#1 I love Tyler and I know his love for sports, athletics, and general butt-kicking. #2 Tyler is in serious battle mode. He needs a pump-up/half-time talk, like whoa. His meals have become his workouts. I can see it on his face: he leans forward, grabs his fork or smoothie or whatever and demolishes the meal/snack because he knows he has to (to him, it all tastes like cardboard). #3 I love the #33. Today is treatment day 33 (or yesterday was), and I feel good about this. #4 I adore analogies. #5 Motivating/inspiring people is fascinating. Tyler has an incredible ability to do this, and I’m a sucker for anything related to leadership (anything cheesy and motivational… e.g. the Covey family inspires me without even being annoying…(?!) that’s the level I’m talking about). #6 I went on a great interval run today, and I’m on a runners high… here goes…
The photo is a wonderful lead-in, and I will keep this post as brief as possible.
Ever since this whole thing began to unfold, I have been inspired by Tyler’s commitment to exercise and fitness (not only for physical health but for mental and emotional well-being). Thus, I have been much more diligent about getting my workouts in… Over Christmas, I was jogging through his San Diego neighborhood and I noticed myself leaning forward. I was thinking “Interesting, how many times do I go for a run and I feel like my feet are pulling my body forward?”
What makes those work-outs different? When you feel like you have that slight lean forward? You feel your life force, your body’s strength, your chest leading and pushing you… You feel powerful. You know what I’m talking about.
Tyler’s power, strength and might (what we all have within) has motivated and inspired me. And, of course, Rihanna’s new, embarrassingly catchy album pushed me right along, too. 😉
Today, as we went back and forth between the hospital and apartment, my mom and I saw a group of 12-ish riders rounding a curve, and I thought, that’s it! As the group approached the curve, they all anticipated the direction-change. They pushed into the curve, trusting their bodies and bikes, operating as a single unit to smoothly and carefully make the turn… and power into the next run.
For you bike racer people out there (I honestly don’t really know cycling, so I apologize) and for you track & field folks out there (lucky for me, we’ve all run track, right? It was everyone’s sport… so this little analogy is going to be an easy sell)…
Analogy 2: The banked track or curve. Or, for us high-jumpers: the ‘J’ of the approach… If you lazily ride/jog up to the banked curve (or slowly approach the high jump bar), the curve would slow you down. It would limit your speed and power. It would slow your ride or run (or minimize your power to jump).
Instead of jogging into the turn, you put as much controlled energy as you can muster into the obstacle. You approach the bank, and you trust… and lean… and feel the speed and power. You power around the bank and you shoot into the straightaway. As a jumper, you lean into the curved approach, and you lower your body, plant your foot, and let yourself fly. The ‘obstacle’ has somehow made you stronger.
Ty is approaching his banked turn. He has his head down. He is leaning into his turn. He is powering through. Today, he isn’t saying much at all, but I can feel it. He is in pain and his fever/infection is challenging him every moment, but he is powering into this banked curve.
Ok, for those of you who haven’t gotten it yet, I have one more analogy.
It’s downhill running, or what I call, “controlled falling”. I don’t remember if this was in highschool or college, but we would do workouts where we’d book-it downhill.The purpose was to work on your sprinting stride and turnover. It’s probably one of the best and scariest feelings in a workout. You feel so (falsely) fast, but you also fear for your life because you’re sprinting downhill… I act like this is some fancy “only college athletes have done this” kind of workout… hah! We’ve all run down a big, scary hill and felt wildly out of control. Here is the difference: some of us fall flat on our faces and some of us are able to trust the strength of our bodies to carry us, safely down the hill. It’s as if you’re taking every step as lightly as possible, floating over the ground; your feet barely touch the ground and glide you, smoothly to the next, carefully-planted step. It’s an incredible feeling.
Ok, to the point. Tyler is in the midst of his controlled fall. I imagine you all understand that he is a strong-willed, physically fit man. Without knowing what he was training for, Tyler he has been mentally, emotionally and physically preparing for this fight for his whole life.
As Tyler boldly approaches his controlled free-fall, he’s putting trust in all of his preparation: dedication to spiritual and emotional health, commitment to his doctors’ treatment plan, adherence to the diet, intention to stay physically fit, determination to beat this. He is having to fall freely into the treatment and allow his body to respond and fight. Beyond trusting himself, he is also putting his trust in God and in all of YOU! Let’s make his wild, downhill run (controlled fall) a mere float to each, carefully-planted step in this fight.
Ty is being challenged. Even as I look over at him tonight, with his head back on his pillow in feverish pain, I see him leaning into this.
Lean into it, Ty. We’re just powering through to the next straightaway…