Please, please read the story that I’m about to share with you…my cousin-in-law wrote this on why she runs and gave me permission to share it with you all. This woman went through a short time-frame of happiness of pregnancy, to almost losing her life and how she triumphed it all with the help of her family, her new found love of running and her strong faith. This is a MUST-READ! Let me know what you think in the comments below!
If you would have told me 15 years ago that I’d be a runner I would have laughed in your face. My Brothers were runners, but not me. I HATED running. Last summer Mark and I decided to work out together, part of our circuit was running down the block and back. About 100 m. Soon I decided I liked the running more then the rest of the work out and gradually went to only running. I ran 1 to 1/12 miles 4 or 5 times a week. And I really really liked it. Then school started and schedules got crazy, I was pregnant, and I just stopped.
Then December came and I got sick, MEGA sick. I sat at home with infection brewing in my gut for 3 weeks. I could not eat, I could hardly move, I had lost my baby, and everything in my body hurt. My walk resembled a zombie with my long slow dragging steps and the occasional moaning. I have not been blessed in this life with physical strength; however I have been blessed with endurance. Stubborn, stubborn endurance, but this was like nothing I’ve ever had to endure. There were times that I broke down and cried, wondering why I was so sick, why I was not getting better, and wondering how much longer I could last.
Finally the problem was found and in for surgery I went, with a body that was exhausted and barely hanging on. My surgeon said it was the worst infection he had seen. My stay in the hospital was HARD. I felt worse than I did before the surgery, although I knew I was getting better.
I had lost muscle mass everywhere from not eating and not being able to move for so long. It took every effort I had just to adjust myself in my bed. My entire body was weak and swollen. And it was still a few weeks after that before I ever got my appetite back.
As I laid there in my hospital bed day after day not even being able to breathe without immense pain due to all the fluid in my lungs, do you know what I wanted to be able to do more than anything? I remember thinking to myself,
“I can’t wait till I’m strong enough to run.”
I remembered how good I felt in the summer months when I was running, and I wanted that feeling back. I wanted to be able to move, to be able to take deep breaths, and take back control of my body.
I was sent home with my stomach still open. (You can see a picture of my incision Here and Here if you want) I couldn’t take care of my family; I couldn’t even take care of myself. It was a huge mile stone when I was able to squat down to get something out of the bottom of the fridge by myself, but it took so much effort to get back up. I had to just stand and recover for a minute or two. To regain the strength in my muscles I would walk laps around my living room. Through the next several months I was truly grateful for the strength that was given back to me. Each day is a gift. Each day is a blessing.
It took me till April to feel completely recovered (although I still feel the effects of it sometimes) and April is when I started running. YEAH RUNNING!! I started going 15 min, mostly walking and doing just a little bit of jogging. Now I’m running consistently 3 miles several times a week (continually improving), and I’m training for my first 5k! That’s right! (SO excited) Take an addictive sport and combine it with my obsessive nature, and guess what. I. LOVE. RUNNING!
To me running is a sign of gratitude to my father in heaven for my health and strength. I have seen quick improvements, and I know I’m capable of so much more. Sometimes I have to be reminded not to be so hard on myself when I’m not where I think I should be. It’s ok that I can’t do a sit up yet. It’s ok that I’m not as fast as I’d like to be, it’s ok. I’ll get there!
My scar is a constant daily reminder to me of what I went through, and how strong I’ve become. When I run and my hand occasionally moves across my stomach and I feel the big fault line of a scar it pushes me forward. I still have people talk to me about how scary it was and how fast I recovered. Everyone was surprised at how quickly I bounced back, and how complete my recovery has been, every step of the way, even the nurses in the hospital. (Which I have a priesthood blessing to thank for my amazing recovery) I’d have people ask me if I thought I’d be able to go to girls camp, or be able to physically handle certain things, and I’m like HECK yeah! Bring it! I have always LOVED a challenge. Take that Appendix! Just try and tell me I can’t do something. I have worked hard to get to where I am now. Look how far I’ve come, where will the next few months take me? I have determination like no other.
(Disclaimer: I received permission to use this story “Why I run“. The story and pictures are not my own and I do not own claim to it. Photo credits: Mark & Sarah Rone. The opinion I gave was 100% my own.)