Category Archives: Jogging

Writing

Have I ever told you that I hate writing? Well, I used to. All through childhood and into young adulthood. I could never get my thoughts onto paper quick enough. I would get frustrated with my inability to express my thoughts and gave up. I didn’t write poetry or letters anymore. No, it wasn’t until my children were little that my typing seemed to pick up. Computers make it easier to write thoughts. If  you make a mistake you can delete, edit, add. Since I learned how to type pretty fast, and I discovered blogging, I started to enjoy it. I got [positive feedback and kept on writing. It was a great way to de-stress in the days of having young kids.

Now, this year, during my recovery I have discovered that I am having a problem with my brain communicating with my fingers and typing is tedious. My fingers are all over the place!pupa

God has been using my life circumstances to transform me into  doing something I’ve never  considered doing.

I am writing a book now and have lots of work to do on it. I’m fairly certain I’ve got about 2/3’s of it done so the end is in sight.

a professional told me that writing will be good for my brain recovery . So I write. I love blogging so Iwill keep at it as much as I can.

Too much to say – Part 3

I’m going to attempt and put part 1 and part 2 in a final act, of sorts.

Perspective comes in strange ways. Our life has had it’s strangeness…that’s for sure.

Two and a half years ago, we were feeling really good about where our lives were headed, the direction the church was going, confident in relationships and, for the most part, pleased with our decisions in personal life. At the same time, my physical health was going down hill and we didn’t know our way around a stick. Life was good, bad and all sorts of NORMAL…for us. It was a winter I never wanted to repeat. Does that sound confusing? It really was a confusing time of life.

Pivotal moments seemed to line every part of the race of life. Moments like the loss of friendships, the gaining of new ones. God teaching me how to pray more effectively. Showing me that spiritually I had a long way to go. Areas of sin that were blatant and screaming for attention.

God was moving so many parts of the picture our heads spun. He was doing such a deep work of renewal that I felt I would drown at times.

One of the pivotal moments happened on our 20th year anniversary celebration trip to Jamaica. Anxiety was trying to knock on my soul and when I stepped on the plane I chose not to take it with me. I left it, like a bag of dirty clothes outside of the plane. I decided right there that I couldn’t stop anything bad from happening so why take all that baggage with me? If something terrible was going to happen all the worrying in the world would not stop it.

Relief.

Then I went snorkeling.

My brother drowned when I was five. Since then water has had  a certain grip on me. I could swim but didn’t like it. I could put my head under water but it wasn’t fun. Being without breath scared the bejeebers out of me. I had dreams when our oldest was a toddler that he had wandered away from me near water and we couldn’t find him.

When I decided to go snorkeling I knew it would be a test. I looked at everyone else surviving on just a little tube of air. I pumped up my air life vest as fat as it could go and stuck my head under water. It was liberating! I survived! It was a feat of the mind.

Fear. It’s hounded me.

And on that trip I let a lot of it go. It was amazing! I didn’t worry about what to make for supper, whether my kids were ok (because I was 10 hours away and couldn’t do anything anyways) and I didn’t lose any sleep, besides what should be lost on that kind of vacation.

We came back and I set off to train myself to run a 5 km in the fall. I don’t run for any reason. Not even a bear. With a bear you best lay in a ball and stay put. Well, that’s what I’ve heard.

When I started to train I didn’t realize how much of an exercise of the mind it would be. The first time, I jogged for 30 seconds off and on. By the end of the summer I was jogging for 30 min’s straight. Say WHAT? It took a lot of mental grit but God, in his strength, led me through it. So very cool.

I completed the 5 Km and was so excited that I finished that challenge! It changed me forever too. All that time breathing deeply and being in the fresh air. It renewed both my body, my spirit and my mind. It was beautiful!

The winter after that run was when I started the new ladies group. What I didn’t know then was that God had a hand in that too. It created a community I would need through the tough times ahead. It gave me a business that I could be challenged by, in different ways.

You see, what I’m trying to say is that all the threads of my life, of your life are being drawn together in a beautiful pattern. Even now, as we face another monumental challenge, our lives are being woven by the Master Craftsman.

I prayed for God to restore us in many ways. I prayed that he would bring people back…to us… but mostly to Him. He has restored some relationships that I cried over losing. How great is THAT? He is restoring that which has been broken.

