Monday, June 23, 2008

The Block

Lately, I’ve had a case of “The Block”.

Writer’s block. Mental block. Nesting block. Physical block. Weather block. Emotional block. Questions block. Athlete’s block.

And yes, even Kitty block.

Last weekend was spent worrying about Gimpy Kitty. Aka Anabelle. Aka Nietzsche (Nathaniel’s new nickname for Anabelle. He insists that what doesn’t “break” the kitty, will “make her stronger). Worrying and wondering. As in are we going to adopt her or not...?

While holding her for 20 minutes last Saturday morning, Nate did refer to her as “Meat Puppet” once or twice. Before tearing up and claiming that his allergies were “acting up.”

The boy didn’t have me fooled: he’s in love with Anabelle/Gimpy Kitty/Meat Puppet/Nietzsche. And he’s agreed to let me adopt her.

In his words, “Maybe the House Monster could learn a thing or two from this kitty…” And then he finished by declaring, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a normal cat? One that doesn’t attack us or our friends?”

For the record, Anabelle enjoyed the male attention and wiggled – along with her two casted legs – in his arms.

So yes, we ARE adopting Gimpty Kitty. Pictures are on the way tomorrow after my visit. I promise.

But this brings about another, more serious question. Am I ready to be a mother of two cats? And a gimpy one at that?? This kitty has some serious special needs – and while I DO want to take care of her, love her with all of my heart, and help give her the best life possible, I’m terrified of introducing her into the volatile environment.

Because we have, as you are all aware, a House Monster of our very own.

And Tabbitha doesn’t like anything with a heart beat (except me). She tolerates The Husband. And attacks everything else.

But the vet clinic has agreed to help us out in any way, and that included giving me lots of instructions on how to care for AND introduce two cats to each other.

So it appears that my Kitty Block has finally been solved.

Until Thursday, when Anabelle comes home for the first time. That should be interesting, to say the least.

As for the other “blocks”, it seems that I’ve entered a new phase in my recovery. I’m finding it increasingly daunting to return to the athlete that I once was. There are days where I feel (for lack of better words) “flashes of brilliance”.

Swimming feels natural (and is not interrupted by inclement weather), the bike and I are one, and my run reminds me of my old self.

Then there are other days where the frustration is great, where the doubt grows with each kick, pedal stroke, or stride, and I question my ability to compete at the level that I was once at. It is times like these that I want to hide under the covers, a good book by my side, a House Monster to keep me company, and a bag of Peanut M&Ms to munch on throughout the day.

Luckily, this has only happened once.

The Peanut M&M part.

But the hiding under the covers with book and House Monster – that has occurred on more than one occasion.

And while I don’t want to deny this part of my recovery – as this is very real to me – I also feel that a part of me is being slightly irrational. I know I should focus on the good, be grateful for the opportunity to run in the first pace. For Pete’s Sake – be grateful for the fact that I don’t need a catheter to void my bladder. Ahem.

And there is never a day that I don’t recall my scary spinal doctor telling me “you will probably need to use a back brace for the rest of your life…probably need to use a catheter indefinitely…”

That moment will forever be seared to my memory.

But at the same time, I look back at the past 14 weeks in amazement. I have come so far, overcoming such incredible challenges. And the feelings that I have now are only natural. It is as though I am mourning the athlete I once was.

But walking is a gift. Running is Christmas Morning at every step. Same holds true for swimming and biking.

But it is still challenging.

So my current “block” about doubt and insecurity is something that I carry with me when I swim, bike, and run. It is not a fun burden, but at least I recognize what it is and why I’m doing it.

I just need to get over my block and keep on keeping on. Cliché, I know. But as I’m stumbling forward throughout this process, I need to hold on to whatever works. Cliché or not.

So House Monster by my side, Nathaniel cooking a great dinner of Lentil Stew with carrots, tomatoes, onions and spinach (thanks RR!), and the promise of a new Meat Puppet to arrive on Thursday, I press on.

