When I was first diagnosed with Lyme disease earlier in the summer, I was distraught. I had Lyme years ago and spent three months in bed and ended up losing my job. I was determined that that was not going to happen again. This time I would barrel through it with my usual grit and determination. Nothing was going to keep me down. After all, this has been my mantra for my whole life.
I took the antibiotics, did research on the best diet to recover, and got plenty of rest. But then, I started to feel better. Because I am used to getting up at 5 am each day and either running, spinning, or working out, I thought that being as active as possible would not only help me physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
What I soon learned is that you can’t barrel through this disease. It fights back with a harder punch than you initially thought possible. So after a major relapse this week, I reached out to a Lyme specialist for advice and ongoing care.
Now I am really challenged with slowing down. I was told I could walk, but very slowly. Do you know how difficult it is to do this for an active over achiever? What’s a slow walk anyway? Like walking the dog, right? Well, of course, as a runner, walking for me usually means clocking 4 miles per hour up and down hills. So my attempt to walk slowly felt like walking through quick sand. I found that I was constantly reminding myself to slow down and learning for the first time that I had no idea how to do that! It was akin to learning how to walk all over again.
But as I meandered down the road on this beautiful morning, I thought a lot about my life and career and what has led to my success. It’s always been about doing whatever it takes to reach my potential, constantly challenging myself with new ideas and direction, and pushing myself through obstacles. And in a way, this isn’t different.
Now that push is more like an open embrace to accept the reality of what life has in store for me and I learn more every day about who I am and how to adopt new attitudes and approaches to help me thrive and survive in my life and career.