The negative side-effects of fasting is what this post was supposed to be about. But I can’t write that one, not today. Here’s why-
It is likely that the younger people reading this post will not have heard of the Hooters and maybe some of you older ones, too. They were a mildly successful band and had some hits in the late 80′s and early 90′s. They were more popular in Europe than the States. But they reformed in 2001 and released a new album in 2007 called Time Stand Still. I love the title of the album because that’s what many of us older folk would love to have happen. On the album is a song I have on my running play list called “I’m Alive”. It is a celebration of getting older and better. One of the lines is: “I’m looking older now than when I was a kid, but I’m feeling younger now than I ever did.”
In the middle of a ten-day fast where I am attempting to continue working and running, it is miraculous that I can feel that way. How did it happen?
I felt more like crying than singing this morning when I woke up. The end of the fast seemed a long way off and I was beginning to have some doubt that I would make it. My digital draft for “Harvest of the Heart” came late yesterday afternoon and there is so much I need to accomplish over the next week. In hindsight, I should have better considered the timing for this fast, and perhaps waited to start. I got about seven hours sleep last night, which is slightly less than I had gotten in the previous three nights combined. Still, I woke up exhausted. Eating my daily banana brought forth a similar reaction as it did yesterday- bleh. The weather looked to be nasty as it has throughout the fast.
A short, but very touching e-mail from my son, Phil, started the turn-around. Then I got an e-mail with a link to an interview that I had done earlier in the week on a site called Crazy Lady with a Pen . The interview went up today and was quickly picked up by another website- A Place for Writers. I hadn’t expected anything to come of the interview, so this small thing made me feel like good things are happening. With those boosts, I decided that it was a good time to get my run in. Imagine my surprise when I found the temps were approaching forty and the wind was in the mid-teens; not the low thirties and mid-twenties.
I was feeling understandably weak, but my attitude had improved immensely. I told my wife I was headed out so that she could keep an eye on me during the run. She can see a large percentage of my run across the prairie from her home-office window.
Almost as soon as I set foot out the door, I could feel the difference. I hadn’t gotten out of our driveway when I knew that a corner had been turned. I went right instead of left and added a little distance to the run. Mind you, I didn’t feel strong by any stretch. When you are fasting you are aware of every part of your body to a much higher degree. It is like every inch of your body is clamoring for attention; not hurting really, just there in a different way. At least this is true for me. So I was aware of the lack of energy in every muscle in my body.
But I also was hit by that feeling of lightness that was, in part, a natural result of the ten pounds I have lost so far. My legs were overjoyed at the reduced burden. This run felt better on my legs than any run I’ve had in… I don’t know, I can’t remember when my legs felt this good. If there had been any source of fuel, who knows how far I could have gone? Without energy, the run was still slow, but I put in five strides during it and my legs loved it.
The strength, resilience and spirit that rest, untapped, inside of a human body never ceases to amaze me and this fast is helping to remind me of that. If the reasons I put forth yesterday weren’t sufficient, this one is… for me.