Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lifestyle Changes

Once upon a time there was a young woman who was fifteen years old.

She loved to run.

She loved to run a lot.
She didn't run fast, but she could run far.

She usually logged five to ten miles a day.



or sleet,

she would be out running.

Usually with her trusty companion .....

She even entered the Scottsbluff Marathon.

She and her trusty companion trained hard.

She read every article on marathoning that she could lay her hands on .....
usually from old copies of Runner's World pilfered from the school library.

She was confident that she could do it.

She endured heat, rattlesnakes, and blisters.
She endured dehydration, hallucinations, and fatigue
only to hit the "wall" at mile 20.

She's never quite forgiven herself for quitting.

Eventually she went off to college

and her runs became shorter and shorter as
her work hours and study time became longer and longer.

She graduated and in some weird round about way became a teacher.
She had no intentions of teaching, but it happened anyway.

Running ceased to exist in her life.
She was too busy and too tired to run.

From time to time, she yearned to run again.

But life usually got in the way and 
she got busy and was 
again too tired.

She began to joke that the only way she would run was
if there was a bear chasing her ass.

Occasionally she would get a wild hare and  attempt to run ....
only to realize that she had gotten old and was terribly out of shape.

She vowed to get back into shape and joined the local Y.

Years went by with nothing to show for her membership fees.

By now she had a Coca-Cola addiction and was overweight.
She was a couch potato.

She had become her mother.
That notion bothered her, because she was
never going to be in the bad health that her mother was.

So she resolved to start running with a vague notion
 in the back of her mind of finally completing that marathon.

It would have to be done at Mount Rushmore because
Scottsbluff no longer hosts a marathon.  But that was okay,
she loved the hills and it would be a perfect way to welcome her 
forty-fifth year of life.

Eight weeks into training, severe Achilles tendonitis sidelined her again.
Acupuncture healed her, but she was again too tired to run.

From time to time, she would attempt to run again
only to discover that it literally hurt too bad to run.

So back to joking about bears she went.

From time to time, she'd stop drinking Coke, and vow to walk every day.
It would last for awhile, but she would be too busy, too sore, too tired
and instead, she would slowly become reacquainted with her two favorite men:
Ben and Jerry.

She could always justify why she was tired.
She could justify why she was stiff and sore,
 even though her physical activity was nil.

Then one day, on a routine visit to the doctor to get 
 her allergy meds refilled, she mentioned how tired she was
and how she seemed to be more tired and sore in the morning
than when she went to bed.

The doctor very quickly made a diagnosis
 and ordered a blood test for confirmation.  

A week later and the diagnosis was confirmed.

Huge lifestyle changes were in order.

She and Sister Two had often talked about how they needed 
to make changes so that they didn't end up like
 their ancestors  ..... most of which were dead.

Resolutions were made.
She would walk 10,000 steps a day.
She would lose fifty pounds by Christmas.
She would learn all that she could about rheumatoid arthritis.

Today she walked from her house to the spillway at Lake Alice.

Look, she was rewarded with an elephant's shadow!

(If you can't see an elephant in that shadow, you have no imagination.)

Managing a walk that far all at one time is akin to running a small road race.

It was a small victory 
shared with her trusty companions

and one not so welcome one!


Mary said...

I see that unwelcome companion is crossing over tire tracks......did you happen to do it in?? I need to get in the swing of things and we can motivate each other!!

Anonymous said...

I have had so many golden's come through my life in recent years...I have forgotten what Champ's face and eyes looked like. We used to take long walks (not runs) up to Laing Lake so she could visit the ducks.

Sue said...

I loved this post. You are so talented!!!!!!

Johana said...

Even if a bear was chasing my ass, I still would not be able to run. However, I did climb Harney Peak last year with my 70 year old mother and two overachieving sisters. Never again! Will you please write a book, I love your writings!

Anonymous said...

Good thing a bear wasn't chasing your butt up Harney Peak then.