I run difficult races often and am used to pushing my limits. I’ve competed in 24 hour events, run ultra-marathons, endured hypothermia and pain. At the end I’m usually left feeling satisfied with my performance. This past weekend I did a race that was different for me. It was a 13.4 mile race that started on flat ground (by Colorado standards) and then climbed about 8,000 feet before finishing at the top of a mountain 14,115 feet above sea level.
For the first ¾ of the race I had my “A-game”, felt great and was enjoying the experience. Then at about 13,000 feet with about 3-4 miles to go, it began – acute altitude sickness. Apparently my East coast upbringing did not like me being so high up. From that point on I couldn’t go 50 feet without vomiting which then led to excruciating muscle cramps from an electrolyte imbalance. I had zero energy, couldn’t even hold down water and try as I might, could not generate any momentum. It felt like a combination of exhaustion mixed with having the flu so bad you want to sleep on the cold bathroom floor. Even worse, once you’re up that high there are no trees or shelter so I could only drag myself to the side of the path and listen to “are you ok?” about 1,000 times as runner after runner passed me. It took me 3 hours to trek those final 3 miles and all the goals I had for the race were gone except one. I finished.
On your best day things will happen almost effortlessly and produce tremendous results. The question is how will you react on your worst day? How will you respond after a failed relationship, loss of a job or a business venture gone bad? Will you give up or defiantly keep moving forward? I felt embarrassed after that race until my 5 year old asked about it. I told him I got very sick and ran slow and he responded “but I know you finished, because you never quit.” That changed my perspective instantly. I wasn’t embarrassed anymore; I was proud. Your worst days will teach you much more than your best. You’ll learn what you’re made of, become more resilient in daily life and appreciate the good times more. So the next time you’re forced to endure one of those days, embrace what it will teach you; I did.
Dr. Kenney has won multiple awards for “Best Chiropractor” and specializes in helping patients achieve their goals of better health and pain relief. For more information please visit www.NewBodyChiro.com, find us on Facebook (New Body Chiropractic & Wellness Center) or call (303) 347-9906.