Friday, August 14, 2015

Let's Do This

I am going to do this.  It’s not going to be easy, but I am going to do this.  I may stumble along the way, but I am going to do this.  I don’t know for sure if I’ll be able to reach my goal, but I am going to do this.  I’m going to start.  I’m going to give it my all.  “My all” may not be much at this point, but it’s something.  Best of all, I’m not going to do this alone.  That makes a huge difference.  That makes this at least seem possible. 

“This” could be any number of things, and that could be said by any number of people.  Running a marathon.  Applying for a job.  Losing Weight.  Writing a novel.  Saving money.  Going (back) to school.  Painting a portrait.  Learning another language.  Mastering the Paso Doble.  Bowling a perfect game.  Anything, really.

For me right now, “this” is the first one on that list.  Well, not exactly running a marathon.  Not exactly running even, but it’s in that family.  It’s the NYC Blacklight Run.  Ok, for me, it’s the NYC Blacklight Walk.  Or Blacklight Limp.  Or Stumble.  Or Crawl.  But it’s the Blacklight SomethingMoreThanSittingOnMyCouch, and I’m looking forward to it.  Ok, I’m looking forward to it with dread.  And anticipation.  And excitement.  And fear.  And pride. 

Yes, pride.  I may be the last person to finish (and I may not even be able to finish at all), but I’m proud of myself for signing up for it.  Most days, I’m winded just walking from my car to my apartment building, but I still signed up.  Most days it hurts to stand for more than 10 minutes, but I still signed up.  Most days I’m in pain in at least 2 or 3 limbs and at least 2 or 3 joints, in addition to my head and my back, but I still signed up. 

When I saw an ad for this event, my first thought was “that looks like so much fun!”  Soon after, I was hit with all the other voices in my head telling me why I shouldn’t do it, why I couldn’t do it.  I’m too sick.  I’m too fat.  I’m too … well, it was probably just about 100 different versions of those two.  But the first thought came back again, and kept coming back: it looks like so much fun, and I really want to do it.  And back to the others, even louder than before: but … but … but … !  Then finally I said to myself, 
“Oh, shut the but up!!!”

Once I decided that I wanted to walk this run, I had a new problem: I couldn’t do it alone.  For one thing, it’s not exactly close by: it’ll take about an hour to get there (most likely more, considering traffic), which is more than I’m comfortable driving since I get dizzy and my vision gets fuzzy sometimes.  For another, who goes to a run by themselves?  Ok, runners do, but that’s different – they actually run for the sake of running, and are done with a 5K before I can even reach the first mile marker.  But when we’re talking about going to a fun run (or walk), how much fun could it be if you’re there by yourself just watching everyone else run past you while they’re laughing with their friends? 

(No, that's not us)
I mentioned it to my husband, figuring that he’d say he couldn’t do it because he works so early in the morning.  Without hesitation, he said “if you want to do it, I’ll do it with you.”  I wasn’t expecting that, but I can’t really be too surprised.  He is always so supportive, and always puts my happiness and wellbeing ahead of anything else.  The reality, though, is that one of the ways he is supporting me now (supporting us, really) is by working so much since I no longer can.  Of course there has to be balance, and he needs to have some time off for fun things too. I am so glad – and so grateful – that he chose to spend his time on this with me, for me.  (He’s really kind of awesome, in case I haven’t mentioned that before.)

I posted the event on Facebook, wondering if anyone else would want to do it.  I didn’t think they would though, mainly because it’s far from where most people I know live.  Besides, this is just a fun run.  The real runners I know would probably not want to slow down, especially for a race that isn’t serious.  And the non-runners would be more likely to join one of the charity fundraiser events that I am involved with than one that’s just for fun (though I discovered afterwards that the Blacklight Run actually donates to local charities from every run – bonus!).  Oh, and some people don’t consider the idea of running (or walking) 3.2 miles while glow-in-the-dark powder is thrown on them fun!  So I didn’t really expect any response.  Wrong again!  Right away, a childhood friend of mine (lost for years but reconnected via fb) said she would walk it with me.  Now it’s one thing for someone who couldn’t run to say she’d be happy to walk with me (one really great thing, for sure), but this is no out of shape walker like me.  This is a badass chick in her own right – a girl who does Spartan races and Warrior Dashes for fun, so a walk seems like it would be boring for her.  But she’s doing this with me.  For me.   And that means so much to me.

Even though it feels like I have everything against me, I still wanted to do this.  I’m trying so hard not to let my illness keep me from having a life.  Sure, most things are harder to do now, and I know I’m going to be really suffering after this event … but it’s a choice I’m making, and in my mind, it will be worth it.  Besides, I don’t really have everything against me.  I’ll have two very important people with me (and yes, mom, I know you’re always with me, even when you’re not), and that makes all the difference.  I am We are going to do this.

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