So I was thinking yesterday about what it really means to be Erin’s personal medical support staff. Most people would think that it would be making sure Erin does not get sick and die. Good thought. But, as a nurse, I know that keeping Erin healthy is more than just making sure she does not get sick and die on our cross-Gambian adventure.
Nurses are trained to thnk about the whole person, not just the bits that keep you alive. Though her 430km expedition will be an extremely demanding physical feat with the running, heat, humidity and dietary changes, Erin’s body can likely handle it without aid (as long as she does not get Typhoid!). However, if you’ve never immersed yourself in a completely different culture and lifestyle you may not realize the impact it will have on you. Along with those changes, and the stress that will come for Erin knowing that everyone is counting on her to run such a great distance in 17 days, Erin will need strong emotional support as well.
As her friend and support person, I had told Erin that MAYBE I would run short distances with her during the toughest parts of her run (I am anything but a runner, by the way). Now, since I have not been off my couch since September (except to go to work when necessary or to mix a new drink of rum) I am not exactly in shape to run. I realized if I was going to do this, I better do SOMETHING and quickly before I start to mold on my couch. So, yesterday I completed my very first outside winter run (and yes, I realize it was not exactly a hardcore winter-running day, but it’s a start for my virgin-to-the-cold-lungs). It probably was not much of what you runners would call a run and I have no idea how far it was, but it was twenty plus minutes of sprinting/jogging/walking. Twenty minutes of not being on my couch anyway.
I always keep my word- so here goes my training!