He is working in ways that are mysterious and so very amazing. In your life too. You may not see it now. You may not see it in a year. You may never see the beautiful pattern that is being knit together. But have you given it a thought? Have you given HIM a chance? It is a matter of choices. He gives us all that. You get to choose to get better or to get bitter. You make the choice to let anxiety kill you from the inside out. You can let it go. You choose to let him work in the hard places. You get to choose so many things even when things seem out of control.

A lot is out of my control right now. But I get to choose how I react, how I live the rest of my days. He’s given me so much. How about you?

What are the choices you need to make?

March 2013

Ahoy Matey!

Is it summer yet? All I see is a lot of melted snow, otherwise known as rain, and puddles. The rain hasn’t got me down yet, though. Probably because I’m not living in Calgary or Canmore and I haven’t had to evacuate my home.

When I started this blog last year, I was going through some really scary physical issues which knocked me back so far I couldn’t see where I had been. I named this blog Emerging from the Chrysalis in hopes that my life would be transformed and that beauty would arise on beautiful wings, like those of a caterpillar who must twist, turn and fight to come out of it’s pod and spread it’s wings. Hope was barely glimmering when I wrote the first words, but it was there despite the pressing darkness.

When I asked God to change me, root out whatever was making me sick, tired and anxious, I knew that it would probably be painful. I just didn’t really get that it would be physically more painful than I had ever experienced. Chronic physical pain has long been a part of my life, but this winter it amped up to a level of intolerable. There were days I would rock back and forth in my bed and beg God to take me HOME. I felt like a useless blob of chicken fat. I couldn’t do anything besides just survive and pray.

There were transitional moments throughout the last 8 months. I can’t even begin to explain what they were. Some of them are moments I hold closely and treasure in my heart. Other times were mundane yet extraordinary. There were friends and family who said things at strategic points. There were decisions made by me that set me on courses that I had previously thought impossible. God was there the whole time guiding, directing, pushing and coaxing. He led people into my life that have been a source of encouragement, counsel, truth and love.

One of the transitional and transformational moments was when I dipped my head into the warm, tropical water of Jamaica. Snorkel in my mouth, mask on my face, I decided right then and there that I would conquer this fear of mine. The intense fear of water/being without air.

I saw other people were surviving and then so did I. Anxiety gone, fear conquered. Transformation!

My goals? Sure I have some!

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My Goals for 2014
1.  Kiss my man more.
2. Train for a 5K again and hopefully run with my family in an event.
3. Spend less time online and more time writing. I have some writing goals this year.
4. Organize my bedroom and keep it that way. The rest of the house…well, I will work on it but no promises.
5. See if a short-term mission/humanitarian trip is feasible for me THIS YEAR.
6. Be more involved in playing with the kids and not just let them play without me. I should have fun too!!
7. Memorize a chapter of the Bible and spend regular prayer times with my Best Friend.
8. Deepen my friendships and spend more time with them. Call my long-distance friends once per month, at least!
9. Plan a date with my man every month and be creative (it’s really difficult where I live, but there’s gotta be something!!)
10. Sing more. Laugh more. Enjoy life and all the blessings all that much more than I do right now.
11. Invite my neighbors for a BBQ and see if they come.
12. Live the life Christ has set out for me with enthusiasm, direction,  and joy.

Running with Pain, Part 3 – How I did it

English: This breathtaking view of the famous ...

English: This breathtaking view of the famous Canadian Rockies Three Sisters Mountain Range is taken from Canmore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was told that if I had chronic pain or fibromyalgia, or CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) etc then I should definitely not do hard exercise. I have been so incredibly ok with this advice that I just decided that exercise was not that important. I was wrong. What they also told me is that it was essential that I get moving and continue in a regular exercise program to keep myself as good as I could be. I have been told many times to keep up with exercise programs that were low impact but strength building. Swimming, walking and yoga were exercise regimes of choice.

Laying in bed a few months back, I figured I should probably do something drastic to get me out of these drastically awful circumstances. Yes, I would go against the “soft” exercise program like swimming, walking, or yoga and go headlong into the world of running. I always hated it, had seen healthy people doing it and put two and two together. I should do exactly as they don’t recommend and specifically what I hate to do and… RUN!

I figured I may as well do what I could do to make this actually happen and that’s what I’m going to tell you now. It took a few steps and trial and error along the way, but I came up with some strategies I will go on to use in life.

1. I gave myself a really rewarding goal. I was going to run in a 5 km run/walk. I was going to RUN the entire way!! My goal was the 5 km. The destination was the reward. Canmore, Alberta!! The mountains. How much more motivating could that get? Running in the mountains. Join me at my humor blog to see how that really went when I got there.

