Emotions are painful

One of the things I struggle with a lot is managing negative emotions. Since fibro came along, and for a while before it was diagnosed I’ve been very quick to tears or frustration. It can be anything; an overly busy day, bad news, tiredness and pain. Even little things are enough to knock me sideways. […]

https://fibrofoggyness.wordpress.com/2015/07/23/emotions-are-painful/

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Looking up

I know that my last couple of posts have been downers. It really has been a rough summer, but it’s not all bad! I put a lot of effort into finding the good in a situation, so I wanted to take some time to talk about some of the good things that have happened over the last few months. 

For starters, I got engaged!! This happened back in May, so I’m more than a little late in announcing it, but it’s definitely been the highlight of my summer. As awful as this summer has been, there is one definite positive to come out of it: I have absolutely no doubts about the man I’m marrying. We’ve been through a lot since we got engaged and it’s only made us stronger. Even if the road gets rough, I know that he will be right there beside me every step of the way. I know that if I stumble, he’ll be there and when I regain my wings, he’ll soar right along with me. If there is a better feeling in this world, I haven’t found it. The wedding is set for early November and I could not be more excited. 

Of course I couldnt’t leave out the ring!

I’m also excited to get back on my feet. Yesterday, I got the official clearance from my doctors to get back to normal. (Yay!) It’s going to be a long road and I know it won’t be easy, but it’s nice to feel like I have at least a modicum of control back. I may be a house cat/couch potato by nature, but I’ve managed to change some of those tendencies and it’s been incredibly difficult to be forced into doing nothing. 

I’m looking forward to the challenge of getting myself moving again and I hope to have more good news to report soon! 

The light at the end of the tunnel

Saying it’s been a rough summer is a bit of an understatement. 

Several times, I started writing posts about what I was going through, but I could never get the words out. I’ve never been very good at expressing my struggles; the worse they get, the more withdrawn I become. That’s why I began writing this blog in the first place, it’s one way of dealing with life’s hurdles without the added stress of actually talking to someone.

Unfortunately, even writing out my thoughts is often difficult for me. I have no problem writing about happy, positive topics, but when it comes to pain or stress, I just feel like I’m whining. I know that there are others out there struggling with worse situations than my own and it just feels silly to sit here and whine about my problems, even when I know it will help me in the end. Which brings us to this current post, I guess I’ve hit my limit of what I can actually carry because now, the words are boiling over in my head, so here goes… 

I’ve been dealing with my own chronic illness for my entire adult life. I know how to live with it and I’ve (mostly) finally figured out how to ask for help when I need it. No big deal. It is what it is. Unfortunately, this summer I got a crash course in the monumental difference between living with a chronic illness and loving someone with a chronic illness. I may have said it’s harder to love a sick person than it is to be the sick person, but until now, I had no actual experience on which to base that observation. I can now say with absolute certainty that it’s true.  

I have no problem being the patient. I’m a great patient, (assuming you’re a doctor who doesn’t mind a million well informed questions). I do my own research before the appointment, I generally know exactly what kind of treatment I’m looking for and I’m usually fully aware of any side effects/complications involved. Unfortunately, none of this is very useful when you are not the patient. 

My fiancée has been dealing with his own chronic illness for about a year now, but over the last few months it’s been getting progressively worse and he’s had to resort to some more aggressive methods of treatment. I do what I can when we go to his appointments, but the doctors rarely want to hear from me. 

The worst part, however is having to sit idly by while he’s in misery. The hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life so far is watch him being hooked up to an IV for treatment. I knew he was sick, but until that moment, the severity of his illness hadn’t really hit me. He has to go to an infusion center every few weeks or so and seeing him in there with the other patients, (many of whom are receiving treatments for things like cancer), is heart wrenching. The first time we went in, I thought I was going to burst into tears. I know that his particular illness isn’t life threatening and I know that it is treatable, but knowing that there’s nothing I can do to help only adds to my everyday anxiety.  

