This morning started off with a nice man buying me coffee which totally made my day and allowed me a few seconds to stop and smile instead of being so stressed about everything I needed to get done. Always remember how small gestures can change someones day! 🙂
I can’t tell you how many times I have repeated the phrase “Remember you why” to my runners when they are struggling on training runs, wondering if they are going to be able to finish the race on race day, or when they have excuses to not come to training runs. People are running for their spouses, their children, friends , or themselves. For many people feeling so helpless up against IBD, running and raising money is something they CAN do and a way to feel empowered over such a chronic and life altering illness. 9 times out of 10 this one phrase changes their mindset from I don’t know if I can do this to “I would do anything for X person and to stop the suffering they have.”
Last night I wasn’t able to sleep and rolled over to check my email around 2am. As always I received at least one email from a patient in crisis, feeling overwhelmed, alone, and scared. This young adult felt she had no one else to turn to at midnight on a Sunday night and just needed to know that someone was going to hear her and be there for her. And after responding to her email half asleep I started thinking about all of my whys and the fact that we have no choice but to find a cure.
I am faced with my whys for running this Ironman everyday but it was last night and this morning that I really stopped to think long and hard about them. My whys are for every patient who walks through my door feeling that they have no control over their lives. My whys are for all the parents who feel helpless as they watch their children have countless surgeries, infusions, and hospitalizations before they even enter elementary school. For all the caregivers who call me wondering what else they can do besides be a punching bag while their loved ones are suffering. For the campers who I spend a week with each summer who form long lasting friendships over issues no kid should have to deal with. For all of my providers in my center who spend each day/night/weekend trying to come up with new treatment plans to bring people until their next flare knowing that even if they get to remission at one point they will be sick again.
My whys are for every one of my runners who have trusted me in telling them that somehow I will get them to the finish line even if they had surgery a month before a race. For the college student who has to drop out at what should be the best time of their lives because they have spent more time at their parents home instead of their dorm room due to not feeling well. For the individual who doesn’t get diagnosed until 5 years after they start having symptoms. For the sibling who thinks their brother or sister is either dying or who they resent because they get so much attention.
I could go on and on about how many whys I have but they all lead to the same conclusion. We need to find a cure. Inflammatory Bowel disease is not only an illness that isn’t talked about but also one that can at many times be invisible and raising money to promote advocacy, knowledge, and research are just my marco whys.
I would be lying if part of my why wasn’t also for myself. To prove to myself that I can do this despite all of the things I have gone through in my life. For all the times I would have given anything to go for a walk never mind a run. For every flower, card, text, phone call that brightened my day over the years. My why also includes my parents who have been there through every up and down of my life. For my mom who has driven more hours in the car to make sure I was always feeling okay or wasn’t alone when I wasn’t, and who has had far to many sleepless nights worrying. And who will ultimately be just as proud of me when I finish this Ironman then if I had come in last walking a mile race.
As we start a new Team Challenge half marathon season I will again repeat the phrase “Remember your why” hundreds of times but this time the three small words will have a different meaning for me. I will understand a little more how much remembering your why can impact your training and allow you to push your limits and finish a workout, simply get out of bed, or reach out to someone for a donation.
No matter what your struggle is in life or how bad your day is ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR WHY. And know there someone out there that considers you their own person why 🙂
Last week’s training recap (3/5/17-3/12/17):
Monday – 10 miles in the morning, short bike ride after work.
Tuesday – 8 easy miles.
Wednesday – 7 miles of hills followed by a strength session at Beantown in AM. 35 minute swim after work
Thursday – Bootcamp and strength session
Friday – Long run in the am.
Saturday – 1 1/2 hour bike ride indoors (mentally wasn’t there and this felt like 193837 hours of my life).
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