The Note

I keep an ongoing note in my cellphone which tracks my runs. It traces more than the dates, times, and miles. Reading between the lines shows achievement, pride, and strength. It also bears witness to difficult days, or illness. And while I cannot pinpoint where or when it happened, I slowly lost my dedication to this journey.

My friends, the days of the three miler warmups are long gone. And is it just me, or is it hard to  swallow pride and realize you aren’t where you once were? Can’t I go Dorothy on this running thing, click my heels, and voila- run a 10k for fun?  Not because I must be a masochist? This ongoing list which once fulfilled a void began to claw its way into my ego, making me feel as though I failed myself. I scrolled back further, wallowing in my losses and I became transported to my past.

And then it happened. I was delivered to a place where the sun rose up and kissed the boardwalk as I ran my first mile. A place where I sat crying by myself not in sadness, but in awe. I cradled my knees against my chest as they moved rapidly up and down against the pressure of my breath. I listened to the deafening white noise of the ocean as it mixed with my inhalations and exhalations. Having grappled with chronic illness and its effects, I felt more alive in that moment than I had in years. I needed this.

Running was never easy for me. It was always a frustrating, exhilarating, endorphin releasing blessing. Being back to square one can only temporarily derail me. Plus, now I have a new note in my phone that says “5k Training: Times for One Mile.” I have given myself a goal, and it’s small, but it’s better than no goal at all. And yes, at my core I won’t lie and pretend I was not dispirited, but I’m less disappointed in myself now than when I felt like quitting altogether. Here I am, clocking in another one miler at 10:49.

Tomorrow I’m cracking 10:30.

4 Things I’m bad at.

  1. Waking up before 6:00 a.m.
    1. 6:01 a.m. with the smell of coffee brewing and I’m unstoppable.
  2. Saying “no” to:
    1. Food of any kind. Don’t put it near me, I will devour it all. Sayonara honey mustard and onion pretzels. Hello stinky breath.
    2. Work, in any capacity.
    3. Friends. I just love their faces so much that I tend to forget about the fact that occasionally the energy is lacking and grandma needs some sleep.
  3. Saying “yes” to
    1. Me time- Getting my nails done, treating myself in any capacity. I have fallen off the damn rails in 2017.
    2. My mom- Hi! I love you- I’m still here. Keep checking my blog for updates. Kidding- we talk every day, but seeing your mom is always something special. Time should always be made for family.
  4. Putting my sneakers on.
    1. Unrelated to the fact that I choose bunny ears as my main source of lace tying.

And it’s not that I’m worse than most- The challenge I associate with making multiple trips to the car, the whimsical voice that sings in my ear and says, “you’re being good…it’s froyo- add the brownies and the snickers. ADD THEM!” These are the feels that internet memes find their base in.

This is why I understand the struggle for many when it comes to making the best choices for ourselves. Because I’m no better at making them for myself- despite having a blog in which I advocate for being a better version of myself. Because on some days I am, but on some days I’m not, and on many days I’m just trying to put my sneakers on. Or I’m pretending like I can’t find them. Even though they are clearly on a shoe rack in my closest.

We are all the same. Hoomans!

And finally, it’s not that I’m only bad at 4 things. I’m just bad at making a list that exceeds 4 points. The type-A person in me is suffering over the fact that I couldn’t muster a fifth point. But here’s where I’m at my fellow humans- let’s cut ourselves a break. Let’s pat ourselves on our back for our efforts. Let’s get better at saying “no” when it’s right, and stronger at saying “yes” when it’s essential. Yes?

Peace and Love xx

Inflamed but Unashamed (spoiler alert)

Urgent family text message: help, I want to do the Lupus walk on May 6, but we need a team name. And a team. I can always count on my brother to be simultaneously creative and offensive and with that, I braced for the worst. Then, I prepared to laugh. I firmly believe that when it comes to auto-immunes, you have to find the humor when it presents itself. Which is rarely to never, because diseases sort of suck.

Soon, the ideas rolled in and my brother didn’t let me down:

  1. The Autoimmune Police
  2. Looping Laps for Lupus
  3. You can Lupus, but you Can’t Coop Us!
  4. Grabbing Life by the Lupussy

I may have been the executor of one of those genius ideas, but a lady never reveals her secrets. The fourth, I wrote the fourth. Ultimately I settled on the one I identified with second most, and… we had a winner!

:::drumroll please:::

Inflamed but Unashamed

And with that, I welcome myself back to a few of the things that make me, me.

Back to the world of running.

Back to the world of writing.

Back to the world of advocating.

I missed you.