Lean into It

I’ve been thinking about drafting this post for a while now. Today seemed to be the most appropriate day for several reasons… I love lists 🙂

#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…

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About GoodKarme

One year ago, I created this name/blog (GoodKarme) due to the firm nudging of my brother and his amazing partner, Tasha. Since its creation, I haven't added anything to it. My intent is to provide recipes, nutritional science information, and other ramblings... For now, I'll just post recipes to Ty's blog (GoTeamTyler), and then when I get my blog up-and-running, I'll just link recipes to it. Let me try to explain the name and the purpose... Karme: goddess of the harvest GoodKarme: A commitment to the earth through honoring the land that provides our nourishment and contributes to our being. By respecting and replenishing the land we reap what we sew... GoodKarme. I have come to accept the fact that I was born to be a nutritionist: my father lives with an apron hanging from his neck, my mother lives in the garden, my uncle John authored the 'Wagner Family Cookbook', I played every sport under the sun (and cared about what I fueled my body with), I have a soft spot for The Nature :), and my most recent interest is fueled by my brother's recent diagnosis with non-hodgkins lymphoma... thus, I have a commitment to help him heal with food. I'm Leigh. I am an Integrative Nutritionist and registered dietitian at the University of Kansas Medical Center - KU Integrative Medicine. I have become an avid Kansas Citian, and I continue to be in awe of this gem of a city. Please enjoy this assortment of recipes, links, information... Please forgive me, I love emoticons. :)

18 thoughts on “Lean into It

  1. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
    There are many, even more than you know, holding you up in prayer. At times when you no longer have the strength to pray for yourself, we will keep praying for you.

  2. Again, I have not personally met Tyler or anyone that is supporting him and his fight. I loved this story and the analogies. It was spot on. I had the honor to play baseball a big part of my life and played on a National Championship baseball team in college. Because of the stories that I have read and the support Tyler is receiving the team concept is bleeding through. I love what a team brings to any situation.

    If I can be helpful in any way, please let me know. Tyler is on my mind ofter, I am wearing a Team Tyler bracelet, but if you need anything else I am at your beckon call.

    Stay strong,

    Jeff Myers

  3. Leigh,
    What a beautifully written piece…and a great analogy on what Ty is going through right now. He definitely in that tough curve that you feel like you could lose control of at any moment, but there is such sweet glory when you come out on the straightaway! Keep you eyes on that finish line Ty! We’re all taking that curve with you, pushing you!

  4. Leigh,
    the more i read this the more it hits home. i keep getting the feeling that my im holding my breath. theres a feeling in cycling that i know tyler can relate to. During a steep hill descent there is usually nothing that can be done against gravity, your legs cannot pedal beyond the speed your bike is already going. However, there is a specific point where your legs kick in, close to the bottom of the hill, where you can actually feel your power and control kick in. It’s gaining control of the free fall, and it actually takes great strength to start, but the earlier you start, the better momentum you have for the straights. That’s how this feels. You’re spot on. The controlled descent.

  5. T wag,
    I was just told of this last night and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Texted Brock and he gave me this website. I hate that this has happened to you, but I know you that u will get thru this. I am praying for you and can’t wait to hear from you. Stay strong and keep the faith.
    Your brother,
    Blair

  6. Leigh, I am glad you took the time to write this analogy and share it with all of Team Tyler. Somehow I think many (or at least anyone that’s been on a bike) can relate to the descent, the fear, the exhilaration, the control, and finally the conquer. The I did it. Tyler will conquer this unfriendly obstacle, this battle. Yes he will and in the end, he can say I did it. And all of Team Tyler will be cheering and clapping on the sideline and at the finish line, hugging each other, hugging him, saying we did it, you did it. We are Team Tyler and we are here to win.

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