Saturday, May 6, 2017

Never Too Old for Mono

They call mono "the kissing disease." You're supposed to get it when you're a teenager from making out.  You stay home from school for a few days while classmates gossip about who you got it from. You heal by watching soap operas, old TV shows and documentaries about serial killers.

While I have always been a late bloomer when it came to my physical development, my first kiss, and first husband, I never thought I would contract mono at such a late stage of my life: a stage where another woman might be marrying off her kids, winning a Nobel prize, be established in a career of her choice or getting ready to retire.  I have mono.

Fortunately, I work from home so the two naps a day thing doesn't get in my way too much as long as I don't leave the house.

The dogs don't like when I go back to bed in the afternoon, so I have to crash on the couch. That way they can sleep in rectangles of warm sunlight. Otherwise, they bark at me, sending waves of guilt through my weak body.  Then, I stumble to the couch and we all peacefully pass out.

Apparently, I have had mono for several months, but pushed through it -  which got me sicker.  I'm used to having a boxer's mindset of just forging through whatever difficulty you are facing.  That doesn't work with Mono.

It's part of the reason why it's been so draining for me to work out hard or stay focused when I am writing.  In a way, this is a relief.  I thought I was just getting "old."  I know some women can keep grinding it out for longer, but others run out of energy sooner.  There comes a point where no matter how hard you push yourself, you don't get stronger and better, you just go further downhill. So you have to listen to your body.  At least now, I believe I can get strong again. I just have to go at a different pace.

In the past several months, I have spent more time outside the boxing ring coaching, than inside battling it out. The idea of getting my cardio up to "fight ready" is daunting and doesn't even seem possible in this moment. The good news is that the two girls I'm training are getting closer to that, have eight times as much energy as I do, and more pop and explosiveness in their punches and footwork.  It's a different kind of pride knowing I helped guide them. Also, I discovered a protectiveness I never had for myself.

Since I never had kids, I am a bit delayed developmentally. (There are other reasons.) I didn't have a reason to grow up or a way to mark time besides the death of my dog. But even then, Gary and I started over again with puppies so we basically became new parents.  Being dog parents is like the movie,"Groundhog's Day."

Gary is the same way. He is a grown man with a light saber.  So we feed into each other's delusion of being 28. Or,in his case, 12.

Coaching these girls is giving me the feeling of a "life cycle."  I can remember when I first learned to box and the way I looked at my coaches and the girls I trained with. I remember the intense hunger to learn and get better.  While I still have that to a degree, I enjoy watching the progression of my fighters- watching them go from that stage to where they are now and eventually to teaching. I look forward to the day they get in the ring and fight.

Being in their corner during a fight will be my version of going to my daughter's wedding.

As Gary and I get ready to move, I have to practice the "Power of Now" and all the other self help shit I read.  We are moving into another stage of life - one with a yard in a grown ups neighborhood;  one where young girls are trusting me with their training, where I am doing more writing and editing and less working out.

As we cross each dimension of life, it's difficult to accept the next one.  But, you really have no choice.