Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The spring after Grace was born I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It was terrifying for me because my Mother had received the same diagnosis in her 20's and I had spent most of my life watching her suffer through it and more recently deal with the effects of being on those meds for so long. The first year was hard. I spent much of the time ticked off and the rest of the time in pain. I read books and books and more books on the topic, talked to people that "knew" what to tell me:) And then one day I picked up a book that was probably taboo to some. It said Rheumatoid Arthritis does not have to define who you are. The book was completely based on treating this disease with diet and exercise, so I got on the band wagon. We stopped eating packaged food, we ate whole food and quit eating out excessively. I started exercising everyday with the kids. We would bike with them in the trailer or walk or run with them in the stroller everyday. I found that running could also dual as therapy. Each mile pounded out a bit of stress and after about 2 years, my rheumatoid went into remission and it only bothers me from time to time. In these times I can just beef up on anti-inflammatory foods and throw in some extra exercise or movement and I can make it go away. Someday it will probably come back with a vengeance...but maybe not and so I live it out pretending its not there. I see a rheumatoligist still yearly and they talk to me about drugs and blah blah blah and I say no pain, no need. I know this route wouldn't work for everyone but it has worked for me and so I continue.

About the time my arthritis went dormant I started to experience some other health problems, I say this is when my body in general got mad. First it was migraines, then it was my hip (stress fracture and separated muscles)from running without muscles, then it was a hysterectomy(form other complications all together). At this point my body gave up and I gave up because well pain in these ways was to much and once I was all healed up being re-injured was terrifying. So I walked a bit, but I really just wanted to run. And not just a mile or two. Nope I wanted to run mile after mile. I wanted to feel the release of the stress again. But mostly I hate being told no and I couldn't believe at the ripe age of 28 I was going to be held at never running again.

So I formulated a plan and I prayed that God would give me the discipline to listen to my body if it started shouting no at me again. So last spring I signed myself for bootcamp with the lovely and oh so amazing butt kicker Amy Demeyer. I knew if I wanted to run again I would need to develop muscle memory and muscles in general. The reason I was injured initially was from lack of muscle build, essentially zero core strength. So i did it and it was painful in a good way this time and challenging, and I found a new love. Bootcamp has made me feel strong and capable and well the bikini benefits aren't bad either....I'm not going to lie. But the main reason I got started was so that I could run again. And so now I do both I go to bootcamp twice a week at 6am and I run at least 3 times a week. And its not to be thin its to be sane and to feel good about myself. Actually in the year I have been doing bootcamp I have only lost 2 lbs and I can tell you where they left from;) Running is way cheaper than therapy- much like blogging- and it has become a hobby something I enjoy doing.

And so by late summer last year I dropped boot camp for 6 weeks and ran about 4-6 miles every other day. And believe it or not I was not only fast but I had no pain. So I ran up until it got to cold and I took the winter off and went back to bootcamp 3 days week. About 2 months ago I started running ago and just this past Tuesday I ran just under 8 miles for the first time in 4 years. And guess what no pain other than wow I just ran 8 miles pain:) And even better yet I can do it in just about an hour. Take that nearly 30 year old body. I took it slow I listened to my body I prayed a lot and I can do it.

I couldn't be more thrilled.

Our friends formed a Ski to Sea team and I am doing the running leg and I couldn't be more excited to compete again. May have to pick up a running buddy for some other races through the summer. Anyone want to go? Kris I know you are in right?

I am just so amazed I had to share! I didn't think I would ever be able to do it again.

1 comment:

mom2m4boys said...

You are such a hard worker Jessica and I love having you in class. It has been fun getting to know you more :)
Amy