This is my time of the year. The sun rising later and later, as if groggy and running late. The pastel sky turning bright with each ray of sunlight peeking over the horizon. The way the world feels cold and tired. Outside my dining room window the trees across the street have burst into color, their fiery yellow and orange leaves quivering in the wind. I love the chill in the air and how when I finally stumble out of bed I must immediately reach for slippers and a sweatshirt. Being cold doesn’t bother me. The numbness used to be one of my favorite parts of the change in season.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the beauty fall has to offer. The changing colors and the leaves raining down from the sky like confetti, sprinkling the ground with a satisfying crunch under foot. But I also love fall because of the way the trees turn bare and dark, their skinny branches reaching this way and that, no leaves to cover their skeletal limbs. Everything is stripped bare and there’s nothing to hide. No masks, no secrets – what you see is what you get. That’s what I love most. Already, many of the trees’ limbs are poking through their fragile, thin foliage outside and I feel as if the same is happening to me.
For so long I hid being sick because I didn’t have a name for it. I was ashamed of how fatigued I always was and embarrassed of my symptoms. I pretended I was okay in front of everyone I knew, even though at home I could sleep for hours in the middle of the day, had fistfuls of hair falling out, and was often crippled by stomach pain. I smiled for everyone because I’d rather see someone else happy than to explain my own hurt.
I have trouble being vulnerable, and I’ve struggled with it all my life. But the good thing is with this blog I’ve been able to share so much more with my writing than I know I could ever do with my voice. Writing is my outlet I once held very close to me, my secret. But I’ve learned the more I share the more I grow. And I don’t seem so numb anymore.
These past few weeks I’ve been trying to adjust to my new regimen of pill popping and my gluten-free and mostly plant-based diet. There are some days I feel on top of the world and others where I find myself scrunched up on the couch for far too long, watching the clock tick slowly, wishing it was a new day. But everyone has ups and downs. And I am grateful for all my friends and family who reach out to me constantly, asking how I am feeling.
Trying to get a handle on Lyme and treatment has left me grasping for straws at some points, especially when it comes to my running. All my races have been scrubbed from my calendar for the remainder of this year, yet I have great hopes and dreams for 2017. I’m not running much at the moment, but when I get out there and feel good I truly cherish it.
Last week I ran at Great Falls park and was saturated in nature. At times, I couldn’t even see the narrow trail beneath my feet and had to rely on finding the green blazes on nearby tree trunks. The wind howled but I felt warm beneath the trees and I was so deep in the woods I momentarily lost myself. Under the thick canopy I was sheltered from the wind and it was so quiet it was unnerving at times. All I could hear was the crunch of leaves beneath my sneakers, and my long inhales and exhales. Civilization was long gone and I forgot about the Lyme. I was myself: happy, free, and doing exactly what I know I am meant to do.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to start enjoying more running again. In March 2017 I’ll be running an Ultra Ragnar Relay in Tennessee with some great friends, and it will consist of six legs per person and over 30+ miles for the two days. I know I have plenty of time to train but just having it on the calendar is enough motivation for me to get myself out the door on some of the harder days.
Having hopes and dreams helps me know I am not broken.
As I reach for this goal and some others I will announce in the coming months I’d like to start posting about my training/lifestyle more frequently. I’ll probably keep things pretty low mileage even though I’ll be training for the long distances again (yay!). As 2017 approaches rapidly, my goal is to share more of my every day happenings as I continue to make my transition to a plant-based diet and tackle new distances.
I have a follow-up blood work and an appointment with my doctor in mid-November to see if any of the supplements and antibiotics have been helping. I’m hoping I won’t have to keep taking the antibiotics after I see her because they truly make me feel horrible, but I’m also trusting her medical opinion.
And I think that’s it for now. If you haven’t already, definitely get outside and enjoy this beautiful autumn.
More updates to come soon on my training and plans!
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