That was all at the start of the summer. Between the added emotional stress, taking care of my fiancée and my own existing issues, I haven’t been able to keep up with my routine. If I’m honest, I stopped working out (regularly) at the end of May, due in part to feeling under the weather myself. Much of my summer was spent taking care of my fiancée, (while trying not to smother him with attention). I made a few sporadic attempts to get back into the habit of workibg out or at least walking daily, but those were brought to a complete halt earlier this month due to serious complications with my own health. 

I’m on the mend now, but this last month brought some very difficult decisions and more pain, both physical and emotional than I have ever experienced. I am not exaggerating when I say I now know what my own personal Hell would be; I’ve experienced it at the hands of doctors and nurses under the guise of “treatment”. Before these last few weeks, I was confident that I was familiar with pain. I was wrong. What I previously believed to be a “10”, (aka, the worst pain imaginable), is now only about a “3” on my scale. I laid there, on that table and the only thing I could do was endure it; there was no way to stop it, I couldn’t even move. All I could do was lay there, screaming inside my head, silently praying for it to be over. 

I think the worst part of this whole experience is that I was not expecting that level of pain. I knew that there would be some pain involved in my treatment, but I was led to believe that it would be minimal. Too late, I learned that I had been mislead, whether or not that was intentional on the part of my doctor, I cannot say. I only know that on top of the physical pain I felt during the procedure, I am left with a seething rage as well as a feeling of complete and utter violation. 

I know I’m being rather vague, but at the moment, it’s the best I can muster. I’m just not ready to delve into the details; I still have too much left to sort through before I can process it enough to make it comprehensible. 

I spent the last 2 years training myself to channel all of my stress, pain, anger, etc. into my workouts only to have that outlet unexpectedly taken away from me. I’m not confined to bedrest, but I’m not allowed to do much either. It’s a strange and very unpleasant sensation, not knowing what to do with yourself. Once, I would have turned to art, but there’s just too much pain and emotion to wade through. It’s as though I’m full to the brim and there’s just no way to channel it into any one thing. If I could run, I could burn enough of it off to make it more manageable, but at the moment, even walking is difficult. 

I’ve screamed, cried and raged, but still, I’m overwhelmed. I can feel the black hole of depression pulling at me, drawing me in; it’s taking all of my energy at this point to keep myself from sinking. Two years ago, when I first started writing this blog, I was in much the same state, except I had actually fallen into that hole and hit the bottom. My life was falling to pieces; I was alone, in pain and had no idea how to handle any of it.

I may be in pain now, but I am not alone. That knowledge is truly the only thing that keeps me going. Not only do I have my amazing fiancée, I have my family and I have those of you reading these words. Even if only one other person out there reads this, it is enough to remind me that I am not alone and that is the true source of light at the end of the tunnel.

Allow me to (re)introduce myself

It has been two years since I first decided to turn my life around and start writing about my journey. Looking back now, I can honestly, (and proudly), say that I am not the same person that I was two years ago. Since fighting fibromyalgia is an ongoing battle and I intend to keep chronicling my fight, I thought it would be appropriate to reintroduce myself to those of you who have wandered into my little corner of the web. 

