Last Sunday I ran 8 miles in preparation for an upcoming half marathon. At the end of that run I felt the healthiest I have felt in a long time. Strong and at peace with the endorphins surging through my tired body, I felt ready to take on the world.
Today, a mere week later, I barely have the strength to make it from the living room to the kitchen. The culprit? That nasty of all nasties; a flu virus. Yes indeed, the very same virus I had in my “Got Soup?” post on Tuesday.
It still lingers…
Fever, cough, chills, aches and pains. No sleep due to the persistent hacking of my bronchial tubes. The kind of cough that makes you wish you had a compression helmet to hold the fissures together in your skull for fear they’ll break apart and release your brain from its casing the next time you cough, cough.
With deep red, watery eyes and a raw nose from all the tissue removing the top layer of my sensitive Irish skin, I was still able to pull it together long enough Friday evening to attend the Art & Ag show opening at Gallery 1075 where my View of Farmlands series is hanging for the month of March. But just those few hours of meeting and greeting and discussing my work set me back a few strides and once again, I have not felt well all weekend.
I realize my flu is menial when compared to the chronic illnesses some friends and acquaintances are contending with right now, but it definitely causes me to appreciate my health in a way I don’t normally consider in my day-to-day.
I have been fortunate in my life to be a pretty darn healthy specimen with only one surgery so far that occurred after blowing out my Achilles tendon while playing softball. I have always been the athletic, outdoorsy type who made it a point to workout and eat right only occasionally suffering from a cold or the flu.
But I am not naive and I know that debilitating illness could strike any one of us, including myself, at a time when I/we would least expect. This thought keeps me humble. This thought helps me to realize I should appreciate life in the moment and embrace my good health while I have it.
So for now, during this time when I am feeling but a mere shadow of my former self, I plan to embrace the lessons of this nasty bug; this great equalizer that has left me vulnerable and caused me to stare into the pale face of the weakness that is this human shell.
Today I will sit in the sunshine for a while and try to breathe the fresh air into my lungs as deeply as my bronchial tubes will allow. I will envision myself running down the healing path at a record-breaking pace and revel again in that endorphin induced high.