Thump, thump, thump


I wrote this a couple of years ago but just found it in my notes. Doesn’t look like I ever shared it and the lessons are ones I’m still learning. I’m thinking it might help one of you.


Thump, thump, thump.

That is the sound of stress as it leaves my body.

At least that is what I hear as I drive up the road. Long drives do that for me. They settle me most of the time. Silence except for the tires rolling down the road. Susan is next to me reading her book and at some point soon I will turn on some music but for now, silence.

I need that.

Been a tough few weeks with work, settling back into a routine and moving back into our house. We had to leave so the contractors could fix the floors from the water leak behind the fridge. Amazing how much damage a pinhole in an ice maker line can do to the hardwood floors. I turned the water off to the whole house as we left tonight. Not going to go through that again.

Fixing it took 7 weeks (first contractor would not honor his bid, so we had to find a new one but we had to wait on an opening in his schedule) and it took almost 10 days to get the floor dried out with 3 huge dehumidifiers and a bunch of blowers. Then it was about 4 days to fix the floors and another week to coat them and let them dry. They are beautiful again but now covered in boxes as we unpack from our move to the garage. All of this cost money but the one thing I learned is who our friends are. Jeff and Linda are priceless. Thanks guys for hosting us the whole time.

Susan is running in the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston on Saturday and we drove in Thursday night. I could hear the ocean from our condo on Isle of Palms and the view Friday morning is pleasant. We got out on the sand and walked about 30 minutes up the beach and 30 minutes back. Ebb and flow of the sound of the water as the tide goes out and leaves a flat beach to walk on littered with shell fragments and starfish. The breeze is brisk on the walk back and the temps are dropping with a cold front coming in but the sound of the water washes more of the stress out of my body.

We did a test run Friday afternoon to a parking place for Saturday. 5 AM is pretty early (and dark) to be finding a place where we can safely park. Success on that front but found the morning of the race a couple of guys collecting $10 to park. Not to worry, I paid the $10 because it was better than the stress that would have ensued had I not. I am still in stress management mode but after Friday afternoon of doing almost nothing but reading while looking at the beach, I am a lot better.

We met some friends who are running the race with Susan and I got to walk along the fence with them to the start of the race. My plan was to send them off and find breakfast at Okra’s. A small setback because of the race, I found almost everything in the area closed so I needed to find a different place to eat.

As I walked back to the car it was a bit eerie with all the people gone. There were a few cops, some volunteers gathering clothing from the fence (runners seem to take things off as they go) and some guys picking up trash (mostly water bottles), construction workers taking down the fence and few others around. After the energy of 40,000 people who started the race it was really strange. Almost a ghost town.

Success on breakfast. Found Sea Biscuit Cafe on the Isle of Palms and got a Country Ham Benedict. Really good with some strong black coffee and then back to the room and the view to let more of that stress out.

So, I think my coach was right (yes, you Donna) who said I needed a break. As I ramble around in my head for lessons learned I find a few things.

1. Be aware when you need a break and figure out a way to take it. I knew the stress was building and I just pushed it down and kept working. Stuffing it works for a short time but eventually it will come back out with some force and you might have to clean up a mess because of it.

2. Stop comparing yourself to anyone but yourself. In a race, sometimes the goal is to beat your own time, not the time of the guy next to you.

3. Focus on what you have control of and let God handle the results. Do the activity, breathe and repeat.

I will send a copy of this to my coach with instructions to send it back when I need to read it again. Having a coach helps me detect my ‘drift’ sooner and keeps me on track better. She helps me avoid shiny things that can derail me and encourages me to focus on the activities. We all need that.

Now, back to the beach and my book. Susan will be back soon and will want to go to lunch.

Thanks for listening,




Photo by Alan Cleaver 

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