On October 12, 2012, I left the house for the first time in a week-just to the doctor to get some blood work done because I was afraid I was becoming anemic after week two of a liquid diet. On the way home I made my dad stop at the pumpkin patch so I could enjoy just a little bit of fall. I nealt down to take a photo...and I couldn't get back up. I had no strength to stand. If my father hadn't have been there I literally would have been stuck there, on the lawn of the church, helpless. I had no muscle. At all. I looked down at my legs and they were completely foreign to me. My whole body did. I was not myself. I wanted to go. To move. To walk. To be how I always was and I was stuck there on the lawn, unable to get up because I wanted a better angle for a photo of a pumpkin.
So my father picked me up as he had done so many times...when I was a child.
Fast forward to February 23, 2013. Just four months later. I was, for the most part, healthy. Medicine was working pretty well, and for the most part, feeling ok. But not strong. When I was sick I read about a girl, so much worse than I, who started running. She was in the brochure for people who had a life. Saw the other side. At the time, I couldn't imagine running ever again, but on this day, I was going to start.
I went to the Nat and bought a month pass with a gift card from my mom (who by the way is one of the fittest people I know.) I was on my way to put my stuff down and ran into Ben, whose advice was, just don't stop. Keep running. Oh that first workout was so hard. Make that workouts. But that first one I ran for five whole minutes.
Slowly, but I did it. I had terrible, terrible shoes (they totally made my toes go numb) so I got a new pair of shoes.Amazing what proper shoes can do. So I kept running. Then amazing things happened. I started enjoying my workouts.
And I did crazy things like get up and run at 5:45am. (Fulfilling a statement I made to my college roommate my freshman year..."I think I am going to get up early and run in the morning." That was 18 years ago. Yup.
Then something amazing happened. I could touch my toes.
(I also freaked out and amazed people everywhere with my magical photo taking abilities, apparently with my nose??...or I used a timer app to take this photo)
I went from barely being able to run for five minutes, to running an admittly not so fun, need to work on running outside 56:28 minutes, for a total of 4.5 miles. They aren't kidding when they say running outside is completely different.
My mother (workout queen) came over one day so I could workout during naptime and she said "Don't over do it!" I replied with an "Eh, just doing two miles today. Not a big one." I felt a little shocked when that statement sunk in.
I am not the fastest runner ever, but I am getting faster-my most recent 5k was 28:25, and a very exciting 9:09 average mile. Thanks to Nike+ I am able to figure out my pace much easier than when I was using the timer app on my phone.
I love my gym-so much better than the old Nat which was ever so slightly depressing. It is wide open and airy. I think it is beautiful.And really deceptivly empty by the looks of this photo. It is generally packed with people, which helps in my people watching entertainment while running.
When I run I must have music. I have a favorite Run, baby, run playlist filled with songs to pump me up (to say it is ecclectic is a bit of an understatement) but what I listen to most is Mumford and Sons, Babel.
When I was in the hospital, losing pounds a day and unable to imagine I would ever be well again, Elizabeth and Katherine told me about Babel. I had heard of it, but hadn't gotten it yet. Katherine insisted on getting it for me. It may have been the best gift ever. This music filled my ears with hope (and blocked out the horrible and disturbing conversations of my roommate.) I listened to it on repeat, drifting in and out of sleep, humming to "I will wait" as I impatiently waited for my next pain killer. I came home and listened to it as I laid in bed, listening to my kids playing on the floor below me, while I didn't even have the strength to move my legs...the covers were too heavy.
And now I listen to it when I run. I listen to it on repeat while I run my first, second, third, fourth mile. And I find it amazing. So I will keep on running.
In two weeks (almost six months to the day of that pumpkin patch trip) my orginal motivation for starting this little journey is going to happen. With some friends, I will be running in the Color Run.
(My shirt design for our team t-shirts) It will be my first race, but I am already planning others. Many, many others.
So thank you to Tammy and Leslie for getting me started with this race. Thank you to Erin for sharing her wealth of knowledge and telling me endless gym tales ;) Thank you to Bryce for spending time writing running plans that keep me motivated. Thank you to Jess (and her Insanity...that sounds bad but she knows what I am talking about) and Cassie (and her incredible health of mind body and spirit knowledge) for inspiring me. Thank you to my sisters who kept me going when I was sick. Thank you to Katherine for gifting me Babel.Thanks to my mama who got me the gift card that got me started, and for showing me her incredible muscles that motivate me to get stronger...than a 70 year old lady :) Thanks to my childhood friends and next door neighbors Wendy and Shawn-Lynwood is going to represent at The Color Run! Thanks to Ben for telling me to keep running and not to stop. And thanks to all the other awesome friends who keep me motivated and inspire me and encourage me to go be an athlete in my every step. I am doing this for you.
And I am doing this for me.