I have succeeded in some things, particularly those related to my health and physical abilities, because I am really not a very good listener. Or perhaps it is more like "selective hearing" as my mother calls it.
I didn't listen to the people who laughed at me when I said I was going to quit smoking nearly 7 years ago.
I didn't listen to the statistics 6 years ago that said most people that lose weight won't keep it off for a year, let alone 5 years.
I didn't listen when I was told that running a marathon was too much. I didn't listen 4 years ago and I ignored them again just over 2 years ago.
I didn't listen to the people who just rolled their eyes when I said I quit drinking over 2 years ago.
Over 1.5 years ago when I got this freaky chronic disease that for all intensive purposes acts like rheumatoid arthritis, I didn't listen to the doctors who thought I was faking.
And now I'm learning to ignore myself. I'm having to tune out the voices in my head that keep telling me this is it; that the arthritis is finally what has gotten the best of me. It's not the non-believers, the statisticians or the quacks that I need help ignoring this time around. I'm pretty stubborn when it comes to listening (or not listening) to other people. This time I need to tune out my own voice.
So, I haven't really, truly run in about a year and a half (getting chased by a coyote doesn't count). And I don't know exactly when I may run again. But I will, no matter what I think on those days when I can barely get done the stairs.
And I know this because I refuse to have it any other way. There is no other option.
Today, for the first time in nearly 2 years, I lifted dumbbells for upper body exercise. When I got sick, typing hurt my fingers and wrists. My wrists hurt so much, I couldn't chop vegetables, I couldn't use a can opener, heck, I couldn't even lift the stupid can of beans anyway. Don't even get me started on the evils of faucets. Buckling my seat belt caused a horrible amount of pain. I couldn't dress myself because my range of motion wasn't good enough. I spent many nights half asleep on the bathroom floor because I didn't want to have to take the long walk to the toilet in the middle of the night because it hurt so damn much. And all of this just 6 months after running a marathon.
So for me to be able to lift weights, and to lift heavy enough ones for long enough to get a decent workout, is huge. It tells me I'm getting better, a lot better. It tells me all these trips to the rheumatologist for infusions is working. It tells me that if I can get this far, then if I just wait for the right time and take care of myself, eventually I will run again.
Below is a picture of me and my dog relaxing. He is apparently pretty comfortable at home because he is just letting it all hang out.