There are days when the phrase that keeps echoing through my head is, “why me?” Why am I the one facing this? Why do I have to be the strong one? Why can’t I allow myself to let down my guard? Then I remember it’s because I’m tough enough to handle the cards I’ve been dealt with strength, style and class.
Each new day with Fibromyalgia is very different from every day before it. Some days are much easier than others. Some days I almost forget that I’m not just like everyone else. That’s usually when it hits me. The pain, exhaustion and foggy brain hit and I’m humbled by the thought that for a brief moment I was able to pretend like I was “normal” again.
Last Sunday I did something I haven’t been able to do in quite a long time. Many hours before sunrise, I woke up and accepted my challenge for the day. Bundled up and out the door before 6:00 AM, I drove to my alma mata and prepared myself to conquer a goal. Shoes laced, kineso tape on both knees and showing my support for Livestrong I faced the University of Central Florida’s Distance Dare.
I could have chosen the easy way out and run the 2 mile race or even only pushed myself to attempt the 5 mile one, but somehow my bravery when signing up pushed me to take on the 7 mile Distance Dare. Twenty-four minutes and 2 miles of straight running later, carefully paced out I must add, I crossed the first finish line. That left me six minutes to make my way over to the starting line for the second race. It was less than an hour later I somehow managed to cross that finish line once again after taking on an additional 7 miles.
Having not run that far since training and completing my last half marathon over a year ago, I found myself feeling invincible. Grabbing breakfast downtown, strolling through antique stores in Winter Park and soaking up as much of the fall weather as humanly possible sounded like the perfect way to push forward since it wasn’t even 9:00 AM yet. It wasn’t until after noon when my energy hit rock bottom and I found myself on a quick downward spiral. A nap for a few hours and I was back up and at it suddenly baking a key like cheesecake completely from scratch for the guys at work. I won’t lie, I made a few small samples to stay at the house as well because why the heck not enjoy a bit after running all those miles.
The next morning I was sore from running, as anyone who just ran 7 miles would expect, but not debilitated. I went to the gym, to work and picked up life as if there was nothing to stop me. Yet four days later I am hit by a serious dose of reality reminding me that there is something that can stop me. The run, work and lack of extra sleep to recover caught up with me and now the pain has set in. However, I’m not about to let it take me down without a fight. I’ve got three more days until I hit the pavement again and take on a half marathon. Until then, I face two more rough days at work and refuse to let anything stand in my way of crossing that finish line 13.1 miles later on Sunday. Time to conquer another challenge and show Fibro who’s boss when it comes to living my life.