I Will Not Be Running A Marathon When I Have Recovered

It seems that running a marathon is the gold standard when it comes to proof of recovery after Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Well not for me. I will not be running a marathon any time soon, preferably ever. And certainly not by choice.

I’m currently staying at my sister’s place in Canberra after completing another week-long emotional healing bootcamp and entrepreneur training course with Beyond Success. Yesterday I went out for some exercise and with my drumkit and bicycle back in Sydney and no willing tennis partners available, I decided to go out for a run. Thought it would be a great opportunity to explore some of the walkways that criss-cross through my nation’s fine capital.

I don’t normally go running as I find it mind-bogglingly boring; and I am attempting to avoid boredom as much as possible. After the novelty wore off, I thought “it is pretty boring, but it’s definitely working out muscles in my legs that tennis and drumming does not”.  I ran and walked for a couple of hours down paths that wandered about five kilometers through neighboring suburbs, around a water quality control lake and back home again.

When I got back home, I found that the keys to my sister’s house weren’t in my pocket. I was sure they were there when I left… but not any more. They must have fallen out along the way. I checked the car, I checked my room, I triple checked the empty pockets. Damn.

I was way too tired by this point to go back and look for them, and what would be the chances of finding them anyway? So I decided instead to spiral down into despair and lament the “fact” that every time I try to do something positive for my recovery, something that will induce positive emotions in my amygdala to calm my hypothalamus… the universe always gets in the way and fucks everything up.

Self-sabotage really, but for the time being I’m blaming the universe. Better than blaming myself. As a result, yesterday was a pretty shitty day. I calmed my nerves by playing piano all afternoon, which worked remarkably well… especially considering how “well” I play.

I felt pretty anxious about telling my sister that there were now a spare set of keys to her house randomly distributed around the city. She was working late that night so I had a full 12 hours to stew on it. The eventual conversation went something like this:

Me: Are there any identifying features on the ring of keys you gave me yesterday?

Sister: No (looking puzzled)

Me: Ok, well I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the set of keys to the house that I lost today can’t be traced back to this address. The bad news is that this morning while running I lost the set of keys you lent me yesterday.

Nephew: That’ll teach you not to go running

Sister: Okaaaay (looking unimpressed)

I resolved to at least have go at finding the keys today by retracing my steps from yesterday. Walking this time, not running; and wearing shorts with larger pockets that nothing can possibly fall out of. I left he house chanting internally the mantra: “I will find the keys easily and without even trying”… while my inner cynic kept replying: “Yeah, like hell you will! No chance.”

My best guess was they’d be sitting under the seat near the water quality control lake where I’d sat to meditate the day before. When I got there, all I could see were leaves. Damn.

I was walking around the lake thinking about something else entirely, almost having retraced all my outbound footsteps, when I noticed a couple of keys sitting on a concrete drain cover by the side of the footpath. My keys. Well, my sister’s keys anyway. I was so happy to be reunited with my old keys that I melted down all my other keys to make a new keyring to put them on.

No, I didn’t do that – that would be ridiculous. What I did do was a happy dance until some guy walking his dog came along and gave me a weird look. Then I walked home happy as Larry playing my favorite songs on my MP3 player.

Walked, not run. I do not plan on taking up running any time soon. I probably am well enough to begin marathon training now, but it’s just not gonna happen. I’ve got other things to do.

Author: Graham

I'm a guy in his late 40's, recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since May 2009. I now offer coaching and support to other people with CFS/ME.