Art of Breathing / running

Day 164 of OUR 365 Day Odyssey

Today’s Inperspire BINGO word:  walk

Remember yesterday’s Art of Breathing post when I was advocating embracing the wild?  Well, I had a collision with the wild…a honey bee.  Now, honey bees and me, we don’t mix.  It’s not that I don’t love honey, and I am fully aware that without bees we would have an ecological catastrophe, but, I am allergic to bees; at least I was the last time I was stung – in 1966!  Yes, as a wee girl of 6 years I was stung on the foot while running through the clover in our backyard.  As soon as it happened I began to swell, even my eyes were swollen.  My mom, in her infinite mom wisdom, put Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer on it, which breaks down the protein from the venom, and eventually I got better.   Since that time, I have become an expert in avoiding bees, until today…  

I was just running along, enjoying myself, listening to Gnarls Barkley’s “Run”, I was singing: 

Yeah I’m on the run
See where I’m coming from
When you see me coming run
Before you see what I’m running from
No time for question asking time is passing by

when I felt a sudden and intense pain in my forearm.  I stopped and looked down and there was a bee – just stinging away.  It actually took my brain a moment to register what was happening.  I just stood there thinking, “what should I do?”   I was kind of scared…what if I went into some kind of anaphylactic shock?  Of course, that was a ridiculous thought, but it did come to my mind.  To make matters worse, I was standing in front of the house of the person we call “Sweeper Man” because he sweeps his sidewalks ALL day long.  I certainly was not about to ask him for help.  So I flicked the bee off and pulled the stinger out.  My arm started to swell and I was still a long way from home.  Then I thought to myself… 

“This reminds of the time when I was in Africa”  —  thinking this just made me laugh because it sounded like something Meryl Streep would have said as Karen Blixen in Out of Africa (“I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills…”).  

In truth, my last bad encounter with bees really did happen while I was in Africa,  in north-central Kenya, at Shulumai Rockshelter, which is miles and miles and miles from the nearest hospital.  We were digging in a rockshelter located high on the side of a mountain when we were suddenly engulfed by a swarm of bees (they were after the water from our sweat and canteens).  I pinned my hopes on the fact that these were sweat bees, not honey bees, and therefore I might not be allergic to them, but I still panicked a bit.  I moved as quickly as possible, trying not to draw the attention of the bees, to a small tent we had set up just down from where we were digging.  I zipped/sealed myself inside until the bees finally went away (I also spent a lot of time while in the tent thinking that it was possible that one of the bees had slipped into the tent with me and I just about drove myself crazy trying to make sure this wasn’t the case!).  

Now, back to the present, not knowing what else to do, I decided to take the advice of my “embrace the wild” post and to just keep running.  I said to myself, be carefree, don’t worry so much, but I kept a close eye on the sting to make sure that my arm wasn’t blowing up like a ballon.  When I got home I put some Benadryl on the “sting site”.  I would have put Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer on it, as my mom did so many years ago, but we’re vegetarians and that’s just not something we keep in the house :). 

So, it’s been about an hour now, and do you know what?  I don’t think I am allergic to bee stings anymore.  It’s taken me all these years to find this out.  

In honor of the wild, here is a quote by Isak Dinesen, aka, Karen Blixen, who wrote Out of Africa.  I visited the Blixen house while I was in Kenya and it is everything you can imagine and more. 

Karen Blixen on Safari

“When in the end, the day came on which I was going away, I learned the strange learning that things can happen which we ourselves cannot possibly imagine, either beforehand, or at the time when they are taking place, or afterwards when we look back on them.”  ~Isak Dinesen 

Have a wonderful Sunday.  I hope you finish the boot camp challenge with ease.


9 thoughts on “Day 164 of OUR 365 Day Odyssey

  1. Wow, what a story!!! And that Africa story as well! I must say, that movie is one of my all time fav movies!!!!!! Glad you survived it & now know you have less to fear!

    I had a great run this morn. Warmer here finally so shorts & NO sweatshirt today! Yahoo!

    • Out of Africa is one of my favorites too! We are two peas in a pod 🙂 Isn’t it nice…no sweatshirt. My favorite time of year.

  2. Just finished with Zumba. Our instructor gave us a new song at the end and it is super fun. I could just let go and dance my little heart out.

    Update on the bee sting – it got worse – but I still okay. The Zyrtek is helping, but right now it is stinging and itching and red – it looks yukky.

    I have to get my boot camp done without Jimmy, who is working the morning shift, so we can go to a graduation party. I better get my rear in gear!

  3. Bees can be very scary. I am glad to hear you survived a bee sting and sweeper man. Greg and I attempted the challenge this week and failed due to an unexpected visit to the vet, with Lucy our cat. So we are a lot lighter in our wallets but not our waistlines. Happy Sunday!

  4. Happy Sunday everyone!

    Karma, I hope your sting gets better. 🙂

    Today, I broke my own personal record biking…biked for 36 miles! This beats my old record by almost 10 miles! I thought of Dana (I hope Lucy is better soon) and her photo posted because we were fortunate enough to see several bald eagles flying above us! It was perfect weather for biking today! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Zumba is tomorrow night…the best part of my Mondays!

    • Mary – You are just so sweet. 36 miles – that deserves a huzzah! I can’t believe you saw bald eagles. Were you biking near Alton? Jimmy and I ride the Katy Trail near Augusta, maybe we need a change of scenery. And speaking of scenery, I LOVE your landscapes. I too love landscapes — the looking at them, the living on the them, the sacred spaces and places on them –the way people in the past used the landscape and thought of the landscape. Your landscapes look like mixed media? – They are beautiful and the John Haines quote is so perfect.

      Will I see you at Zumba for the Cure this Friday? I am asking in a purely non-stalker kind of way 🙂

      • Hi, Karma. Hope the baking soda is working for your arm. That is what my mom swore by when we were growing up since my brother is allergic to stings, too.

        Yes, Dan (my bff/husband) brought me to Alton to bike. It’s tough to get to Zumba on Sundays when the weather is amazing and he wants to spend the day biking. We love the Katy Trail near Augusta, too, and have probably biked by you and Jimmy without knowing it! 🙂 Yesterday was my first time biking that path from Alton, but I think you and Jimmy would really like it. (I thought of Jimmy’s encouragement to “mix-it-up” when I found out I was biking a new path.) We biked from Alton to Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton. Dan isn’t a big fan of the gym, but he loves to bike and is really amazing on a bike. He is the best personal trainer for biking for me because I really have to work hard to feel like I am not slowing him down. 🙂 It was his idea that I beat my personal best record…of course he didn’t tell me this until we had biked 14 miles. 🙂 I think he would like the “when your world becomes the next 30 seconds” motto.

        Thank you for the compliments on my mixed-media landscapes, too. You can see why it is hard for me to resist working out/exercising in nature.

        I will definitely see you at Zumba for the Cure on Friday!! I think I go to the same Sunday Zumba class as you, when I do go, and was hoping to meet you.

        Thanks for your posts!

  5. P.S. My bee sting is actually worse. I am liberally applying a baking soda and water paste and finding some relief in that. I now know why I have avoided bees so carefully and so well all these years. ~Karma

  6. Bee Stings are so painful. I know I’m writing this days later but I certainly hope it has cleared.

    I ran a really wet and soggy 5K this morning in Mississauga. I went in with no expectations (especially given the weather) and ended up finishing 7th gal and with an age group award – and I set a PB (since having children, so in 10 years). I’m pretty excited about how my running is going right now – especially given my age. This is going to be a real focus for me in the next few months.

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