Every day at exactly 11:30 am, I am treated to a chorus of "Oh, When the Saints". I am seated above an adult day health center, with a window to overlook the daily activities. And that is just one of the daily activities. DAILY. I have thought about taping a poster with requests for new songs on my office window, but it occurred to me that my need for variety in musical tunes may not meet the needs of an elder with significant memory loss. Routine, dependable, unwavering, predictable routine might be the best thing. And delving into the oldies is no mistake. A person with dementia may not remember what they had for breakfast or that they met you 5 minutes ago, but they have the most solid of memories of their young years. It is like the brain shuts one door and opens another. During our relatively youthful years the door to the past is maybe just a bit ajar, but we cannot really access the full experience. This may be good, because if I could spend my day playing in my backyard with my Mom bringing me cookies and Kool-Aid, I would probably never get anything else done.
I am not all that old yet, but I am finding myself craving routine. My work offers that now (insofar as any doctor job can: there are usually a few surprises each day. Not at 11:30 am though). My saint of a husband keeps us all fed and watered. My dog knows when it is bedtime and my chickens know when it is time to get up in the morning. My runner self is completely discombobulated though. I have spent so many years in complete time chaos (college, jobs with changeable shifts, med school, residency, and the last 12 years of work ruling me with no intention of offering me a routine) that I developed a plan for running: do it whenever. Which no longer works for this body and mind.
As I find myself relatively out of shape, and signed up for a marathon in 11 weeks, I wonder if it is wise to waddle to the starting line. I am very competitive with myself, and dislike failure. I also respect the marathon. You gotta invest in the aerobic account, or you will find yourself broke and shattered at mile 20.
All that said, it is time to get serious. I am tired of my brain chemistry putting me in a stranglehold. So what if I go and run slow or (gasp) DNF. I could DNS, but I think that might be the end of me. I will just become one of those characters in Wall-E.
Therefore, come humiliation, lactic acidosis or pain beyond belief, I will try.
But I need to focus on what inspires me:
1) Young Warriors.
2) Old (as in friends for a long time, just to be clear), Speedy friends.
6) The Strong Person I know resides within.
Oh, When the starting gun sounds its call, Lord I want to be in that number.
And if I am last, well, at least I showed up.
Come on everybody, sing along!