My name is Christina and the most important thing you should know about me is that I am happy. I don’t just mean with my life or the people in it, I am happy with myself. For the last two years, I have been actively creating my own happiness, by seeking out the things that make me feel good and eliminating those that don’t. For me, happiness isn’t in my bank account or my jeans size, it’s in what I do each day. 
I am a runner. I am neither the fastest nor the slowest and I don’t run for miles at a time, but I run by choice. More importantly, I love it. Running has taught me how to listen to my body, I know when to slow down and I know when I can speed up. I have learned that having a bad run every now and then is a good thing; it allows me to truly appreciate the great runs. When things get stressful, I lace up my sneakers and I just go. Instead of punishing myself by wallowing in stress, I punish the pavement beneath my feet and I am free, even if it’s only for a few minutes. 
I am an artist, with a creative streak that refuses to be denied. I paint, draw, crochet and in case of emergency, (or boredom), sing weird little songs about my cats and house plants. 
I am also a teacher, although I don’t have a herd of students or a classroom to call my own. Instead, I have the privilege of working with two wonderful children for a few days a week in their home. I suppose that some might call me a “babysitter” or a “nanny”, but when was the last time you met a babysitter that enjoyed finger-painting or understood what a “teachable moment” was? Several year ago, I had given up on being able to ever put my passion and experience to good use, but I discovered my own path that allows me to continue teaching and interacting with children without putting my sanity at risk. 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that my life is all puppy dogs and cupcakes, (actually, there aren’t nearly enough cupcakes, for my tastes). I still have bad, (and really bad), days and I still get grumpy. I am still completely capable of being a hot tempered bitch, the difference is that I have learned how to manage it a bit better. Exercise gives me a proper outlet for both the pain and the rage. It also helps me fight the crippling depression that often follows a flare up and it allows me to clear my head, which is very useful for stressful situations. 
On the bad days, I have to fight against myself to keep moving, but if I have learned anything over the last few years, it’s that the clouds always pass. 

Acupuncture and shamrocks

Hooray for warmer weather! As much as I love snow, I’m really glad that it’s gone. It’s nice to be able to get out for a walk without having to put on 27 layers of clothing. Winter is hard for me because the cold hurts. I find it very difficult to stay active when it’s cold and dreary, which means it’s considerably harder for me to find relief from the pain caused by the cold. Staying active is the only sure fire method that works for me, but I still continue to look for other alternatives. If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll know that I’ve tried a wide variety of approaches to find pain relief and have had little success with most of them. Up until this point, the only thing I haven’t tried was acupuncture; however, I have finally decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. 

Honestly, to say that I am skeptical about this treatment is an understatement. It was all I could do to not roll my eyes when the acupuncturist I’m seeing gave me her spiel about how much better I would feel. The important thing is, I am willing to try. So far, I’ve had two sessions and I can’t say that I’ve noticed any change in my pain. What I can tell you is that after each session, I feel energized. Not just immediately after, either. After my first treatment, I noticed an increase in my energy for several days. I had my second treatment yesterday afternoon and I am definitely still feeling it. It’s not pain relief, but there’s definitely something happening, so I’m willing to keep at it. If I’m really lucky, this energy boost will last until Saturday and get me through the Shamrock 8k. Fingers crossed! 
Speaking of the Shamrock, I’ve got to say that I’m a little nervous about it. Like I said earlier, winter is a tough season for me, and I didn’t get to spend the time preparing for this race like I had planned. I had the same problem last year, so maybe this just isn’t the best race race for me. I’m still shooting to complete the 4.9 mile course in an hour and 10 minutes, which is the same goal I set for myself last year. My final time last year was 01:07:49, I’m honestly not sure I can beat or even repeat that, but I am darn sure going to give it my best shot! After my human pin cushion session yesterday, I went for a trial “run”, (which wasn’t a run at all, just a fast walk), and I managed to make it in just under 01:12. Not bad, considering that I didn’t push myself to the max; if the race was happening at 3pm, I’d be set. Unfortunately, it starts at about 8am… Let’s just say that I am not a morning person. 
Something else interesting happened while I was out on my walk yesterday. I found this: 

A “lucky” four leaf clover and on St. Patrick’s day, no less! Perhaps if I carry it with me on Saturday, it’ll bring me some luck? 

That’s all I’ve got for now, but I’ll be sure to check in after the race! 

Back in the saddle again!!

First off, many thanks to Aerosmith for providing my latest theme song!

In case the title of this post didn’t give it away, I am back up and running again. Literally. The last few months of 2014 were hectic, to say the least, and I fell off of my routine pretty hard. (I am rather miffed about admitting this next bit, but accountability is important, so here goes). Not only did I fail to lose the 8 pounds I gained from Christmas 2013, I managed to put on another 10 or so on top of that. See? I wasn’t kidding about having fallen off of my wagon.

