i had my first ever panic attack tonight. up until tonight i had no idea what a “panic attack” was. i had just seen them on tv.
it was horrible. absolutely horrible.
i was at the gym. actually, on the treadmill. and i was running my heart out. i had one simple mile to go. that’s all, 1.6 kilometres. i was running at a pace of 7 minutes, 30 seconds a mile. or 4 minutes 39 seconds a kilometre.
hard, but doable.
i wasn’t thinking. just running. watching commercials flicker up ahead. balancing my weight. swinging my arms. feeling strong. feeling good.
but then i looked down. and that’s when I saw it: 0.4 miles done.
what? omg. wait. that’s all? i can’t do this. i can’t do this. i’m going too fast. i can’t do this. it’s too fast. slow it down. 0.41. why isn’t it moving faster. i’m going to fail. i can’t do this….
my breathing got short. i started gasping. tears came into my eyes. i lost my breath. people were staring. my lungs hurt. i couldn’t do it. i wouldn’t do it. i jumped to the side. and tried to, unsuccessfully gasp for air. my lungs seemed to have collapsed. i couldn’t talk. i was just trying to get air, but no matter how big of a breath i took, i didn’t get any.
as i type this i can still feel the roughness in the back of my throat from desperately trying to find air.
my trainer watched me. let me work it out. then said, “you know that was all mental, right? you thought you were going to fail. so you did." i still couldn’t talk. i hadn’t found my breath yet. i crouched down. i was coughing now. trying to remove the smokey feeling from the back of my throat. gasping for air.
i was (am) very disappointed in myself. i let my negative thoughts own me. lead me. i believed i couldn’t do it. and so i couldn’t.
i never finished that mile. i couldn’t. i wouldn’t. physically or mentally.
there was little difference in me tonight compared to last week, when I ran that same mile at 9.0, but that little difference made the biggest difference in the end. the little difference of 'i can' verse 'i can’t.’