Thursday, March 1, 2012
Ganko or When Our Power Words Turn Against Us
Sadly, despite my adoption of the word 'Ganko' as a personal power word for my fitness goals, its original meaning is not entirely negated. In fact, as I found out recently, the negatives can remain true to the point of unnecessary personal risk. Long time readers of my blog may remember that I got very sick last summer with a respiratory flu that really threw me for a loop and cost me about two months of training, and since that time, I have been on a steroid inhaler. I had hoped that this would be something to gradually stop using and return to breathing normally. I usually take it at night, and have no breathing issues for the following day. However, I don't like of being dependent on a steroid, nor do I like adding asthma or possibly COPD to my list of health concerns. So, every time that get towards the end of an inhaler, I attempt to ween myself off of the medication in hopes of resuming life without breathing issues. Usually, after a day or two of constricted breathing, I have seen the light and gotten a refill for my inhaler. Well, recently my "ganko-ness" kicked into high gear and despite spending two days with chest constriction and making a doctor's appointment, I refused to admit that I have some form of asthma or breathing issue, and went to the Y an to a "football conditioning" class: lots of sprints, agility drills, and stairs. I began to feel really bad about halfway through the class. My chest was constricted and I was fighting some kind of side/back stitch. Breathing became more and more difficult to the point where by the end of class, I felt lightheaded and dizzy. I ended up going straight home and taking a rescue inhaler that I haven't needed in months. It took me nearly an hour to feel close to normal. By the end, my wife was worried, and I felt foolish that I had been Ganko in the worst kind of way.
Both professional and recreational athletes often have difficulty knowing when to push through an ache, pain, or illness. However, I think even though they are often blinded by their drive to achieve or any number of other factors, I doubt that they feel the deep feeling of self loathing that someone new to the world of fitness feels when they face injuries and illness. I could be wrong, but I know many people, who once they have found the motivation get off the couch and change their life, mistake the need rest and injury or the signs of illness for a personal failing or weakness. It's often been said there's no zealot like a convert and in the world of Fitness, running, and athletics, it seems particularly true. However, in this case the zealot's wrath is most often applied to themselves rather than those around them. In my own case, I am still learning to toe the fine line between the multiple interpretations of my personal power word. Because, I am and hope to remain 'Ganko'. I just need to make sure that I breath deep and fall on the positive side of the word.