Sometimes it is hard to see reality when you are a BIG DREAMER like me. I always dream big. I love to set goals and work towards them. I also have a little issue with PATIENCE. It is clearly NOT one of my virtues and something I struggle with daily. My family and close friends can tell you that when I want something, I will work as hard as I can and I expect to see results NOW!
I am usually 150% in everything I do. This is why having the accident happen to me in May of 2012 and trying to recover for a year before finally having to give in and have spinal fusion was tough for me. My livelihood and passion and life are all about being healthy and fit and exercising and feeling great.
Yep, running was a big deal and something I loved. Words cannot describe the feeling of crossing that finish line for my first half marathon with my hubby at my side and my kids in the stands cheering us on. It was a priceless moment.
Since that accident and spinal fusion, my NEW reality looks something like this:
Oh and there are also bone grafts on each side of my spine that you cannot see and that will not be grown together fully until at least another month or so.
But there is more to my reality than meets the eye. I had decided even before my fusion that I would be competing in the 2014 Walt Disney World Half Marathon this coming January. I AM after all the LEADER of a HUGE charity group who will be at the event. SURELY by 7 1/2 months post-op I SHOULD BE ABLE to do a 13.1 mile race if I am just walking it RIGHT??? (The verdict is still out on whether or not I will ever run again, so as of right now I am ONLY permitted to fast walk)
I have had a few setbacks since surgery,( a crazy infection that gave me a fever of 104.5) but I have still been operating under the assumption that come hell or high water (survived BOTH on August 29, 2005) I WAS WALKING THE HALF MARATHON. Each little setback has added to the pressure I have been feeling to finish this no matter what!
I finally decided today to listen to my body, to my husband, to my brain instead of my heart, and to God, and come to the conclusion that this is too much too fast. Why? What do I need to prove? Why have I put this timeframe on myself? WHO decided that if I am not up to a 13.1mile race less than 8 months after major spinal reconstruction that I am a failure? NOBODY decided this but ME. Me and my very impatient self! It is time to stop. My surgeon knows best.
So on January 10, 2014, I will be going for THIS medal to add to my collection.
My back is just not strong enough YET to tolerate 13.1 miles, even at a fast walk pace. I need to focus on healing 100% and being ready for another HUGE operation next fall. I will finally be having skin removal with Dr. Joseph Michaels in D.C. The smart thing to do is to compete instead in the Minnie Mouse 10k and also the 5k. I could feel defeated and upset and even more angry at the hotel where I fell etc, but instead I choose to look at the amazing progress I have made and continue to make in such a few short months.
Many people will NEVER be able to even walk 6.2 miles after such a huge procedure and so I choose to be thankful for such a skilled surgeon who was able to get me healed to this point. I have never done a 10k in Disney so this will be a great new experience. By next year, my bone grafts will be strong as ever, I will have an additional 25-30 pounds gone from my frame, and it will be much safer for me to compete in another half marathon.
I tend to be so impatient and that side of me has been saying YOU MUST DO ANOTHER HALF NOW NOW NOW TO PROVE SOMETHING TO YOURSELF! Well, I think God is trying to teach me patience and if I look at my long-term goal, which is to run again one day, then I must be smart. I have to accept and EMBRACE my current reality and live life to the fullest. I want to be 100% healed and ready to make the most of that 13.1 miles when the time is right. I have done two half marathons at Disney and they were awesome! This time I will get to wait at the finish line for all of my amazing team members and especially for my incredibly supportive husband who can finally run his own pace and see what he can do!
We will still have our tradition of crossing the finish line together as we do the 5k together on Thursday and then he will cheer for me in the 10k on Friday and me for him in the half on Saturday.
I feel so blessed to even be able to WALK 4 miles less than 6 months post-op. I am thankful daily for how much I have healed and how God has worked in my life since the surgery. With hard work, and the help of my tool of Plexus, I cannot wait to see how much stronger I get daily.
This photo really sums up how I feel about my accident, setbacks, and progress!