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The naked truth

Posted in Health

running uphill
The road is so winding and narrow, that music is out of the question. I have taken up running, in a surprise move (I haven’t gone for a run in the last 25 years) spurred by a casual comment sofa girl made about wanting to start running 5Ks and by the nutritionist I have been seeing as part of my cancer care – she wants me to up my muscle mass a little bit, and I know I have to up the ante of my cardiovascular workouts.

Running seemed the easy thing to do. Put on my shoes, walk out of my house and go. Never mind that I am confronted with only hills and not a stretch of flat road, added to which are the twists and hairpin turns that prevent me from listening to music, lest an idiotic teenager on a thrill seeking expedition rounds a bend and doesn’t know how to avoid the middle-aged woman in pink socks running uphill, having a conversation with her lungs to please stop protesting, while listening to Eminem. Better be alert.

Once I get to the entrance of the state park, I stretch for a few minutes then turn around and head for home: 40 minutes, 3.7Ks. Pretty decent for a beginner, or so I would like to think. Please do not burst my bubble if you know otherwise. Running helps me rearrange my thoughts and organize bits of ideas for blog posts. It also gets me out of my head and, these days, it’s a bonus.

I notice things I don’t while I drive or if I am busy managing two large dogs on a mission: the shushing of the eucalyptus trees in the winds; the two llamas one of the neighbours is now keeping next to the stables (what are llamas good for anyway?); the rhythmic toc-tocking of my steps on the asphalt; the smell of manure.

The last trek up my steep driveway nearly kills me every time but the full glass of water I reach for as soon as I close the door behind me has never tasted so good. I am sweaty, and a magnet for dog licking so I peel the layers off and jump in the shower. The hot water soothes the muscles and cleans away the stickiness. It feels more cleansing and more indulging tha the daily run of the mill shower.

With the corner of my eye, I see the stitches that, until yesterday, were on my right breast, fall to the ground and I kneel to stop them being washed away by the water. I dry off slowly, wrap myself in the pale pink towel and walk to the mirror for the moment of truth. At my first, passing glance nothing seems to be amiss. As hard as I try to locate it, the scar is invisible. But on (not so) closer inspection half of the pleasant curve underneath my tiny breast has gone. I am not sure how I feel about it.

One part of me is elated that surgery has advanced so much that a lumpectomy does not leave a woman disfigured. Another part knows the asymmetry will be a reminder for a long time to come, one I wouldn’t dream of erasing with breast implants.

I am still whole.

Christmas-Tree-Lane-signsC&S is taking a short break. See you in a week and Happy Happy Holidays to all our readers!

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11 Comments

  1. Running! Wow! Good for you. It’s too hard on my knees, my Achilles, my back, whine, whine, but that’s fantastic that you feel strong enough to get back into it. Wishing you all the best for 2016!

    January 7, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Welcome back! We will see how much my knees and joints can take but I figured that once or twice a week should be doable.
      A very happy 2016!

      January 8, 2016
      |Reply
  2. “Fleas Navidog,” ladies. Looking forward to more thoughts and adventures in 2016 from both of you!

    December 26, 2015
    |Reply
  3. Running is my exercise of choice. I actually don’t think about much of anything while I run (other than getting to the next corner, or getting through the next 100m) but I always feel less stressed afterwards (all those endorphins, right?)

    P.S. I gotta say, it’s been really inspiring reading the posts on C&S this year. It’s kind of reassuring/comforting to know that there are people like you out in the world 🙂

    December 22, 2015
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      This is one of the nicest compliments we have ever received. It was always our intention to start the blog to connect with like-minded women and we know we have succeeded in that regard. You write so beautifully and it is always such a pleasure to read you.
      Thank you for being part of our community and happy happy holidays!

      December 22, 2015
      |Reply
      • Aww you’re too kind! Happy holidays to you too 🙂

        December 23, 2015
        |Reply
  4. I keep thinking about starting running. I should but I find it boring, plus I am very bad at it. Well done for keeping at it and for the post. Very good post.

    December 22, 2015
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I always thought running would be boring too and that deterred me (plus the fear of losing my yoga flexibility and damaging my knees). But you would be surprised at how entertaining your thoughts can be while you run. Let’s see how long I can keep it up for! Thank you for the compliment and happy holidays!

      December 22, 2015
      |Reply
  5. Your run sounds so different than my East River one skirting the skyscrapers. Would love to do a swap. I’ll trade you an old bicycle wheel, friendly seagull and three desperate fishermen for a llama. Happy holidays! X

    December 22, 2015
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      While reading your comment, I realized I lied: I went for a run last year, in London, along the Southbank, starting at Vauxhall Bridge, along the MI5 building. It was glorious, the sun was shining over the Parliament; it was early in the morning and nobody was about. Not quite the East River but running along the river can be peaceful too. No llamas. Although they are a pretty rare sight here too. I have strange neighbors. Merry Merry Christmas!

      December 22, 2015
      |Reply

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