No Pain, No Gain?

Friday, November 22, 2013

I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and stuff,
but Jesus, is this half marathon thing really a good idea? 

I just signed up for my second half-marathon.

The Magic City Half-Marathon is Sunday, so you can see I certainly waited until the last minute to register even though I've been training since September.

I wouldn't register, quite frankly, because I feared I'd back out and I didn't want to waste my money. I honestly didn't make up my mind I would do this until the moment I got out of my car and walked to the race expo at Regions Field.

It may seem strange I was so hesitant considering I've done a half-marathon before and considering I've been preparing for nearly three months. But as some of my friends and blog followers know, I have a connective tissue disease that causes my joints and muscles to hurt so much I can barely get out of bed some days. And for the past two weeks I've felt like crap.

But today I decided I would do the race in spite of the pain. No, actually I decided I would do the race because of the pain. Let me explain.

When I was diagnosed with this dumb disease on January 3, 2008 (Happy New Year to me, eh?) I made a vow to God and a promise to myself that I would not let this ailment beat me. I would not let it win. I would not let it keep me from living my life to the fullest. Fitness, being physically active, is a huge part of my life. I refuse to allow this disease to take that away from me.

And while it may sound crazy, on the days when I'm in severe pain I actually feel worse when I just lie in bed. My joints and muscles start to feel heavy and stiff. I can barely lift my arms and my legs feel like they belong to someone else. This is exactly how I felt Sunday morning. The night before my pain had brought me to tears. But on Sunday morning I pulled myself out of bed and went for a walk. And I actually felt better!

So I'm doing a half-marathon. Again.

Don't worry. I will be kind to my body during this race. (Well, as kind as you can be to your body while traveling 13.1 miles on foot.) I don't plan to be fast. I'm going to walk and jog my way through the race. I'm not trying to break any personal records. I don't care if I'm the last person to cross the finish line (which I probably will be). I'm just going to enjoy the journey through my city and with every step give thanks for the ability to move.

Wish me luck!

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