2. I made sure that the equipment I was using to run was good enough for me not to be bothered by discomfort. With fibro my whole body is sensitive to extra pain/discomfort. I affirmed my shoes were good to go, that my clothes were light and easy dry and that chafing was at a minimum. Jogging in my cotton shorts that rode up every step I took was a no-go. Running in a raincoat that didn’t breathe was not helping. I went and found what I could within my budget to make sure I was as comfortable as possible during the excruciating thing called training.

3. I found a program that works and used my son’s iPod that would help me in the training program. I downloaded the Couch to 5km program. It was great to have the program tell me when to walk/jog rather than me having to keep track on my watch. As the program progressed it was helpful to see what I had accomplished.  I moved through the weeks very slowly at first, making sure I could do what they were “asking” before moving on. Week three kicked my butt but I made sure I could run the interval that it was scheduled for before I moved on. I also downloaded MapMyRun which is a GPS program that showed the pace I was at, how far I had gone etc. It was all helpful in seeing how I was doing and how I was improving. Very encouraging!!

4. I celebrated my improvements and forgave myself for the “bad” days. I had a group of people I could call or send an email and receive encouragement from right away. I told myself I would not let the failure mentality bring me down as it had so often in years past.I used to beat myself up inside when I didn’t do it (Any physical discipline that was hard) at  the level I should so then I would quit. I determined NOT TO QUIT!  If I had a bad day I would get back at ‘er.

5. I prayed and acknowledged that only God could do this in me and through me. I prayed that HE would get the credit for any good that came out of this. He was the one who led and directed  me in this. He gave me the dream. The dream of the impossible, for it truly felt impossible in the beginning when I couldn’t even walk 3 km.

6. I DID it!!  Even though I found out the race would be at an elevation higher than I was used to and that my body would most likely react to that in some way, I decided that all the training wouldn’t let me down. Not only that, my determination and God’s strength would keep me going. I did it, even though I had a migraine of horrible proportions that week and couldn’t train even once. I kept on going, knowing that it would be an accomplishment to do the 5 km even if I had to walk, though I was determined not to.

In the end, my time was terrible. I was not in a race though. Even if it was a “race” I was not racing against people, I was racing to beat my own fears and doubts into submission. I ran to overcome all the lies that told me that I couldn’t do it, for so many reasons. I did it to show God’s mercy and grace and love toward this one little gal from the prairies. He did it!  He did it through me!  A broken and weak vessel.

I set myself up to succeed as much as I could, but God gave me what I needed in the end. He gave me the pep talk in the rain. HE whispered “You can do this…you can run a little further…you can stop listening to your legs screaming and listen to me.”

We ran it together and together we will stay forever. It’s cool to think what could be next with God and I. It’s a wonder!  It was a miracle!

Disclaimer: I would advise that if you suffer from Fibro, CFS, arthritis or any other debilitating and deteriorating disease that you consult your Dr. I did. He thought I was crazy but that it was good.  When you find something you want to do then do it, and do it safely. I wanted to make sure I didn’t injure myself while running and learning how to do it. Please do learn how to do whatever exercise safely for your condition and take it slowly. You will improve in time. I have been sick a long time so don’t expect myself to change very fast. I still have a long ways to go and have set a goal to work toward slowly.

Running with Pain, Part 2

I have had a pretty decent summer with pain levels. Yes, I’ve had pain, but the intensity has not been unbearable most times. That all changed this week.

I believe it is a combination of things, but it’s all guesswork, really. I think it’s allergies, stress (think home school start-up, Aspie kid adjusting, getting programming for my other gal with challenges and meetings, etc…) and peri-menopause. It’s kicking me in the rear.

Migraines are NO FUN at all. Even when you are laying in a room with blinds drawn and earplugs in (for the noise issues) there is still cloying pain. It is close to unbearable except that life goes on. Any mom who knows the chaos of children would give a front tooth for a dark room without noise. This I know. Except those that have migraines. Those people know they would give up a set of teeth to never have another pain in the head again. It’s disruptive to everyone.

“Shhh. Be quiet. Mommy’s got a headache.”

“Can you stop moving? I can’t focus on anything when you are moving like that in my general area.”

“Kids, can you stop being kids for this week because what you do as children makes my headache worse.”

