Queen of a broken heart

The last time I did the queen bee was in 2014. I was at my healthiest – my lowest adult weight after losing over 90 lbs, able to run and was having mostly painfree days. I had recently graduated college and life was going well. Dean & I had recently overcome some difficulty in our marriage, but we were at a point where things were turning around.

Since then, I’ve struggled with countless health setbacks and the stress of it all has taken a toll on every area of my life. I’ve gained some weight back due to those issues, but have been able to maintain a little more than 50 lbs lost since my heaviest. The last few months have been extremely difficult – physically, emotionally and mentally. I’ve cut back on my hours at work to be able to focus on healing in all areas of my life, out of necessity not laziness or because we can afford it. I’ve been reaching out for additional support and it’s been exhausting, but I know it’s needed.

As I’ve tried to survive the last few months on my own, it became evident I couldn’t do it alone. I was going through the motions every day but that was all. While I have been training for a half marathon, I found very little joy in what I was doing. In the past I enjoyed going out and training. I would enjoy time spent outdoors on the trails. Recently I have had no joy, in any area of my life. I kept pushing myself to continue doing the daily things like walking, training and trying to participate in my family’s life but it wasn’t helping. I was still feeling lost and stuck in a hopeless place.

With the help of our newfound friend, Ozzy, I have been prompted every morning to get out of bed. If it weren’t for him, I can’t say I would make that choice every day. I am grateful that I had the insight after grieving Ginger to know that I needed that kind of the help every day. Thanks to his help, I have consistently trained for today’s race. So today, I got up and anxiously laced up my shoes. I was in pain before my feet hit the floor. I knew it was going to be a difficult day, doing a half marathon or otherwise. I was thankful I had prepped my gear last night, otherwise I don’t know that I would have made it out the door at all today. I was running late and due to lines at the port-a-potties I actually was one of the last half marathoners to start. I didn’t realize the other participants waiting behind in the corral were waiting for the 4 mile event to start. I finally asked one of them why their bib was a different color and unfortunately without pre-race stretching headed off to the start line and up the first hill of the race.

For me, the first two miles of any race or training are always painful, with or without a warm up. This race is even more difficult as it literally is 2 miles uphill from the start. I was surprised at how well I did on the hills considering, cardio wasn’t my issue as much my leg pain that started before the race even began.

After that it was pretty much smooth sailing for a while. I even went pretty fast for a bit, aside from bathroom breaks. (My garmin clocked one of my miles as 12:22/mile – and that was just walking!) I ran into Dean around mile 9. This in itself meant more than you can know. We’re again in a tough place. Chronic illness, depression and our past issues can take a toll on any relationship. Our relationship is no different. Knowing he took time out of his day to be there meant a lot.

Miles 10-13 were very difficult. I was grateful to have run into some familiar faces along that portion of the course. It made a huge difference. I finished just a few seconds under my goal. I was really hoping to do better time wise than I did, but considering how my morning started and the need for frequent restroom breaks due to stomach issues it was amazing I even met my time goal at all.

I had a ton of valid reasons not to do a half marathon, today or ever. My body has real limitations. I am reminded of this daily. It’s for these reasons I fight every day to keep moving. It’s for these reasons I strive to push past those limits.  I finished the half marathon today for these and other reasons. This week in particular because I’m choosing to fight for my life, health and happiness during a time when things feel particularly hopeless.

Every step I took today was me choosing to put one foot in front of the other. I daily have to make that choice, and while it may not seem like a hard decision to make – if you were to walk a day in my shoes you might understand just how hard it is. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, not even myself most days. I fight through the pain, sadness and anger of having to try so hard to overcome what seems so easy to others because the only other choice is giving up – and that should never be an option. I could give more than 13 reasons why, but today I walked my 13.1 in honor of the countless reasons why I choose life, today and every day despite the pain.

Join me on October 15th to support those, like myself, who are impacted by mental illness and have either lost family members or friends to suicide or struggle with the daily fight to overcome the negative voices every day so they have the hope they need to never give up! Help us bring light to this important issue. You can donate online if you can’t participate in the walk. (I started a team called “Better together” or you can join as an individual if you want to walk, or you can just donate. There is no “fee” to join the walk other than the donation which is any amount you choose to give).

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