the boys

the boys

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The zone

I have an amazing body. Wow. How's that for an opening statement? What if I just left it at that? My body is amazing. I'm out, peeps!

Just kidding. I don't mean an amazing physique. I mean that my body has an amazing ability to withstand trauma and stress. Many, many years of intense training (gymnastics) has made my body strong and my mind even stronger. I was very much a mental competitor and I don't mean like "going mental" but more like I can force my mind to control my body and go on autopilot. I can get into the zone.

So maybe it's my mind that is amazing. Or a combination of both. I'm not what you would call booksmart. Studying: not really my thing. My sisters are both super smart. I was the dumb jock. Well that's exaggerating, but I will say that even my Greatgrandmother gave us all some crossword puzzle books one year and specifically told my older sister to keep the hard ones becuase she is smarter. Seriously. She did. And my little sister's smarts bypassed me when she was about 10 (and I was 15). It's cool. We all have our strengths. School-not one of mine. I was too busy bouncing off the walls. Literally. Or reading "outside reading" books. I actually got in trouble in college for reading a regular book instead of a textbook on the bus on our way to a competition. Seriously, I can't make this stuff up!

Anyway, my mind is strong, if nothing else. In 1999, I had a pacemaker implanted for a very serious heart condition. After the surgery, I learned that I had been mentally controlling my heart rate and blood pressure for many years and only on about 4 occassions it actually got the better of me. I could get through the toughest of competitions with little to no trouble with straight mental strength. Then I would let my mind and body go into rest mode and within about an hour after the competition I would get violently ill. I have a really great blog drafted about my journey to Pacemaker-ville, but it's not quite perfected yet.

My point, and I know it's been a long one, is that in the last month or so my mind and body have been under stress but I've been in the zone. With my husband gone a good bit of the time for work and school, two young children, and our busy "season" in full swing at work, I've had no choice but to go into the zone. It's not a concious thing. In fact, I didn't even realize it until Friday night.

The only way I usually know that I have been in the zone is to recognize when I'm not in it. Does that even make sense? I'll try to explain. On Friday night after a particularly intense week...heck, an intense month really...I knew that Jeremy was going to be home after work to help with the kids, etc. And so I got a massive headache. I seem to be getting them more lately than I ever have. I'm not usually one to get them so I've been paying attention to see if there is some sort of pattern. And it seems that I only get them when he is going to be home to help or someone else is availble to help me with my life duties/taking care of the kids. I had one when I was going to my mom's ealier this month and another one when the kids were with my in-laws overnnight.

It's true. I've proved it to myself time and time again that my mind will not allow my body to get sick (usually) when I have responsibilities. But as soon as there is help on the horizon or I can have some downtime , my body gives way. And it wasn't particularly dramatic on Friday night as this blog might make it seem, but I was certainly reminded me of my experiences over the years as my body goes into autopilot and my mind pushes my body through whatever difficulties are present.

I'm not writing this to whine about stress or parenting duties or anything. Really I am not. As my blog title notes, this is my 30's. This is what I signed up for with a full time job, children, and a husband in the fire service. As I often say "it is what it is." I wouldn't change it for the world. Every woman in my same general life situation is under similar stresses and handle that stress in their own way. I was just struck by my realization on Friday night that I've been in the zone without noticing it.

Thanks Jeremy for taking over on Friday. I clearly needed the mini-break! Refreshed now and ready to start the week.


  1. it's amazing that you have mastered the mind-body connection to that degree, wow! but my wish for you is that you do not have to employ "the zone" quite as much. i think most people i know have some sort of mini-vacay or awesome family visits or something coming up soon; i think that is great planning considering life does tend to gear up in the fall. so let's all look forward to our fun stuff and meanwhile, i guess we'll all have to employ our own version of the zone. personally, i don't have nearly as much going on as you do and when i do get swamped, my coping mechanism is to a much, much lesser degree than your zone... i put my head down and plow ahead as long as i can, and then i nap. i'm a champ at naps. there's a chance i smoke a few extra cigarettes too. sigh.

  2. ahhh naps. I do love them so! cigs. not so much :)