…or at least one of.
I can think of a handful of other things that would challenge this one, but it’s still a fear of mine nonetheless.
I know I come across as being strong. I come across as having unquestionable faith, strength, hope, and drive.
I choose to be that person.
It doesn’t mean I am.
At least not always.
If I were to turn back time to 5 years ago I would have thought nothing was possible. At least I wouldn’t have given myself much hope at that time. I knew I had incredible drive. I knew I was extremely proactive in the corporate world. I had done very well financially and status wise in my career, but when it came to me? As a person? Individually? I didn’t have much hope. As I have shared countless times before I thought at 37 years old my best years were behind me – health wise.
Now if I were to go back 4 years or even 3, my answer would be completely different. I felt invincible. There’s really no other way to put it. I felt as if I could do anything I set my mind to. I felt everything was within reach. I felt strong, determined, and had a never-ending zest for life. I’d found “me” again – or maybe even the “me” I never knew but was only then beginning to explore, and I loved it. I loved life, and I loved everything and everyone in it.
I started setting goals. I started seeing them through. I started a bucket list and little by little I started crossing things off. Things I never would have dreamed of. Competing. Running. Trophies. Boston. Requalifying. In less than two years I ran at least a dozen 5ks, several 10ks, a half dozen half marathons, and 3 full marathons. I competed in 7 figure competitions. I participated in 2 sprint triathlons. I organized and ran in 3 Ragnar relays and 2 Red Rock relays. I loved life. I loved being healthy. I loved the energy and motivation I felt. Energy oozed from me. I was passionate about everything.
Then came my initial diagnosis of Hypothyroidism, and my journey changed. Low dosages increased to much higher dosages. Minor improvements. Then my diagnosis of Hashimotos auto-immune disease which would not explain my Hypothyroidism. Went from an already extremely strict diet to the necessity of being gluten-free. Big changes with minor improvements. Then my diagnosis of Adrenal Fatigue. Too much stress, too little sleep, too intense and too much training. Too many fat burners and stimulants over the years. Instructed to reduce all. Again, big changes with minor improvements. This is my current journey. Fighting what I’m dealing with now while striving daily to get back to where I was.
I still love life. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still happy with just about everything in my life. I love my family, my husband, my kids, my friends, my neighborhood, my faith, my interests, and to some extent – my health.
But the last year and a half have taken a toll – especially since Boston 2011.
Looking back I am ever so thankful for the health Heavenly Father blessed me with. Granted it didn’t come easy. I had to work hard for it. I had to eat clean and train almost daily to turn my life around for the better, but I now realize that that’s not always enough.
I now realize that I can’t do it all on my own. I can only do so much.
The rest is out of my hands.
I’m still training almost as hard. I say almost because I’ve been instructed NOT to train as hard by my doctor.
I’m guessing you are familiar with the one step forward two steps back saying. That’s exactly how I feel.
I am trying to do everything within my power to heal. To rest. To regain the mojo I had what seems just like yesterday.
But the reality is Hashimotos and Adrenal Fatigue go hand in hand. They are persistent and ever present, and they are on some days stronger than I am, and they get the best of me. They make me tired. They make me fatigued. They make me weak. There are days I want to sleep all day. Still. I want to hide up in my room and turn my brain off from hurting. There are days I can’t even form full sentences. I can’t think clearly enough to articulate myself the way I used to. And what’s funny about that is I used to have friends who commented on how well I did articulate. Not now. Now much of the time I have “brain fog” and feel dumb as I speak. I know it’s not me, and that’s what’s most frustrating. I’m at my best as long as it happens before noon – maybe even 2 pm. After that? It’s risky. By 8 pm I’m shutting down. Mentally and physically. I’m more of a homebody now than I was. I used to be go go go, and now I stress just thinking about it. Granted, it’s not as bad as it was at my worst, and I have seen noticeable positive changes, but I’m still not “me”.
I’m only the shadow of who I was.
It’s like I’m a puppet, and I’m trying to make my body act the way it used to. Some days I’m full-out pretending.
Some people don’t get it.
I don’t know that I even would get it or fully believe it if I weren’t going through it personally.
I have body aches I didn’t have before.
I have highs and lows.
I have delayed onset pain that before never would have been an issue.
I’m more emotional.
Too many things to list, but all things that I didn’t struggle with when I was at my best.
And all because of a disease I am learning to live with, manage, and make the most of.
So my biggest fear?
Why even share this?
My biggest fear is not being the “me” I was – the “me” I loved being. This might very well be the new “me”, and that scares me. A lot. I’ve had friends who’ve told me not to let my health struggles define me. My health struggles and my ideal fitness do not make me who I am. I try to remember that, but it’s hard. I liked who I was. I liked the path I was on before all this “stuff” took over.
The other day I went to lunch with some friends. One of my friends talked about how she is training for a marathon (again) and then she has New York not that long after.
I was supposed to be running the New York Marathon this Fall. I am actually registered for the race. I qualified last year to run it. Last year.
But I’m not near where I need to be to run it.
Just like I was supposed to run Boston this year. I was registered for it.
But I was no where near where I needed to be health wise to train for it. But I was registered!
And just like I was supposed to run St. George the Fall of last year. It was near the beginning of when everything started to fall apart.
Since I began this journey I’d never not fulfilled an obligation or completed a goal I’d set for myself.
And here I’ve had 3 slip through my hands.
But not because I’m not trying. I’m trying so desperately hard to get back to where I was. I want to believe I will know when I am there. You’d look at me and think my life is perfect. I look healthy and strong. I’m lean and muscular for a girl
But that’s not the whole picture.
I want to believe in the impossible again. I want to believe that anything is doable. Anything is within reach.
I’m going to continue exercising my faith in my own abilities just like I have since the beginning, but it doesn’t mean I’m not scared. Because I am.
Attitude and determination can make miracles happen. I am ready for a miracle.
I’m not ready to give up. I won’t give up. That’s not even an option. Ever since I began this journey I’ve reminded myself of that. Giving up is not an option. Fear or no fear.
XO – Momma