I’m running a 5K…yay! Well, maybe. This year has been fraught with illness and injury. My body has betrayed me in the most horrendous ways: jacked up foot, pissed off hip, bone numbing fatigue and just plain feeling “crappy.” Yes, that is a medical term! I spent way too many days on the couch with Benson and Stabler unable –unwilling- to make an effort to pretend I felt okay when I wasn’t. The day I noticed the seat in my car covered in my hair in amounts Chewbaca would have been proud of, I decided, enough of this shit! I got pissed, then scared and then got real. Blood test after blood test came back indicating seemingly everything was off but nothing specific that my doc and I could point to and say “ah, this is the problem.” My adrenals were shot, but it wasn’t Addison’s. My glucose levels were off but not enough to be diabetic. My thyroid levels were off, but not enough to be considered hypothyroid. So we started with the basics: nutrition, meditation and gentle exercise with lots of rest days in between. I found an excellent ballet barre inspired class with a wonderful teacher and supportive classmates. I started walking slow and steady. I took every supplement my doc threw at me and lost four pounds-with more coming off everyday.
Meanwhile I continued to berate myself for not doing more: losing more weight, working out more, walking instead of running: LOSER. But then a funny thing happened. I began to feel a little better and even though my thyroid numbers were “normal” my doc ordered a thyroid ultrasound because it sure as hell sounded like thyroid no matter what the labs said. They found very small nodules, so small they cannot even be biopsied, and because there are multiple ones, that is a sure sign that they are benign. These tiny demons seem to be sitting there just wreaking havoc with my “poor-ass, gentle, loving thyroid. Spending their days thinking up psycho products and nasty ideas to undermine my thyroid. Thyroid Mother-fuckers! “*
So I began taking a desiccated thyroid supplement. I don’t know if it is just the placebo effect, I’m on an natural upswing, or if this shit really works, but I’m beginning to feel better. Since I was feeling better, I carefully, tentatively began to work out, scared to death that I was going to overdo it and end up banished to the couch again (my cycle in the past) but I was careful, and really tried to listen to my body and took lots of rest days. And then I started to run again.
The thing about running? “I just can’t quit you” I love it. Next to skiing it is my favorite physical thing to do. Okay, it is the ONLY physical thing I like to do…whatever, I’m a girly-girl who doesn’t like to sweat, get hot, or break a nail and I own all of it. Don’t judge. But I’ll run my fat ass until it drops, like a boss!!
The running is going really well. So well, that I inadvertently jumped ahead a full week in my training program and didn’t notice until the end of the run when I started wondering why in the hell it felt like I had been running TWICE the amount of time I was supposed to be…uh, because pretty much I was.
I wasn’t going to sign up for a 5K because I wasn’t going to do one if I couldn’t do it in under 30 min or at least run the entire thing. Then I decided that just like conceding I need lots of rest days, and need to take it slow, I realized I needed to just get the hell over myself and toe the start.
My son and I will be running (because I told him he had too!) the M.D. Anderson Sprint for Life for Ovarian Cancer on May 4th. We will be running with my mom because she is a survivor in every sense of the word and kicked ovarian cancer’s ass 10 years ago. She is a rock star and I know how much it means to her that her grandson and I are doing this with her.
But I also need to do this for me. To prove to myself that I can be healthy and whole and feel well - that my life isn’t only a string of Law and Order marathons viewed from my couch. I need to believe that in order for it to be true. The more I believe the more true it becomes. The more true it becomes, the more I believe… Just getting out on that 5K course, swallowing the fear of becoming sick, screams to the universe: I’m well, I’m whole, I have perfect health. That will be my mantra at the start, and as long as I start, it will be true.
*this is a line from Eve Ensler play The Vagina Monolouges. Specifically, it is from the piece I did this year. Obviously, Ms. Ensler wasn't talking about thyroids. Mom, I'm glad you weren't there. :)