Ambition, being driven, is such a sought out characteristic of many young adults and full grown individuals. I like to think that some people are ingrained with the ability to compete and win against all odds. Others lead a life with parents that strive to demonstrate hard work ethic and climbing up the ladder of life one excruciatingly painful step at a time. Sometimes the planets align and a person is born into both scenarios with the gift of unwavering perseverance and an environment that displays resilience through up bringing. Without being narcissistic, I like to think that this person closely related to me. I was born with the innate ability that I can do just about anything as long as I find the means necessary to do so.
To say that my parents struggled would be an understatement. I listened to them tell the story this weekend about the year my brother was born. He was in the NICU for months after pre-term delivery. My parents had to borrow a car to get to the hospital. My dad stayed with nuns while visiting my mom there. He had taken time of of work to take care of my oldest sister and my mother and barely had enough money to buy my mom a drink on the way home from a long stay in STL. They told me about how my dad had bought a lottery ticket weeks before that was stashed in his wallet and ended up winning them seventy dollars on that trip home. My mom cried because it was a blessing from God that they were provided for that week. They have millions of stories like this. Millions I've never heard of pulling through at the last minute either by luck or pure hard work. They struggled like this until my dad stopped swinging a hammer for a living and had been on with the state police for five years. They didn't get on their feet solidly until I was moved out and in college.
At a young age I knew I had to be the best or close to the best academically in order to not struggle the same way that they did. I flew through middle school and high school without a wink. Always doing what I needed to do and not really spending a lot of social time doing it. Balancing a good academic career with exceptional extracurricular activities in order to secure scholarships, which I did. I used every resource I had at the time securing further free education with my talents in music. I tutored students part time and waited tables as many days a week as possible to make of the gap to get my bachelors. I additionally secured an assistant ship in graduate school and was smooth sailing until my last year. The last year I delivered my first child via c-section and returned to school two weeks later still heavily medicated, wounds still fresh with my mother beside me. I pushed myself beyond recognition to finish school and not have to struggle like my parents did. I wrecked my mind and body in the process. Throughout my residency I managed my capstone review, a sixty hour non paid work week, a child, two houses to pay for, and a husband who didn't know who he was or what we were after six months in the police academy. Still I finished because that is who I am. I don't know how not to push and rise. I've never accepted anything less.
Through my last year before I started employment I returned to sports and physical endeavors to relieve daily mind and body stress. You have to tear yourself apart to build yourself back, right? Only those that strive for excellence can understand that. My first pregnancy I went from 120 to 192 on my delivery date. I had a lot of work after that to get back to a healthy state of mind. It takes a lot out of you having to spend all your time and efforts on eight years of education while your body goes to pot. So I did it. I ran hundreds of miles my last year up north. I shaped and dropped to get my head back in the balance game. I moved back home and started my doctoring career. I kept it healthy and remained an alpha in my mind. Keeping up with the weekly grind while Mike still lived 4 hours from me. I worked, daycared, fed, bathed, exercised and I did it damn well. We then planned for Ev when Mike moved home because when you have ambition like me, who likes to settle when things calm down? This time I didn't let my body fall apart. I ate great and was on a 40 ounces of water before work at 7am type of regimen. I ran the first trimester, but stopped due to my hips. I still delivered at 187, but it was mostly water and came off quickly. I got back into everything after I finished nursing and all was great. Six months into running I had my second hip injury. I couldn't walk for almost two weeks. Its the curse of being invincible and young, you push through things that are painful until there is nothing left to push. Three months of physical therapy and what I walked away with was strength train. So I started strength training. Crossfit is amazing. You develop a different perception of yourself. You develop a family that sees this perception and projects you in a light that you are the best version of yourself right now. You are your own alpha even if you've had better days.
It was amazing while it lasted. I've never been that accepted and have never shared the same type of goals with so many people at once. For almost six months I felt injury free until the last month. I started having more major flare ups that slowed me significantly, but when you get such a high from that activity your brain blocks out pain and you push. Push I did. I went back at the first of the year feeling marginally better, but guilty that I hadn't been to the gym in three weeks. I should have known better. A month before that I could easily overhead squat half my body weight and during that workout I couldn't even squat with a bar.
The next three weeks were a blur of Xrays, MRIs, doctors, pain, and sleeping. This has by far been the most devastating thing that in my recent history as I'm pretty immobile. The first week I couldn't even stand without vomiting. The second I could stand but not over five minutes and now I've been remaining stable at walking under 5-10 minute intervals and not being in extreme pain unless I over do it. It's been really hard over the past few weeks to let other people pick up where I am lacking/ unable to. It's been a psychological thriller not being able to pick up my son. Not being able to get laundry out of the drier. Not trusting myself to drive because of the pain and the fact my right leg and foot goes numb. There comes a point in time when you feel like you've worn out your welcome with your own family, where you feel like you've used up all your favors. This is the week when I feel like I'm there. Don't get me wrong, my family has been amazing at helping me out with the boys and while Mike works. All the immobility is what plays tricks on you. Being immobile for this long alters your perception. Every few days I think maybe this is just in my head and I try some amazing feat like loading the dishwasher or walking through a parking lot to a store only to pay for it grievously the next day. When I get these spurts of altered perception where I think I'm better than what I am, I think maybe my family thinks I'm just making this up. Maybe they think I'm lying here because I'm lazy. I should try to make dinner only to lie in bed that night with pulsing shocks throughout the right side of me. I never realized injury like this could be tainted with such highs and lows. This being said by a woman who went through two abdominal surgeries after 10 pound boys each time.
Throughout my entire life I have looked as ambition and drive as such an overwhelmingly positive thing as it has gotten me so far in my young life, but right now ambition and drive is really not my friend. When all you've done throughout your life is move and push, it is hard to still have your pushy mind, but a body that just can't. I've had so much time to think about myself and how my mind and or body can't tell the difference between regular pain from breaking my body down from a workout and debilitating injury pain. I don't think I've ever really truly experienced the negative effects of ambition. Surgery is in one week to put me on the mend and I have many more restrictions on life than what I had prior, which is one hard pill to swallow. Excuse me while I have a mini crisis.