I ran a 5K Thanksgiving weekend. Mostly. I walked some, but I finished running.
We’ve discussed this here before, but not for a while: I’m type 1 diabetic. This all happened 4ish years ago when the honeymoon stage was over and I no longer could keep what was inevitable at bay with diet. It was shocking and I mourned what “could have been” without a chronic illness for a long time.
I refused to go to my doctors, I made every excuse in the book as to why I didn’t need to go to my dietician. I wasn’t interested in what my diabetic educator had to say. And when I finally did go and I was the only Type 1 in the room and my story to my diagnosis is what everyone likes to call “rare” or “unusual” … I felt rabid injustice rise up and I finally understood why my mental health was so important to all these professionals.
I’ve pretty successfully gone through the last 4ish years pretending I’m not diabetic.
Only I am.
I’m a circus animal and my trick is making myself bleed.
I’m not sure if I’m on the other side, I would prefer we not refer to this as “Jodi’s accepted this” because I still 100% reject that I’m diabetic. I know, charades, but let me have this. Out of all of this: let me just have this one thing. Even if you have to let me have it behind your backs. I don’t care.
I’m aware that at the beginning of this it sounded like I was coming to terms with this, and I am. In a Willy Wonka twisty swirl of turns, magic tricks, and oompa loompa’s, kind of way.
But running: at the bottom of all of this is the fact that I’m running. I’m a runner, as an announcement. I have a running buddy and I signed up for another 5K (Dec 21st!) and I have a goal of running the 5/3rd River Bank 10K this year and no, not a marathon. Maybe ever.
And when I tell people that I’m running they’re either all “Sweet! Don’t you love it?” or “WHY?!?!!!!” And I’m all “I’m learning to not suck air and I can finish a race so yea, learning to love it!” along with “Because running feels natural, in all of this poking and prodding and tracking and watching and learning and feeling like I’m dying – running feels like life. It feels free. And like nothing else matters.”
Everything you read about running is kinda true. The part about it being a head game? The struggle is real, you guys. Most days I wake up and the gremlins are winning a nobel prize for their tactics in my head. You tried but you’ll quit, so why keep trying!? You proved to yourself that you could, so now you can quit. You’re not a runner – look at you – you’re slower than a speed walker and can’t do long distances yet. Real runners don’t have to stop and walk in the middle of their run.
Them bitches don’t quit.
But, turns out, neither will I.
It’s less than a week away and I’m trying to be proactive about my gremlin issue so if you have nothing to do on Sunday and want to cheer me on, I’m running (with a little walking) the Whoville 5K in Grand Rapids with my mom’s husband, Roger. I think we could both use a high-five.
Right? Because it’s not how fast we go, or even how far. It’s that we started … and at some point we’ll see the finish line.