Tuesday, May 15, 2012

the come back

raod run
I woke up this morning, and knew today was the day.
It had been nine months since I was able to do it without stopping.
Fear and doubt had been standing in my way,
too high to climb, too large to go around.

I have mentioned before that my Lyme hit hard last fall.
What it affected most was my ability to run.
It was torture. 
Something I once loved so much, became nearly impossible.
My lungs refused the simple in-and-out of air.
My heart threatened to burst out of my chest.
My shoes filled with cement and glued themselves to the ground.
Distances got shorter (and felt longer)
Hills could only be done at a walk.
and soon, not at all.
Last fall I ran THIS relay, and on mile three of my 3rd leg,
my body just stopped.

"no more running",
it said.

I was devastated.
I have never quit.
My mind said "go!"
"don't stop!"
but nothing would listen.
all was still.

except my tears.

I stopped running.
I dove deeper and found some relief in yoga,
but I still feared I would never be back to my running self.
I missed it.
I needed it.
But I just couldn't.

I slowly (we are talking slllloooooowwwwwwwly)
started to run again in January.
It was hard.
But I kept at it.
I had been working with my doctors, who were optimistic,
and I was starting (slowwwwwly) to see results.
a mile here.
another there .
walking up the hill,
but moving.

more miles,
small hills.
I started to feel good.
I raced.
I ran more hills.
but possible.

I was doing it. 

But I still hadn't done The Hill.

The Hill is a hill I have been running for the past few years.
Sometimes I'd run it twice, just for kicks.

It's only 1.2 miles to the top....easy, right?
But you climb 510 feet in that mile.....
....yeah, you feel that.
your legs, your lungs, your heart.
They ask you to stop,
but you continue to climb.

The last time I ran The Hill,
I wasn't even half way up and my body refused to go.
My feet were just too heavy.
I had to stop.

This has haunted me ever since.

I have been afraid that upon my return,
I wouldn't be able to do it.

But I knew it had to be done.
And I knew it could be.
So I would try.

I slipped into my road shoes, which are always happy to greet me.
They don't get much action these days, as I prefer to run around in the mountains,
but they know what to do.

I was nervous.

What if I couldn't?
I would anyway.

I started out slow.
I checked in.
My legs felt good.
lungs, good.
heart, beating. good.

I pushed.
It got steeper.

I passed the point on the road where my body had given up last time.
I ran right through.

I have been listening to a lot of Fun,
and this lyric was playing on repeat in my head,
"oh my head is on fire,
 but my legs are fine,
after all they are mine"*

I checked in.

My legs were fine.
they were fine!
I had built this up so much in my head,
and I was fine.
I was doing it.

Step after step I climbed.
My legs carried me up up up to the top.

I made it.
I ran it.
It felt good.
I was back.


I have an incredibly cheesy (and for the most part useless) ability to turn any running situation into a metaphor for life.
Really, give me a challenge in life, and I will find someway to relate it to running.
Why does my brain work this way? Who knows.
In writing this I realized that no matter how down-and-out we may be,
is permanent.
Changes will slowly happen,
if we continue to try,
 and have patience.

Robby is just about done with school.
We are on a countdown by week now.

Over the past two years there have been times,
low times,
where I just feared I couldn't do it.

He has been working so hard at school,
and it leaves me home by myself.
a lot.

It's lonely.
It's hard.
We miss him.
There have been times (several)
where I didn't know how we would ever be back to our normal family life.
Months seemed like they would take years.
One school block felt like a lifetime.
Time passed too slow.

But here we are.
I see the top of the hill.
I can check in with myself,
with my family,
and I know we are fine.
I have built it up in my head to be scarier than it really is.
We are making it.
We are almost,
just about,
steps away,
 from the top.
and it feels good.

*carry on, by fun


Brooke said...

Thank you for this Sheena. We all need these reminders! In a world full of instant gratification, it's things like this that help us remember patience really is a virtue, and good things come to those who *patiently* wait! You are amazing!

Danielle said...

You had me tearing up at your running story! As a Lyme Fighter- I KNOW the feeling of not enough breath coming in...legs too heavy to move... chest to heavy to breath...everything just...too hard. I'm so grateful and happy for you that you made it up the hill! You make me want to RUN. I am finally off antibiotics and just on herbs. HOOORAHHH! Thanks for sharing this.

Kasey said...

A lovely post. I love the metaphors and I LOVE that you killed The Hill. We have one of those, too, and MONTHS go by between occasions I am able to run the entire 1 mile without stopping on the switchbacks.

Have you ever listened to "My Body" by Young the Giant? It's one of my running favorites. "My Body tells me No, but I won't quit, 'cuz I want more..."

Brittany said...

i know exactly, EXACTLY how you feel. with my health the way it is, i am constantly forced to start back at the beginning and build up again. but i just keep on running too.

such a good post. and i'm glad that you can see the top of the hill.

Unknown said...

this is what i needed today. thank you.

Becky said...

This was absolutely beautiful! Thank you for your inspirational words!

Rachael said...

I always love to read your posts because they always are so great to read. This post is definitely one of them. Glad you made it to the top of the hill :)

Tara said...

Victory!! Congrats. :) And seriously... so glad Rob's about done with school. It will be normal again. And it will feel very, very weird.

Mari said...

Congrats, on so many levels.

melissa said...


ray-ray says said...

Just found your blog and love it!

I also find myself turning running situations into metaphors for life. Glad to know I'm not the only one. :)

kylie said...

thats what you are.
i jacked up my IT band and i've been out of running for nearly 3 months - ran in hawaii and it didnt hurt at all so i'm going to ween back into it. this is a great story.

Hannah Mayo said...

So awesome! I just recently started running, and you are one of the primary inspirations that got me to start. I am loving it. Thank you!

megan elizabeth said...

I loved your story, it's so inspirational! one of my friends recommended this blog to me and I love it!! Thank you for sharing your hardships. I have also battled lyme, and have just recently made a blog sharing my struggles, what has saved me, and trying to inspire. If you'd like to check it out, it's


Thank you again for sharing your story, I know it will help so many others!!