Somewhere in between mile 8.5 and 13.1 I had to make a decision. To keep going, or to cut it short and essentially - give up. To give in to the STUCK or... well, take another step forward.
Saturday, May 14 - I woke up early with my amazing husband to run a 1/2 marathon I had no business running. But, I had decided months before to do it - so - I would go. The weeks leading up to May 14 were not kind to me. Scratch that, the past 13+ months have not been kind to me.
Or have they?
For many of you know, some have no clue, but I've been given the gift of being sick since September 2020 when I got COVID. And when I say sick - many days - I've been unable to get out of bed. I'm not here to debate why, how or ask for anyone to tell me about why it happened to me. Those conversations are for me and my kick ass Dr, Physical Therapist. Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist (shall I go on with the list of medical professionals who are taking care of me right now?)
No - today's conversation is about being stuck on the hill AND deciding to go Forward.
Back to the beginning.
Somewhere between mile 8.5 and 13.1 I was walking up a hill. A hill where I stopped because my legs weren't having it anymore. I thought "Fuck, this is it, this is where my legs stop moving and say - no more and I get stuck on this side of the hill". I was literally paralyzed.
Or so it seemed.
We do this - right? We get so focused on the thing that isn't going well, that we lose sight of all the goodness.
We focus right there, on the one thing that is wrong. The ONE person who walked away. The one job that you didn't get. The NO. The ex (insert label). The time you didn't get the thing. That your baby won't sleep through the night and you are exhausted. The fact that YOU got COVID and have been sick for almost 2 years. In my head - I screamed a HUGE FU!!! That FU was to not get STUCK on the hill anymore. It reminded me of just last month, when I called my friend, Coleen and was just in tears. I didn't want to be stuck in my sickness anymore. I didn't want to feel that way one more friggin' day. I was so in it. It hurt. All of it. I didn't want one more person to give me advice. To tell me "I have that too" Or to tell me "Oh, it's just COVID weight" - O M G - NOOOOO!!!
Once I yelled that FU in my head- suddenly my body somatically changed. A light went off. I saw my daughters, my husband, my friends who have not left my side. Who will listen to me when I'm stuck on the side of the hill. I saw them. They don't know it, but they got me to MOVE FORWARD again. You guys were my playlist, the downhills, the scenery, the rolling straightways, the breath and the smile that kept me going. I no longer saw the stinking hill. The hill suddenly represented nothing more than one more test that I had to take, one more herb, supplement or new protocol. The hills no longer were the place where I was stuck. The hill represented me moving forward.
At the start of the race, Robb and I were standing there, in the rain waiting for the start when we saw a husband and wife wearing shirts that said "Forward is a Pace". I was like that's brilliant - Robb agreed.
Little did I know, they would become my biggest fans on this run. Little did they know, that was the message I needed that day. The ENTIRE race they were behind me. The husband was literally coaching his wife, cheering her on - yet, all I heard was his words pushing me up those hills, pacing me down the hills and on the straight aways, encouraging me. Between this and my playlist - I kept going.
There was another woman - we kept passing each other, then falling behind - if you've run a race - you know how it goes. I kept my eyes on her. She kept going, I kept going. I found her at the end - and we celebrated together.
Twice I got to see my husband on the run. He was a good 45 minutes + ahead of me. We would pass each other and give each other High fives and big smiles. He was waiting for me at the end of the race. I knew he would be there. I couldn't give up.
This isn't a story about a half marathon. This is the story about resilience. This is a story of not giving up. The story of the past almost 2 years of my life. The people who have just been there, the angels and random strangers along the way who have been my biggest fans and support. I dedicate this post to you.
If you are feeling stuck on the hill. If you are in the middle of something that you feel like has no end. This is me reminding you that Forward is a Pace. At any moment, we can choose to go forward - again. In the middle of my health crisis, I decided to go back to school. I left a profession that I have worked at for 20 years. I moved to a new town.
And those dang hills? For me - those represented the friends who just couldn't hang in there with me along the way because it got to be too hard, the missed diagnoses, the dr's who said "nothing is wrong with you - it's all normal"
For you, the hills might look different.
The past 2 years, it's what I did with the hills that have made the world of difference. I literally pushed past them. By taking one step forward instead of clinging to a the past where a version of myself was being gripped so tightly by a few people who kept me stuck on the side of the hill.
Here I am - cheering you on - Up the hills.
XO - M