I know that not every day will be easy. But each day that passes is one more for the recovery part of my journey. And now, I’ve got another member of my immediate family to cheer me on.


rr said...

Congratulations Mom of two! I hope the transition goes well.. and we rehabbed a broken legged kitty this winter, they recover remarkably fast. She'll be tormenting the HM in no time.

You will be the athlete you were. In fact, you might be even stronger from all the rest and from the new found exuberance for training. It will take time. But you are on your way.

Audrey said...

so yeah...with my recently broken jaw (bike accident) i'm alternating between being scared of my bike and upset about being on the sidelines vs. thankful i'm not paralyzed (i did land on my head...) i guess i have a few demons myself...

your progress has been amazing to watch though. i'm beyond optimistic for you as you already seem so strong in your recovery.

Train-This said...

Sister your progress is incredible. INCREDIBLE. Now did you sign up for IMCDA?

Beth said...

Congrats on being a new mom! :) Can't wait to see pictures of the meat puppet!! :)

I know it doesn't make it any easier to go through but do know that all those feelings you have right now about training and racing, etc...are all SO NORMAL. Been there many times myself. At first you are just soooo, sooo happy to be able to move, run, swim, etc... and then it gets frustrating and then you start to wonder when you will ever feel "normal" again. This too shall pass. Hang in there. Thinking of you Marit!!

Ness said...

congratulations on new kitty addition Anabelle! Hang in there with the recovery. You're doing great with the rehab and as with most things triathlon, the mental part is the hardest. You'll be kicking all our asses in no time, I have no doubt.

Alili said...

Marit-Yay for adding another family member:) It will all work out, all of it.

Trigirlpink said...

This year is marked as a tough one, no doubt about it. You will prevail, and probably not this season but there's tons more racing ahead. It seems far away, but it isn't.
As for Meaty. I'm so EXCITED to see how things go! I'm sure it will be fine. House is just gonna have to share, darn it!!
How about a picture of her???

LZ said...

Two cats are always better than just one!!! The introduction should all be good in the end.

If you still lived up in NC, I might have driven over to get the little gimpy kitty when you posted last week about finding a home for her. Although my two house monsters might have some issues.
Keep fighting through the "blocks",

Damie said...

I have been wondering how things were going with the new kitty. I swear Tab and Presley are long lost siblings. I know you are having your hard days, but I read and think-wow- she is doing all of that already! what a superstar!!!

Eileen Swanson said...

You are exactly what Damie called you - a superstar ;-) Hang in there, you will get back to doing everything better and faster than ever. It just takes time and tons of patience and courage...and you are one couragious woman!!

BTW - used your "toasted" comment on my post today - LOL


Kellye Mills said...

Yeah for the new kitty!! I love to say this, but everything does really happen for a reason and I personally don't think it's conincidence that this injured kitty has come to you for serious help at this stage in your recovery. If you ask me... it's the perfect situation!! I'm on the edge of my seat about this weekend. You've gotten my hopes all up!! Let me know what you decide!!

Courtenay said...

great news about the kitty! i hope tabbitha suprises everyone ;)

and hang in there. you've made such progress and you are doing so great, there is no reason why you won't continue to do so.

Greg Remaly said...

that's awesome about the kitty. I'm jealous - I too wish we had a normal second cat, one who doesn't pathologically hate and fear me for no reason.

in the meanwhile I've live vicariously through you/nathaniel - i'm looking forward to kitty pics and stories!

Katie Weaver-Jongerius said...

Oh there was no way that super hubby of yours could say no to the Kitty! What a very lucky Kitty!!

"Blocks" are made to climb over or jump off of...remember to throw your hand in the air and act like a kid again!!

KT Tri-Chick said...


Hey girlfriend! Thinking about you and your healing journey! Little miss kitty and you have a lot in common healing from your interesting? Sending you love, light, humor and healing! Lets catch up soon!