Running Story: I Choose To Run

6 months ago

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” Dean Karnazes

Run when you can.

I liked to run in college, high school, grade school. I wasn’t spectacular, but I enjoyed it. I ran some after college, but somehow life gets in the way of living. Work, bills, laundry. Friends, family, marriage, kids… Life was perfect. Self-employed doing what I love. Married to my best friend. Two beautiful boys. Building a house.

Walk if you have to.

Then, my hand goes numb. Dr’s appointments. More numbness. MRI’s, spinal taps, more Dr’s appointments. Long story short, diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. When I should have been teaching my boys to tie their shoes, I couldn’t even tie my own. When my three year old wanted to give me big hugs, it physically hurt. When I was diagnosed, the average time to using a wheelchair or walker was 10-15 years.

Crawl if you must.

Running wasn’t even something I was aspiring to at that point. Walking to and from the bathroom made me happy, (some days it truly is the little things that matter). Being able to stand long enough to take a shower made me ecstatic. More than once, I crawled to get from one place to another. (No one but my husband knew that till now.) It was safer than walking. Admitting that is hard.

Just never give up.

In 2012, ten years after diagnosis, I decided to start walking to improve my health. I started exercising to lose the weight I had gained and get back in shape. I lost more than forty pounds and discovered my joy of running again. It made me feel better than anything else I had been doing. A year ago, I took the plunge and signed up for my first 5K, the Joplin Memorial Marathon. The day after I signed up for it, I started to have an MS flair. It wasn’t as severe as some, but I did take a little break from running. When I started “training” again, I was still seeing cross-eyed. One side of my body was also slightly numb, but I could run without stumbling, so run I did. I walked once during the race in May but finished it in 33 minutes and 34 seconds. Since then, I have run one more official 5K, a 5 mile and am signed up to run a 15K this spring and the Half Marathon at the Joplin Memorial.

Never ever give up.

When I lace up my shoes now to go for a run, I don’t take that small action for granted. It wasn’t so long ago that neither one were possible. Will there come a day when I have to “crawl”? Maybe. Till that day, I choose to run.

This blog post submitted by an anonymous author.

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