Earlier this year I wrote about the highs and lows 2016 and then you didn’t hear from me again. Why didn’t you? Well for a few reasons. I was spending the start of 2017 making it about me and not in a conceited way. I had lost myself and love of life and needed to find me again. Beth, my counselor, told me in my first session with her that I was like a bank account and with all of the things that had taken place in my life I was deep into the red. I had depleted myself and my body was telling me it couldn’t take on anymore. It was time to slow things down and take the time I needed to bring myself back into the black. Using this analogy worked really well for me. I started labeling things as red and black in my head when they would happen to me. It allowed me to slow down when thinking of things this way.
One of the first things I did to get myself back into the black was to run for my love of running, and not to be competitive. I had signed up for the VIRA series in September but come January my heart and body were not ready to run competitively. The running community knows me as a ‘top 10 age category’ runner in this series and that I am competitive. When I arrived at the first few races of the series other runners would say “Oh, once you get to the start line you will take off.” I would tell them I was just there to run my run and I was running to find my love of running again. They seemed skeptical but with time they stopped saying that to me and started to see that I was just there to run for me and be with the running community.
Another thing I did for me in January and February was joining an early morning (5:30 am start) strength training class called Murder by Mel at Club Phoenix. I had neglected my body when it came to weights and core strength. I had a gym membership to RRU’s Rec Centre since October 2016 and I had been once, maybe twice. Even though it was only a few hundred meters from my office each day I couldn’t get myself there. I needed help and working out with a group of people pushed and motivated me. I had paid for these classes as well so I wasn’t going to waste my money. No one needed me at 5:30 am so I couldn’t make an excuse. I enjoyed the class and Mel helped kick-start me back into the gym on my own. Thank you, Mel. I am in the gym a few times a week working on getting stronger. I have made a goal for myself to have more definition in my triceps and biceps and be able to do regular push-ups, not from my knees. One day at a time, as anything worth doing is worth doing well.
In January I started back with my run club through Frontrunners Westshore. I attended on Wednesday nights but didn’t run the workouts as workouts. I went to be with my friends and reconnect with everyone after being away for so long. I knew I needed to build a base back as I hadn’t been running since early October. If I would have shown up to my first speed workout and pushed my body, I would have put myself deeper in the red. My body wasn’t ready for that kind of push and I knew it. I spent each Wednesday night from January 4-March 22, 2017 enjoying being with my friends and running my run. The week of March 27th my body and mind changed and I was a ‘new Kyla’. I felt great in the gym and I had runner’s high when running. I did my first speed workout when I went to run club that week and it was so nice. I kept close to some of the faster guys in the club and I loved it. I was on fire and so happy to be back to me. I knew though I needed to still pace myself because it had taken me that long to get there, I couldn’t overdo it.
The end of January I started being a run leader with Colleen for the marathon group through Frontrunners. The group is training for BMO Marathon taking place on May 7, 2017, in Vancouver. For the first few months with the group, I was more in the ‘Sweeper’ role than a ‘Leader’ but that was Ok with me. Some days some of the runners struggled with their run as well so I was able to get to know them as we went along. I remember one day driving to the Saturday long run of 18km and starting to cry. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make it through the run as I hadn’t run that far since October 2016. It just seemed so overwhelming. I made it and was supported by my group. What I realized afterward was that I had always said to the group that we were together to help each other get through the runs but I didn’t think about myself being in the category to supported.
Health wise, I was having heart palpitations that started in November and continued. I took two weeks off work the end of January due to stress to see if I could get them to slow or stop. My doctor sent me to a cardiologist who I saw in March and I was told that my very low heart rate is actually normal for ‘someone like me’. (Someone like me being an active person.) I do believe that the palpations started due to stress as I hadn’t had them before but then brought to the surface another ‘problem’. I still have them but they aren’t a scare for me now and know that I am Ok.
Through my journey of finding myself again and doing what I needed to do for me, I lost my best friend of nine years which is heartbreaking for me. I was seeking support through him, friends and Beth but he wasn’t seeking help for himself through me or professionally. I was blindsided and never saw this day coming and I was ready to fight for us like I was in finding me, but you can’t fight for two by yourself.
What now? Well, my journey of finding me and spending 2017 about me continues. I plan to make a home in the newly renovated condo with Lokey and making it mine. I have a huge network of friends in Victoria who have shown me so much love and support that I didn’t actually realize I had right in front of me. I have been well-supported family as well and I can guarantee I am not done needing support. I am like a rollercoaster of emotions and feelings but they are good fuel for my runs and workouts.
So, to new beginnings and adventures.