Those of you who read some of my previous posts have probably seen me say something like this before. I wish I could say that this is the last time I’ll say it, but that’s really unlikely. Living with fibromyalgia involves a lot of stopping and starting. You get into a solid groove and then, WHAM!! the fibro steps in and knocks you for a loop. You can try to fight it, I know I’ve tried, but somehow I always find myself off track. Rather than sitting here feeling sorry for myself, I have come to accept that this is just part of my life. I’m like the itsy bitsy spider, (or that old Chumbawumba song); I climb up, I get knocked down, then I get up again.

So, now it’s time to get up and get back in the game. I’m back to counting calories, (ugh), and I’m once again walking almost religiously. I’ve decided to set my daily step goal to 11k, which, if I’m honest is something of a challenge for me, but with the help of my trusty fitbit, I’m getting it done. In addition to these tried and true methods, I’ve started working on creating meal plans for each week. While I find it to be somewhat tedious to actually write them up, I do like the structure the plans provide. No more standing in the kitchen staring into the fridge trying to figure out what to eat, I just follow the plan!

The best part is, this time around, I get to use the buddy system. My boyfriend, Aaron, is totally on board with the whole thing. With his help, I’m dragging my sorry butt out of bed and going for walks in the morning and soon, we’re going to add some strength training to the mix. Don’t get me wrong, he has been there for me every step of the way on this journey of mine, but mostly as a cheerleader, now he’s a full fledged participant and it’s awesome!

I’m thrilled to say that he will be joining me in running the Shamrock 8k this year! Since we don’t have a lot of time to train before the race, we’ve set our goal time at 70 minutes, which is the same goal I had for myself last year. Our plan is to use this race as a kind of baseline and then keep training for the Wicked 10k in October. If nothing else, it should make for a fun and interesting year!

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The (Lion) King & I

“Looks like the winds are changing.”

“Ahh.. Change is good.”

“Yeah, but it isn’t easy. I know what I have to do, but…”
— The Lion King

Once upon a time, if I wasn’t feeling well, I curled up on the couch and watched The Lion King. That was it. I didn’t cook, I didn’t tidy up around the house; to be honest, I barely moved from my spot, unless I had to. While The Lion King is still my favorite comfort movie, the winds have changed, and so have my rituals.

Recently, I was discussing fitness and overall health with an old friend of mine; we were busy talking about what keeps us motivated to stay active, and I couldn’t stop myself from absolutely gushing about my Fitbit. It was during that conversation that I realized just how much this tiny little device has influenced my everyday life. For the last year or so, I have worn it every single day. From the moment I get out of bed in the morning, until the moment I lay down at night, my Fitbit is, (literally), attached to my hip.

Some of you may be wondering at this point, what I’m even talking about, so before I go any further, let me explain what a Fitbit is. Basically, it’s a fancy pedometer: it counts my steps. Yes, you can go to the store and buy a basic pedometer for about $10. I tried that myself, but I wasn’t impressed; the cheaper devices are not very accurate and don’t provide enough information. What is it that makes the Fitbit so amazing? For starters, it syncs to my phone and puts all of the data it collects into an easy to read chart. At a glance, I can see precisely how active I’ve been. That little bit of information has changed my life.

Health experts recommend that adults get in 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day. When I first started using the Fitbit, I could easily go an entire day without reaching 1000 steps.

Before the Fitbit, I knew I wasn’t as active as I needed to be. I knew I was lazy and that the only way to describe my lifestyle was “sedentary”. The Fitbit took that information and gave me hard, visual evidence. What I saw shocked me. Like I said, I knew I was lazy, what I didn’t know was just how lazy I had become.

Adding the Fitbit to my routine was simple, all I had to do was wear it. It counts my steps, including flights of stairs and translates that into miles and calories burned. Once you sync the device to the website or your phone, it puts all of that info into a lovely little chart that shows you everything you need to know. It will also sync up with other apps, such as My Fitness Pal, so you can see your calorie intake and burn all on one page.

