How’s 2018 going for you so far? Did you survive the holidays??
I did. Barely. Maybe I just have more awareness as I get older, but I’ll tell you what. Even when I thought I was doing a pretty good job at the time, I could not escape the ill effects of the added stress, sugar, and alcohol in my life. All of the above led to increased inflammation, decreased immunity, and lower energy.
Normally, we don’t travel during the holidays, but this year, since I have a landmark birthday coming up later this month, we took a family trip to San Francisco, leaving 3 days after Christmas and staying for a week. Sort of an early celebration. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about what a horrendous flu season we are supposedly having. Even if it’s not the flu, it seems everyone around us is getting some sort of URI this year. I pride myself on my immunity. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure the last time I had any virus worth remembering was early December 2015. I only remember it because I ran the Frenzy 25k hoping to not cough up a lung. I’ve had quite the streak going since then.
Fast forward to our flight out of Sky Harbor on the 28th. I think 90% of the people on our flight were sniffling, sneezing, and coughing. Panic? Nah… I had packed my Oscillococcinum & hand sanitizer and was ready for a fun adventure in San Fran!! I have a killer immune system! Arrive on Thursday and hit the ground running. Saturday started as the perfect day. Got up and put in about 6 miles, went to breakfast with the boys, grabbed a latte, headed out for some sight seeing and SHOPPING!! I mean really, can a girl ask for much more? Saturday night, we had dinner reservations at Epic Steak, an amazing restaurant down on the waterfront. Get to dinner, and suddenly I’m feeling “off.” Tired. Run down. Oh no. Am I getting sick? Nah… Wake up Sunday, still trying to shake the feeling. I just need some more Oscillo. Maybe a nap. Hydrate. It’s New Years Eve, and we have plans to go to the BEST pizza joint in town. I am going to ENJOY, dammit! Suffice it to say, enough wine and comfort food really made me feel better that night, but New Years Day, I woke up and realized it was official. I was sick. My streak was broken. Scratchy throat, heavy congestion in my chest, headache. Shit. Did the “things” during the day, but spent 10-11 hours in bed each night and napped when I could. Waved the white flag and started taking NyQuil (although I still woke up during the earthquake). Let me just say, it’s tough being away from home when you’re sick. I have an arsenal at home of immune boosters, nourishing foods, and essential oils that will kick any cold right in the butt. Unfortunately, none of that available. I couldn’t find a soup without pasta or heavy cream in it within 5 miles of our hotel.
Shortly after returning home, the cold had turned into bronchitis, and I’m now on an antibiotic. Getting better, but here’s the thing. This being sick crap REALLY makes me appreciate those times when I am healthy. My training has been compromised, I am keeping my poor husband awake all night with either my hacking cough or the insane snoring from my post-nasal drip, and I just plain old don’t feel well. However, if I start to get down about it, I just force myself to think, “I appreciate this shitty experience, because it is making me more grateful for my health, and I will get better.” This is my reframe. I am really looking forward to feeling better, but I know my body needs time to heal, and if I get down and stress about it, I’ll prolong the experience, because the body can’t heal in a stressed state. For now, I simply adjust the intensity with which I do everything (including training), and rest when I need it. I’ve rallied my arsenal and put into practice all I can to give my immune system a kick in the pants. No, I can’t put my entire life on hold because I’m sick (who can?), so I am using the tools I have. Riiicola…
The next time you are sick, or in a low place, or just not feeling your best, reframe it and be grateful for the good times. Sometimes the shitty situations are unavoidable, and we can’t to anything to change them, but we can change how we respond to them. And that can go a long way toward better health.
Here’s to a Healthy 2018, Peeps!!