Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Pursuing Success

Friday, January 5th, 2018

This was written a few years ago. It showed up in my feed again and does occasionally. It’s a good reminder to me of a time when I was at a really good place in my journey.

If I think about what was going well and why I was at my healthiest it’s easy to pinpoint how I got there. I got healthy while going to school, exercising, and raising my kids. I was able to devote time to taking care of myself and my family while investing in my future goals. It was through those disciplines that I got to my healthiest and happiest place I have ever been. It was then that I was able to finally be well enough to pursue a career.

It is my current goal to regain that level of health that was lost due to external stressors and physical illness by focusing on my own self care, investing in personal development and providing for my family’s daily care. It is my goal that in time I can return to part time work, but not until I am holistically healthy.

This is a huge financial strain on our family and not a decision made because we can afford it, but one made because we know we can not afford not to take care of my health knowing how dangerous a position it places me in when I am unwell. I feel extremely guilty for the burden this puts on my family, but I am trusting that God will provide for our needs and that in time not only my health will improve that the overall health of our family will as well – including our finances.

My story isn’t over yet and for that I am grateful.

Queen of a broken heart

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

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).

Nevertheless she persisted…

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Last year I signed up for the Brokemans Half marathon.  At the time I was healthy, well healthy for me. At that time I had recently completed a half marathon and was inspired that I could keep up that distance over the months in between.

Life happened. I got pneumonia. Several times. I gained weight from repeated doses of steroids for pneumonia and upper respiratory infections. More recently I had surgery and that was the final deciding factor that a half marathon was completely not doable right now. Last week I convinced myself I could do 4 miles. I had been keeping up my mileage, at least walking 2-3 miles a couple times a week. I had started testing out running intervals again, but it was very slow going and every day was dependent on how I felt that day whether or not I tried or just was content with being out of bed and able to walk through my illness.

Two days before race day I decided I couldn’t do it. I attempted to run and it went poorly. I was sick again and was in a lot pain. I was upset and frustrated that I couldn’t beat this, that was Friday.

I woke up on Saturday with a fire in my belly. I was angry. I was angry I was allowing my body to set my course. I was angry I was being limited by an invisible demon. I was angry I was giving up. I was determined to fight for my health. I know I am happiest when I’m on the trail. I know I’m content when I’m giving it my all, even if it hurts. I know even if there are tears along the way, every step is worth it because I am in control. That in those moments, even when it may not feel like it, I am winning the battle.

So I went to bed late Saturday with voices telling me I couldn’t do it. Voices that said it will be too cold that I should just sleep in. Voices that said I stayed up too late and I probably just shouldn’t bother trying. Voices that said I was too sick to do it. Voices that said I was going to make myself sicker by doing the race. Voices that told me I wasn’t good enough to be at the race with other runners. Voices that said I wasn’t healthy enough to be in a race. Voices that said I was too weak. Voices that said others would judge me when they saw me walking the entire race because I couldn’t keep up. Fear that made me worry about talking to other runners because I didn’t want them to find out I was voiceless and try to convince me I shouldn’t be out there with them. Fear that said what if something happened on the course and Dean wasn’t around and I was voiceless and couldn’t communicate my name or any of my health information to the medical team?

These were the voices that kept me up late into the night. These were the voices I rejected as I woke at 6 am and laid in bed for 40 minutes until finally I decided to quickly get ready to head out the very last minute to leave for the race. I arrived 10 minutes before my event was to start, leaving me just enough time to pee and get to the start line. Which means I avoided talking to anyone and was able to quell any worry of anyone finding out how sick I was at the start of the race.

No one knew I took pain pills before and after the race. No one knew I needed my inhaler to make sure I could breathe afterward. No one knew I was in unbearable pain for the first 1.5 miles, even though I was just walking.

What happened after those painful first few miles? I cried. I caught a glimpse of the sun through the trees. I let go of the fears. I let go of the pain. I let go of the worry. I just put one foot in front of the other and took in the beauty all around me. I worshiped along with the music I was listening to on my headphones.

I eventually started doing run/walk intervals. The pain subsided. For 2 miles there was bliss. Pure, heavenly, painfree, peace. It was short lived and replaced by other issues but for a brief period of time I experienced the one thing I can only find when I run. I don’t know why it happens or why it only happens sometimes. But sometimes, when I run I feel good. Really good. It doesn’t usually last and the aftermath is usually pretty bad, but for the brevity of it, it’s almost always worth it.

So it was worth it. I will keep fighting. I don’t know what’s wrong with my body and accept that I may never know. But I know that for me running or run/walking is the one way that I can escape it, even if briefly and not even always consistently. Some days I can barely get out of bed. Other days I can run with no pain. It makes no sense. There’s no rhyme or reason to it.

But yesterday, for a little while, I saw a glimpse of glory and I am grateful for it. I will keep fighting for those moments. Even if it means there will be pain and tears along the way, the reward is worthwhile.

 

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)