Monday, October 8, 2012


Control. I finally found a word that describes how I feel. I am in control of my body. This is new to me, having been in a state of full-semi flare for most of my 21 years with RA.

Running offers control. My legs can move, because I tell them to. Running is freedom. I am just like everyone else when I run. I am not a person with a chronic disease, two robotic shoulders and a sketchy knee. I am facing the same internal battles about pace, distance, pushing myself. The only thing standing between me and my goals is me. On Sunday, September 23rd, I met one of my goals. I ran a 5K race, and finished in under 45 minutes. The race was very emotional for me. I was exercising demons while I was exercising my body. I could do this. I am doing this. I took two very brief walking breaks (45 seconds each), but ran the rest of the race. I sprinted at the end of the race, with cheers from the crowd spurring me on. I did it. I am a runner.

The photo above is one of my favourite places. It is the start of the path near my house and the beginning of a 5K running route for me. When I discovered this path earlier this year, I felt like I was home, was the best way to describe it. I was biking with my family, and the closeness of the trees, and the promise of adventure took me in - and I've felt that way every time I've been running or biking down this path ever since.

I am counting my blessings and my TNF-blockers. I know it is due to some fairly fancy drugs that I am able to run, bike and live without too many thoughts to how my joints are feeling. It was just over a year ago that I wrote a post called "I Hate Stairs", where a short walk in the woods brought me to tears of pain and dispair. I am in awe of what a year can bring - a new shoulder, a drug that finally works for me and a budding career as a runner.

During my 5K run, I listened to one song on repeat. I usually do this when I run. I like the constant beat in the background, and I've been known to play DJ too much and focus on running less when there is a mix of songs playing. For my 5K, I selected Katy Perry's "Part of me" - good beat, and applicable lyrics for me. "Look at me - I'm sparkling". I think that fairly accurately describes me right now.