Running hasn’t happened either. I tried on Monday, but then I collapsed with defeat on someone’s lawn. It was a beautiful moment as I looked up into the sky through the trees. I was reminded why I was running. To point to the One who made me.

I have felt the pressure build as I stumble through the week and the 5k gets closer. I pray and I hope that the pain subsides. I have prepared for this for months (obviously, because I won’t stop talking about it). It would be a kicker if my pain won in the end.

I will NOT. LET. THAT. HAPPEN!

More importantly, I believe that God will give me the strength I need to get to the goal.

Running with pain. Well, it is a given that pain will be there. It’s just how much can a person take? I guess I’ll find out this weekend.

As a fabulous aside, I have now been able to raise $530 for CAUSE Canada and feel fantastic about that!  I had a goal of $1000 so if you want to help me reach that by Sunday, then please go to my donation page here. I may even attempt a backflip for that. No, I won’t don’t worry Mom!

Thank you to all that have helped raise money for CAUSE Canada so far!  You have made a difference in lives who would not have a chance without you.

 

Running with Pain

English: Female Jogger on Coleman Avenue in Mo...

English: Female Jogger on Coleman Avenue in Morro Bay, CA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gasping, shuffling, puffing and looking at my watch to see that only a few seconds had passed since I had last checked, I kept jogging badly until the one minute mark hit. Walking with a slight limp, I gratefully hoarded air into my lungs and cringed when I saw that I only had three minutes left to walk before my next minute of jogging.

These were the first few weeks, that felt like years, of my foray into the world of jogging. I had made the commitment to “run” in a 5km  in September and I had only four months to prepare. The snow had just cleared off of the road and I pushed myself out the door, mentally kicking and screaming. Pain and fatigue had pushed me into such a tight corner that I desperately fought back by training for a run. Never, ever in my life had I imagined myself in such a spot.

The Couch to 5K program typically takes 9 weeks to complete. I took all four months. I still have a week left in the “program” before I technically complete it. I have nine days until I run the race.

I didn’t realize how mental the game of running is until I came to a point where the program pushed me to run eight minutes. I was pretty sure I couldn’t do it. Then again, I thought to myself, I had just run five minutes consecutively a few days before. Eight minutes were not even double that so I think I can do this. My brain changed during that run. When I wanted to quit, I told myself “I can do this …it’s only 3 minutes more”. As I ran, I avoided looking at the time. When I finally did, I realized that I had already done five minutes. Surely I could do three more! I dragged my feet on the ground, hardly able to lift them, but lift them I did. After that, it got easier to convince myself that I could do it! It was a miracle, really. If I couldn’t do the full-time I just kept trying, week after week, until my body said “YES!!”

With Fibro/Chronic Fatigue/arthritis, I couldn’t do it some days even if my mind was saying I wanted to. There were a few days I just couldn’t. I decided that even if I just walked or got out a bit, that was better than nothing. If I really couldn’t even get out of the door I let myself off for the day and knew I’d get back at it when I could. I let myself go from the guilt I usually place on myself when I “fail”. I determined that God was at work and I would be a willing vessel, so to speak. I would not quit this time.

The miracle of movement and energy has been overwhelming this summer. As time and training has passed I have been so thankful that my energy levels have gone way up. That’s not to say I don’t have my bad days anymore, but  I am able to do much more than I could just six months ago. I feel like I have a long way to go, but looking back it’s been  a hike already.

I have had incredible support throughout this summer with my attempts at running. My dear man, bless his heart, thought that I should do something besides running when I told him what I was going to do. After seeing me get out the door and make some progress he changed his tune and expressed that he was impressed with how I was coming along. My mom, sweet lady that she is, thought I should do something less dramatic when I told her I was going to do this crazy thing called running. She, as well as my dad, became my biggest encourager as well. The list goes on with the people who have cheered me on and it has kept me going. God works through the words of his people, I tell ya! I don’t know if I have ever felt that kind of support before. I consider many of my friends and family encouraging but in this difficult task I didn’t know I needed the words of support until I had people express them to me.

In a little over a week the official “run” will be over. I have thought about what I will do to keep up the momentum and not fall back on old habits. I only know how easy it is to hibernate and not move at all during the winter months. I have formulated some ideas to keep me going. I may just surprise myself again. You never know.

How about you? What are you going to do to keep moving this winter? I live nowhere near a gym or exercise facility. I never have liked exercising in my home but know I will have to do something. How about you give me some ideas?

Next time, I’m going to give away the secrets I found out that worked to help me be successful in training while living with chronic pain.