There is one other feature that I find particularly effective, even though I am slightly embarrassed to admit it: green smilies. When you hit your goals for the day, you get little green smiley faces next to the ones you reached. It’s a lot like getting that gold star at the end of the school day, and I often find myself doing laps around the house or even the grocery store just to make sure I get my smiley for the day.

I realize that this post probably sounds an awful lot like a product plug, but it’s not. This post is about change and just one of the ways I motivate myself to keep pushing. Change isn’t easy, (especially when you feel like the whole world is against you), but it can be done and now, I’ve got proof! I can’t say that I’ve spent the last right years fighting; in truth, the majority of my fight has only been in the last year and a half, but I wanted to show you where I started.

This was me in 2006.

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Here I am in 2011.

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And finally, this is me now.

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Keep fighting!

Time to get moving (again)!

It’s been a while since my last post, so this is me trying to get back in the swing of things. The hardest part has been just sitting down to write. The longer I put it off, the harder it became to find the words, so here goes!

To be honest, the main reason I have been quiet lately is that I really didn’t have anything positive to say. I’ve spent a lot of the last month packing and then moving into a new place, and not as much time as I should have on my personal needs. I’m still trying to stay active, but I’m not as active as I had been, not by a long shot. Even on the days I do manage to make it outside for a walk, it’s a struggle to hit my 10k step goal. The heat has a lot to do with this, but it’s not the only reason. In all seriousness, the heat is just the excuse I use to cover up the real reason I’m less active: I’m just too tired.

As much as I hate to admit it, the fatigue is kicking my butt. I just don’t have the energy to maintain that level of activity. I know that if I can get moving again, my energy levels will start to come back up, but I’ve fallen off of my own wagon and I’m struggling to get back on it. To anyone who hasn’t dealt with a chronic condition, it sounds like I’m making excuses for being lazy. I suppose that in a way, I am, but the important thing to remember is that I have not given up.

Yes, I feel like I’m back at square one, but this time, at least I know not only what I have to do, but also that it works. This isn’t something new to me. I know that if I can push through the initial pain and exhaustion things WILL get better.

I’m not entirely sure what caused me to stumble and then fall, but I’m pretty sure it started with a flare up. I recently gave in and had another round of trigger point injections in my upper back, this time with Botox. The fact that I felt it was necessary to even have the injections was a huge blow. I had been doing so well on my own and then WHAM! Out of nowhere I get hit with a flare up so bad that I actually went to my doctor and *requested* trigger point injections.

For me, trigger point injections have always been an absolute last resort, mostly because I hate them. They’re incredibly painful and they always take me out of commission for a few days, but every now and then, I reach a point where the pain is worth it to break the flare cycle. This was one of those times. Ironically, I had just finished typing up a blog post celebrating a full year injection free… No, you didn’t miss a post, I never published it because I got distracted, (and more than a little depressed), by the flare up and subsequent injections.

I mentioned earlier that my doctor added Botox to the trigger point injections, this was completely new to me. The idea is that the Botox basically freezes the muscles around the trigger point, keeping the knots from reforming for a few months. After doing my own research, I decided to give it a go. Was it worth it? I’m not sure yet. I do know that once the anesthetic wore off, these injections were much more painful than normal ones. My back was stiff and sore for over a week afterward. The flare up did break, but it remains to be seen whether or not the Botox has actually helped.

So, that’s the last month or two in a nutshell. Now that we’re all caught up, I am excited to say that I’ve got some new motivation to get moving again. Yesterday, I registered for the “Inaugural Harbor Lights 5k”, which will take place at the end of November.

If I want to beat my previous 5k time of 00:38:58, (which I totally do), I’ve got to get to work. Right now, my (comfortable) mile time hovers around 15 minutes, if I go full tilt, I can drop it to around 13 minutes. My goal for November is 10 minutes… Looks like it’s time to dig out my Couch to 5k app again!

