Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kudos to Christine: A Race Well Run

Photo and permission provided by Christine Molloy. She's the awesome lady on the left with her awesome running partner on the right. 

Have you ever thought with despair that having a Sjogren's diagnosis will prevent you from achieving  fitness goals?

I have. More than once. And to be honest, over the past few years I have been far too complacent and....well, just plain lazy about exercising because it's hard. It is exponentially more difficult to exercise since my diagnosis than it's been at any other time in my life.

So I just didn't. Much. A huge mistake because the longer my muscles go without regular exercise that pushes my ability, the weaker they become. Which is why over the past year I have been swimming with some regularity. I haven't been back to the pool since my infusion because I'm just a bit concerned about exposing myself to germy people there and I really miss it. If my next set of labs checking my white blood cell count and the differential (which separates and counts each of the specific types of white blood cells) are within expected limits, I am heading back to the water. And I can't wait.

I have to admit that it's disheartening for me when I think back to those days when I was capable of getting a four mile walk in before taking the kids to daycare and then working a full shift at the dialysis unit, because that Julia body was a completely different creature than the Julia body that I have now. But reading inspirational stories from other sjoggies about their experiences in fitness helps me to keep a positive attitude and fosters a small glimmer of hope that I, too, can help my body to be healthier and more fit despite my autoimmune disease.

Enter Christine Molloy, Sjogren's syndrome patient and author of Tales from the Dry Side. Christine set a goal for herself: to run/walk a 10K race. She trained faithfully and even though she had never been a runner before, found in herself abilities that she didn't know she possessed:
Running makes me feel powerful because I am doing what I was told I would never do. It is me defying the odds and refusing to let my illness or my own mind beat me. It does not matter if I am running a twenty minute mile or a thirteen minute mile, me and my body are beating the odds. It may last another week. It may last the rest of my life. But regardless of the outcome of my running life, or even this race Saturday, I have conquered....
.....I, a person with a life-altering chronic illness, had accomplished something that I never before thought possible, even when I was healthier.
You can see additional photos and read more about Christine's victorious 10K race here. You go, girl!


Christine said...

Thank you for posting about this!

I am glad it gave you a glimmer of hope, especially because there are a few people with Sjogren's (I think one of them follows this blog) who have done the same for me. I think it is awesome that you are doing exercise in the pool....when I first decided to start exercising, mostly what I did was water aerobics and swimming for the first year or so I think.

You are so correct in saying that it is not easy. Today is my 5th day post-race and the first day where i can say that I think I am through the worst of the recovery. But, it was worth it.

Tricia said...

Wow! Maybe we can all do more than we think!

Shazzer1976 said...

Good run! Encouraging to see you don't need to down tools with this illness. Keep running!