Monday, September 8, 2014

Caution - Changes Ahead

Things look a bit different around here! Besides the cobwebs in the corners, you might also notice a new name to this here blog, along with a new tag line. I thought about shutting her down forever, but something just wouldn't let me. I realized that, while I am more than likely done training myself into an early grave, I am not done with writing or with running or with life. Lucky you!

Many things have changed in my head and in my heart over the last several months. I talked about my health issues the last time I posted here (what was that, like 100 years ago?), and even though I found out what was happening, 2 different doctors were unable to tell me why it was happening. Long story short, my thyroid gland decided to take some acid and it when on a really crazy trip in my body, completely throwing everything inside me over a cliff. Four months, 2 scans, 2 ultrasounds, approximately 600 doctor's appointments (and 600 doctor's bills), radioactive pills, and too many blood tests later, my levels have stabilized. I was told that I had thyroiditis, which of course means the doctor has no clue why my thyroid thought it was The Lizard King and could do anything. And it will likely happen again. I don't know when, either. Fun!

During the last few months, and after a lot of reading and research, I came to the conclusion that I am likely responsible for all that happened inside my endocrine system. After weathering an unbelievably stressful professional situation during which I allowed myself to be bullied and verbally abused for two horribly long years, along with training too fast and too hard for too many long races in too short of a time period because all of that anger and resentment and depression had nowhere else to go or I would have probably either gone postal and be sitting in jail right now or have done something very bad to myself (sorry for the lack of commas), my body eventually just said, "Yeah, we are done here." The deep, dark chasm of stress and emotional pain that I was residing in felt inescapable, and my body (and mind) reacted accordingly.

On the outside, I'm sure it all looked great. I was in the best physical shape of my life - well, not really. I was nursing injury after injury. I was very underweight. And most days, I wished that I hadn't woken up that morning. Despite that, I raced for 3 solid years, culminating in a Half Ironman last year that nearly done me in. I realized soon after the post-finish line glow wore off that trying to outdo my friends, my husband, and myself with every race just wasn't worth it. Where in the beginning I looked to running and triathlon as a way to keep me alive, it quickly turned into something that felt like was killing me in every single way.

Sheesh, this post is all over the place, and I am sorry for that. But these days, I am all over the place. For so long, I pushed everything down and I was consumed by fear (you would be, too if your doctor uttered the words "cardiac arrest" in your general direction). Having my doctor tell me that it was all ok (for now) felt like I was given a second chance, and it snapped me out of my 3 year-long crappy mood. I am fully aware that it could have been worse, that others are suffering far more than I, and that I am a pretty lucky old broad. I'm getting paid to write again, I am easing back into running, and I am trying to find my smile.

Bear with me.

"All great changes are preceded by chaos." ~Deepak Chopra

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