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The Plan, One Year Later

Three hundred and sixty-five days have come and gone since I first decided to share my story. In that time, I have walked, (and even jogged), over 1,600 miles, lost about 35 pounds and 4 jeans sizes. In short, over the past year, I have taken my life back; fibromyalgia, while still an undeniable part of my life, no longer runs my life.

If someone had told me a year ago that I would make the changes I have, I would have said “that’s simply not possible”. This time last year, I was a wreck, in every sense of the word. Physically, I was in constant pain, over weight and completely exhausted. My emotional state was even worse; I was in the throes of a deep depression, suffering from panic attacks and utterly hopeless about my situation. My marriage had fallen apart and my other relationships were starting to fray as well. I felt completely powerless to stop any of it; I had lost control of my life and I honestly believed that I had no choice in the matter. I had spent so long allowing the fibro to dictate my actions that when my life fell apart, I had nothing of my own to cling to. I felt like a victim.

It wasn’t until I began to seriously contemplate suicide that I realized how wrong I was. There was one thing that I hadn’t yet lost: myself. I am, by nature, a fighter, but I had forgotten that. Somewhere along the way, I had stopped fighting and simply accepted the idea that fibromyalgia was going to run my life. That idea spread through my mind like a weed, choking out any hope or motivation I had. Thankfully, right when I needed it the most, I found the strength I needed to save myself. In that moment, I realized that the only thing stopping me from living my life on my terms was ME.

It was such a simple idea, but it was more powerful than anything I have ever experienced. Using this new understanding, I came up with a plan to heal myself. No more waiting around for someone else to come along and “fix” me, no more feeling sorry for myself. If I wanted my life back, I was going to have to fight for it.

Coming up with my plan was easy, putting it into action, however, was another matter altogether. Not only was I having to work against what my own body was telling me, I had to fight my own self doubt and the doubts of others. Most of my family and friends were incredibly supportive of my new outlook; unfortunately, a few of the people I had expected to be the most supportive turned out to be the most critical. At times, it seemed as if they were trying to undermine my efforts to change, going so far as to plainly tell me that they believed I couldn’t do it and even saying that despite my efforts, they saw nothing worth being proud of.

Typically, this is where people say things like, “I don’t care what other people think of me” or “their words can’t hurt me”. Well, for me, that’s not true. I do care, (probably way more than I should), about what those close to me think about me and I have always been overly sensitive about what other people say to me. Add that to my already delicate emotional state and you’ve got a recipe for a total breakdown. There were so many times that I wanted to give up, so many times that I very nearly did. It took me awhile, but I eventually learned to turn that pain into fuel. I learned to “punish the pavement” rather than myself. After awhile, that pain turned into anger and I used the anger to further fuel my fight. Going through that was Hell, but I see now that those doubts and cruel words only made me fight even harder. So, thank you, for helping me to see you for who you are and for helping me find the strength to get past my own barriers, now please show yourselves out of my life*.

*(For the record, my original statement wasn’t nearly so polite.)

Flash forward to today: I am still here, still fighting and better than ever. I am active, healthy and best of all, happy. More importantly, I can feel the shackles of fibromyalgia falling alway; I am almost entirely pain-free. I do still have occasional flare ups, but they are usually brief and nothing at all like the debilitating attacks that would keep me in bed for days; no more giving up things I want to do because of pain.

I never imagined that I could live without pain as the center of my universe, I never even dared to dream that I might live something like a “normal” life. The success I have experienced over the last 12 months is beyond anything that I could have hoped for; in my own mind, it’s nothing short of magic.

Of course, the problem with magic, is that it is not free; to borrow a quote from Rumplestiltskin, “magic always come with a price, Dearie”. So, what is the price I pay for this particular brand of magic? Hard work and self-discipline. The simple truth is that keeping myself healthy is literally, a full-time job. I have to make sure to stay active and I have to pay close attention to what I eat, every single day. Sure, I have my “off” days, but they are few and far between. I cannot afford to sit on my butt all day and just eat whatever I want to; my body is quick to point out when I’m not doing what I need to.

