My year started with feeling utterly exhausted, freezing cold, a bundle of nerves and super excited.
Why when everyone else is hitting the reset button and making epic resolutions was I feeling the exact opposite?
Disney Marathon Weekend!! For those of you that don’t know, for the past 12 years we have laced up our sneakers and lined up to conquer mile after mile all to raise awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The Dopey Challenge, a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Full Marathon over 4 days, has been our race of choice for the past 5 years.
However, this year presented with a whole new set of challenges…
We spend the last week of the year in New Hampshire skiing. It’s a time where the four of us reconnect with each other and disconnect from the outside world. Every treat that the holidays bring get loaded into the truck, so we don’t come home to a house filled with foods that don’t work well for our bodies. We visit our favorite restaurants and it’s the one time of the year where we don’t focus on nutrition. Skiing will burn those calories off in an instant. However, this year with -22 degrees (yup, you read that right) the daily norm, there wasn’t much movement happening. It was way too cold to ski even with the best layers. We spent our days reading, watching the Crown (my choice 😊) and snacking by the fire. To say we came home sluggish and with a constant chill is an understatement.
But hey, we weren’t going to complain – we were heading to Florida and at that the happiest place on earth!!
How our tune changed when we realized the temperatures at the start of each race wouldn’t be over freezing! So much for happiest place! Just like the rest of the east coast, Florida took a hit last week of temperatures far below the norm. With 16 hours to change suitcases from ski clothes to running clothes, we loaded up on our winter running gear!
Our four days of running began at 3am each morning - talk about messing up our circadian rhythm. We were now cold and exhausted. Add to this less than ideal nutrition, because you must have a Mickey waffle, and you are slowly setting your body up for shut down.
The excitement for this year came from my running partner. My nephew Danny, who is wheelchair bound, asked me to push him in the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon. I have always run for him, being his legs when he can’t, but now this year I was physically his legs. He was sidelined for the 10K because he was sick, but rallied in time for the Half – two out of four races together!
I experienced every emotion possible over the four days. We lined up at the start of the race in the wheelchair division. This is the section to most runners just ahead of the best of the best, however, in my opinion we were just behind the best of the best. We were the last wheelchair behind the athletes that power their wheelchairs by their arms. It puts into perspective understanding what we can do on our own every day that others can’t.
My husband was part of our duo for the half marathon, but he was pulled away at the start to help another wheelchair athlete begin her start, so that left Danny and I alone to begin the race. After a minute, panic and tears set in that I might truly be going this alone (to catch up in a race is not always the easiest). Thank God 4 minutes later the extra strength and captain of our team came running up behind us. Danny’s chair handle sits at chest height on me and he weighs a bit more than me, in addition to the chair. To turn the chair (it doesn’t have a swivel front wheel) requires you to lean on the handle and manual turn the chair. Intense muscle fatigue and elevated heart rate a result. My husband read every struggle I had and took over for the truly hard work. I wouldn’t have been able to complete the race without him.
We have about 35 runners for Team Danny made up of adults and teenagers. By Sunday evening half the kids would be down and out with fever or stomach flu. We had already been pumping vit C and hunting down veggie’s where we could find them, so we were hoping our immune systems were up to the challenge to protect us. So far, our house was spared, but time will tell!
We are home and settled, ready to hibernate for the winter. The days always seem slower to me in the winter and I love to use this season to refocus on what works well for my body. No epic resolutions here, just a listening to my body and treating it well…going back to what I know makes me feel well.
I share this with you because family and running are the foundations of what drives my passions, both influenced by life and being human. Also, as an example of how in the middle of obstacles there is an inner strength to push through. Never discount what you can achieve when you are aligned with your goals and priorities!
What does that look like for you? What are you committed to doing in 2018?
Not sure how to set or implement your intentions? Let's connect and set you on the path that is right for YOU!
Welcome to Balanced Healthy Self! I'm Amy and my passion is helping individuals who want optimal health, strive for peak performance, and know that prevention is better than treating just the symptoms. Do you crave balance in all areas of your life? You're in the right place.... Amy