My heart goes out with compassion and personal curiosity to the people who have worked hard mastering their mind over their body issues, go from feeling like dirt to feeling, and stay committed to feeling delicious.
While doing laps at Cactus Pool this past summer I met an inspiring woman that really carried that thought home.
Side note: I have to say doing laps at Cactus pool is inspiring . Being there during lap time I am surrounded not by grade school, high school or even college swim teams practicing, while I do my laps. Do not get me wrong I find those groups to be entertaining and inspiring too. These lap times though are filled with swimmers of varied adult ages that frequently appear to me to be well versed in the daily practice of doing laps … for life. Or that is the story I surmise from most of them as I watch them. I on the other hand am more of a fair weather swimmer. I tend to be more fickle with my workouts . NOTE , this is especially true when it is below 80 degrees out side ( yep, even with the Arizona sun shining and swimming laps in a heated pool ). Honestly swimming inside with smell of chlorine bombarding me has never been desirable, and why would I want to when I could be hiking in this glorious Arizona winter ? … but I digress.
When I met Karen this past summer doing laps I found myself in a conversation with a woman who may have kept her health condition private for many years from her co-workers, and friends … but considering she was back in Scottsdale to have yet another “tune up” with a cardiologist at Mayo clinic, I was in the right place at the right time to hear about her true success story and to become part of her fan club ! And I must say I have signed up!
You see in 1975 when Karen was age 6 her pediatrician sent her to a cardiologist with a heart murmur. This began a life of procedures and findings and varied surgeries that I honestly feel I need a medical license to describe well. She introduced me to words that I have never heard of. I am not going to go into the gruesome details here but honestly I can say it would have been VERY easy for Karen to never have become the Triathlon winner , and medal winning swimmer, and master swim coach that she is!
I love being reminded of all the ways we can go from feeling like dirt to delicious. Despite the fact that her mom was not physically fit herself she always was supportive of Karen pursuing being an athlete which has probably been the best medicine for her! It was in training and being in triathlons that she truly learned to believe in herself ! Although she is reevaluating the harsh reality of what being an extreme athlete can do to to the heart enlarging the atria ( ok I start glazing over when she talks that way ) being that hers is naturally enlarged. The path she has gone through in life is actually humbling .
Thank you Karen , you embody the concept of going from feeling like dirt to delicious. May I wish you many many many more laps at what ever pace you choose these days. You are a true inspiration.