One of the things that I have learned over the last year is that counting calories is not enough. I’m not even talking about for weight loss, I’m talking about simply maintaining a balanced, healthy diet. My daily calorie budget right now is around 1600 calories; well, 1600 calories of cookies, chips and pizza are not the same as 1600 calories of veggies, fruits and lean protein. In order to keep my system happy, I eat 4-6 carefully controlled meals every day. The amount of thought and effort that goes into my diet alone can be overwhelming, as I find it difficult to come up with different ideas that are healthy, tasty and easily fit into my plan.

On top of that, I have to make sure to keep moving. My body has gotten used to moving and the pain will happily take over if I’ve been sedentary for too long. My goal is 10k steps a day (about 5 miles), which at a normal walking pace for me would take about an hour and a half of solid walking. I prefer to break that up into smaller, easier to manage chunks throughout the day, which like my meals, takes a fair amount of planning on my part. 10,000 steps is a lot, believe me, I know. While I have learned to enjoy walking and being active, I don’t always do it because I want to. I don’t exercise because I feel good, I exercise in order to feel good. There’s a huge difference there, and it’s sometimes hard for people to understand, but I can’t put enough stress on the idea that it is absolutely necessary to stay active even when it hurts because eventually, the activity will make the pain go away.

I cannot escape the fact that I am sick; I know that no matter how badly I want to, there are always going to be things that I am unable to do. For instance, I would love to be able to get back into the classroom and teach again. I know my limitations. I know that I cannot maintain my current level of health (and happiness) AND take on a regular job. I understand that there are many, many people out there who are capable of doing all of these things and more on a daily basis, but I have to accept the fact that I am not one of them. I simply do not have the stamina to do it. Maybe one day, I’ll find a way around it, but for now, my “job” is taking care of myself.

You know what? I am ok with this.

Race Day, The Shamrock 8k

Shamrock results

On Saturday, March 15, 2014, at 9:15 am, I crossed the finish line for the Shamrock 8k, 2 minutes and 11 seconds under my goal time!! I’ll be honest, I have no idea how I actually managed it. The race started at 7:45 am, and I was only running on about 4 hours of sleep… I am amazed that I finished it at all, let alone under my goal time. I spent about the first 2 miles of the race cursing myself for being out there in the first place and wondering why on earth I ever thought this was a good idea. Seriously. Thankfully, around mile 2, I finally found my stride and was able to put my butt in gear. I may have been hating myself initially, but I am so glad that I was stubborn enough to push through to the finish.  Even after all of the training I put myself through, this was one tough run.

Would I do it again? Hell yes! As a matter of fact, I’m already considering my next venture into insanity: The Wicked 10k, where I’ll get to run down the boardwalk dressed as a giraffe. I’ve got until the end of October to create the perfect giraffe running outfit and get myself ready to actually run 6 miles… I’m not fully committed to this one yet, but the urge to do it gets stronger every time I say the phrase “running down the board walk dressed as a giraffe”, so chances are good that I’ll end up doing it. Hopefully, I’ll be running with the BFF for this one, but even if she doesn’t run with me, she’ll be dressed up in a matching giraffe costume, since it was mostly her idea… 🙂  Don’t worry, there will be pictures!

I know it sounds like I’m treating this lightly, but for me, running these races is no joke. It has been getting easier, but most days, every single step is still a fight, both mentally and physically. I’m not running because I feel good, I’m running in order to feel good. I know that as soon as I stop moving, the fibro wins, but there are some days where even that knowledge isn’t enough to keep me going; on those days, it’s the support of my loved ones that keeps me going.  Thank you guys for believing in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. Extra special thanks to Aaron for getting up at 6am and dragging my whining carcass out of bed and down to the starting line, knowing you would be at the finish line is what kept me moving forward.

 

Shamrock finish

 

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