Thursday, May 6, 2010
Yin and Yang
Let’s face it: I’ve never been a B-cup. Ever. Well, maybe in middle school. But no matter how much weight I lose, even when I’ve worn a size 2, I am always able to stretch a sweater like Dolly’s little sister. Blame genetics.
So imagine my surprise when the technician at my cardiologist’s office told me on Wednesday that for my stress test, I would need to sprint on the treadmill for as long as possible, at a 10 percent incline. In a hospital gown. And braless.
A hospital gown? OK, it’s not running tights and a tank. So, fine.
Braless? Well, that’s another story.
What were the girls to do?
Honestly, I laughed when I heard this news. Surely, you jest…
Nope. She was serious.
Running. Uphill. For as long as my body would allow. Well, I can run for four to five hours. Certainly, not sprint that long, but I can keep going and going.
But braless? In an unsightly, flapping gown?
Well, I had to do what I had to do. And so I mounted the treadmill, a belt of wires attached to my chest to monitor my heart rate. Soon, the belt began to spin. Faster. Faster. The technician wanted to know: could I run faster?
Nearly 90 percent of my body could. Breathing? Check. Legs? Check? Form? Check. Unfortunately, it was the other 10 percent that just couldn’t keep up. Yin and Yang.
First, I compressed my left arm across my chest and used the right one to balance myself. Then, I switched. I kept this up for roughly 10 minutes of an 8-minute mile. Eventually, I ran with one hand cradling each cup to prevent injury to the rest of my body. You never know what can happen when you allow restricted body parts to fly and be free.
After a while, however, I needed to keep up with the belt, which was now at an advanced pace. And I needed to let go so that I could use both arms to balance my stride. I lasted for about 30 seconds. The noise alone—which was audible to my audience of two—was too damn embarrassing for even me. And I’ve done some really cringeworthy things. The pain of flying C’s was simply too unnatural for civilization.
I. Must. Stop. Now.
The technician asked: “Why, are you tired?”
No. But they are.
And so I stopped.
My heart rate had exceeded 180 beats per minute, which was the goal. I hopped off and someone immediately took my blood pressure: 110/67. Sweet. The images on the screen? Looked like everything was still beating in my ticker.
The only pain: the throbbing of Yin and Yang who felt as though someone threw them inside of the dryer with a pair of sneakers. Thumpety-thumpety-thump. Still, as I got dressed, I focused on the importance of my visit rather than a temporary busting of my bust.
For as Buddha said: "To keep the body in good health is a duty; otherwise, we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” Strong and clear. Is there any other way? Not in this temple.