium seems to be to continue my crazy mileage but slow my pace to a walk as needed. It seems to work, but its taking a hard toll on my brain.

Please keep me in your thoughts as I use the rest of the week to dig deep.


  1. You are such an inspiration! I know, I've said it before, but I'm just going to keep saying it. STUNNING photo, I would cherish it as well! You've been in my thoughts, I'm sure everything will be just fine. I know it's hard to take it easier than you want, but in the end, miles are miles!

    1. thanks. I don't feel like much of an inspiration these days. I am absolutely falling apart.