Running is my motivation for living right now. I’m not exaggerating when I say this; the thought of being able to go for a run is what has me holding on, even though I’ve yet to even attempt such levels of activity. When I was told, after a bit of a pause and with a lot of caution, that I could attempt to get back to some level of activity again, I went from a desperate, suicidal mess, to this driven person with an aim and a focus. It won’t make the hell that I am about to endure bearable, but it will be there waiting for me on the other side.
I still can’t talk about what I’m about to face in regard to my health because my brain implodes at the thought of such unpleasantness, but running even the shortest distance will help me deal with the emotions and thoughts that are swirling around in my head at the moment (I am no longer numb, I’m looking forward to running and feeling almost ok but fragile, and then suddenly that all slips in a seismic shift, and my world crumbles, and I feel like I’ve been winded, and it takes everything I have not to cry because I remember what is coming, what is waiting for me, and I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to face it. It makes me stop whatever I’m doing and just cease to… Human. Dread consumes me, and then a brief panic, and then numbness returns until I am once again lost in thoughts of running. I’m very fragile, and on the edge, but I am moving away from where I was and I’m trying so, so hard).
Anyway, running is my motivation for living right now, but I want there to be a motivation for running. Running for myself is selfish, I feel. I have been given this chance and this amazing opportunity to attempt activity, and I don’t feel I deserve it. This is undoubtedly because my self esteem is at an all time low after the return of my family, but also because I just feel that so many more people deserve the opportunity to find a part of themselves again, as running is going to allow me to do. I am rather pathetic, and a bit of a drain on society, and there are fantastic people out there who are never going to get chances so… Why has one been wasted on me? I’d pass it on if I could. And then I realised I could do exactly that, I can pass it on…
I want to set myself a running goal each month, and each month ask people to sponsor me to reach that goal in order to raise money for a different charity. Even if I only raise £1 for each different charity throughout each different month, I will have done something.
Running is going to significantly improve my life (although ironically at the same time it is going to make my heart have tantrums and make me feel like rubbish, but I am totally prepared for that and the emotional benefit outweighs it all) and I think it is only fair that I pass that benefit on to others by raising money to fund research or facilities or treatments or awareness or whatever else can help people who are in (or hopefully, some day prevent others from ending up in) the situations I have faced… Or just for causes and charities that are on the list of those I decided I wanted to raise funds for when I was much younger (actually, there is a book full of charities and lists of what I wanted to do to raise funds for each of them. When I was wrote them, these physical challenges were achievable, but now they really, really aren’t).
At the age of 14, I decided that during my lifetime I wanted to raise as much money for as many different charities as possible, anonymously, and in my own free time. That year I completed my own individual triathlon, participated in a 5k sponsored event, and filled an entire notebook with other things I wanted to do as the years passed… But I was never able to do anything from that notebook, I wasn’t well enough. My health began to hiccup spectacularly, significantly endangering my life (almost killing me many times) and forcing me to acknowledge the severity/ reality of what for me had just been a normal part of my life for as long as I could remember. Yesterday I was given back what that took from me – the hope of running again. And I have 6 years to make up.
There is not just one health hiccup that has for all this time stopped me running. Even if my heart is happy, my body will have extremely low levels of energy – it cannot metabolise glucose much at all and so essentially runs on empty, breaking down what little fat I have remaining (and muscle) for fuel. Energy levels that are normal for me are low enough to keep a healthy person in bed for days, but to me they feel amazing. Which is my point.
This is all relative.
My deciding I want to run a 5k is like a healthy person deciding they’re going to run an ultra marathon off of no training. I was told I am not even anywhere near well/ fit enough to start a “couch potato to 5k” running programme. It is going to take me months to work up to the level of couch potato. At the moment, walking half a mile wipes me out for the rest of the day. Many different parts of my body are going to hate me. This is going to be difficult. Beyond difficult. Keep in mind that in May, due to a combination of health hiccups, I was unable to walk and barely had the energy to stand. What may seem like a feeble physical challenge to some is a near impossible feat for me. My dog and I walked about 3/4 of a mile this morning, and I’ve been laid out on my bed ever since… That’s how tough activity is on me. But I plan to be tougher… Eventually. For now, I’m stuck at what to everyone else appears as pathetically feeble, but to me it is a huge, huge, huge level of strength and physical ability.
This is why I’m not actually sure anyone would sponsor me. When… Or even if, I do decide to start this, I will have no choice but to start with walking (which is hugely disappointing for me, and feels ridiculously easy even though it will be stupidly tough). Maybe aim for a 10-15kkm total for a month, and introduce a very small amount of running near the end (we’re talking a light, 200m jog a day, even though I’m not even supposed to attempt jogging yet and that is far too long a distance to start with – yes, my body is that weak and incapable right now, I’ve been told I’m basically at the stage of a baby, and have to walk much further before I even think about thinking about the slowest, teeniest, tiniest jog). People are hardly going to want to sponsor me to do that, but then again, I don’t think people have any idea how tough (or how much of an achievement) that will be.
Running at all is a big deal for me – it is something I thought I would never do again, and my consultants for various health hiccups just accepted that as a given too, not really caring too much about whether or not I could run, and figuring that the most important thing was that I have a pulse. That is important, but like I’ve said, one consultant is about to implement a treatment plan that will at least temporarily leave me with a life that isn’t worth living, as a last resort, with a change that it might not have any effect on that particular health hiccup. A few weeks ago I was told I have a very low quality of life, that I couldn’t do anything that a normal 20 year old did… And back then, I couldn’t. But if I can run, I can do anything. If I can run, this is a great big flashing representation of that quality of life that they told me they wished I could have but didn’t know how to achieve. It will be me proving them all wrong again.
If this plan ever happens, I’m thinking that I’d start a second blog (and maybe a social media page) where I’ll post updates of my walking/ running progress, and screenshots of runs (you know, of maps or whatever from one of those apps that tracks your run or walk), so that anyone who sponsored me could be sure that I was actually achieving what they were sponsoring me to complete. I kind of also considered using it as a platform to inspire others to run, maybe getting them to set themselves a monthly running or walking total or something, and maybe getting a few t-shirts with something motivational printed up (I know I still need to sort out my actual t-shirt business because I took down the website after it included my home address in one of the links from the page, but hey, I can’t even think about dealing with that stuff right now and it will wait).
So erm… yeah.
Thoughts, anyone? (Seriously thoughts are beyond welcome and would be greatly appreciated, so please comment away!)