When I set out to run the Los Angeles Marathon, I did it for many reasons. Probably the three most significant reasons were to inspire others with Scleroderma and chronic illness to live their life and be active. The second reason being to prove to myself that amidst my own pain and discomfort, I could still be an athlete and be successful. And the third reason was to make my rock and number 1 supporter Arielle, proud of her husband. But it wasn’t until today that this whole thing really started to take shape when my wife asked me today why I decided to commit to running the LA Marathon.
See, the reason she brought the question up is because I have not been true to myself and even to you. While I signed up to achieve this display of athleticism, I have not fully committed to what it takes to get there. Yes, I go out on runs, but am I doing what I REALLY need to be doing to not only complete it, but also finish the race uninjured? Contrary to what you read in my blog and see in my fitness photos on social media, while all of those platforms do convey the truth, they are not the complete picture.
On various social platforms and outlets, I am an advocate for a life that incorporates movement and fitness. I want people not to be defined by their illness or physical conditions. Instead, I want them to fight and define the illness they have by living life fully and battling everyday. But alas, I am human. I too get depressed, make excuses or I just sit because of the joint pain and tightness in my skin. Recently, a wave of discouragement hit me as I looked at a headshot photo that was taken of me at my for my job at Equinox Fitness Clubs. The photo, which should have highlighted what a strong, handsome man I have continued to become as I approach 40 years of age, to me came
across as something different. What I saw instead was a face that has completely changed over the years becoming tighter, thinner, and its features getting smaller.
Witnessing my body change from my face, to my hands, to my feet makes me sad. It makes me not want to run, let alone do anything. The physical and emotional hurt at times can be overwhelming, making it hard to cope or maintain gusto. So, while I may not turn to something addictive like food (overeating), drugs or alcohol, I turn to something worse; laziness and lack of focus. This recent self-realization has me wondering, how can I be this voice for others? How can I be an advocate for a life worth living? Well, I believe the answer is simple. Having someone in your corner who pushes you and knows what you are capable of. Sometimes just asking a tiny question can put you back on track. Today, that question came from my wife in the form of, Why did you decide to run the marathon?
After that question and seeing the lack of alignment between words and actions, I ran 5 miles then scheduled the rest of my runs this week. When you are sad, down and question yourself, who is there to push you? Who is the person you know will ask you that one important question and get your butt into gear? If you do not have that person, let me know and I will be that person for you.
To all my warriors out there, it is ok to be sad. It is ok to ask why and to know not every day is going to be the best day. The important thing to remember when in this rut is that each day is YOUR day. You have a choice to be keep fighting, or you can choose to lose slowly. Choose the fight, it is worth it. Find someone to ask that one important question to hold you accountable and keep you on track. Remember, we write the definition of life, not the other way around.
Join me as I continue not only mine, but OUR journey to the LA Marathon finish line.
I have Scleroderma, Sjogren’s, ILD, PAH… all kinds of things. I often think why bother with eating well and the like? I have no partner or children, just a couple of nervous cats. With my health issues and altered appearance, I doubt that I will ever meet that someone special who could be personally motivating. Why bother trying to extend a life that is just going to get more painful and unpleasant? I figure I should just let myself fade away, eating pizza as I go…
I am so sorry you feel the way that you do. I would love to find out more about you and the person you are. Being positive and doing the things you are able to control can have profound impacts on your health. I am getting my Masters in Public Health focusing on lifestyle and I will be getting my PhD after. I am learning so many interesting things about the mind body interaction. I even got my health coaching certification to help patients and people in general looking to make positive changes as part of my new career. If I can help you in any way please let me know. I understand this illness can be painful and very challenging but how you approach things can make all the difference. Stay positive.