Open Water

Dec 13 1

I’m still cold. I can’t seem to warm the prickly parts of this chill. Coffee, blanket, sweater, more coffee…it’s still there. The sun is shining now, but this morning, well it just felt crunchy and cold to me. I was meeting a friend for a short morning walk  and I arrived earlier than I had anticipated. I seriously considered driving back home, even if it only gave me 15 minutes of extra time. Instead I told myself to stop being a wimp and get an extra mile in before she arrives.Dec 13 5

I don’t know what it is lately. Anyone else feeling like this, like they can’t shake the chill, whatever that chill may be? I can’t seem to put a finger on my mood lately. It’s like having an itch that I can’t reach. Is it the weather? The holidays? Nerves? Maybe it’s this cold that has been teasing me with it’s aches and stuffy nose. I wish it would decide whether or not it’s going to take up residence in my body so I could move on.

Uh-oh, is it sabotage? Is it because I’m getting closer to my goal and I’m doubting myself? Pfffft, me a runner? What the heck was I thinking signing up for a 1/2 marathon. I start to picture all of the toned, fit, fast runners that will be lined up at the starting line. I’m not delirious, of course I know that I won’t be lined up with them, but I can still picture them. My stomach starts to hurts. Then I think “Oh no you don’t, don’t even think about it, you are not going there“. Luckily, this train of thought is short-lived, I’ve worked too hard to get here. I might be an unlikely runner, but dang-it I’m a runner.

My mind continues to search for answers. Logan creeps into my thoughts. I think about how little sleep he has had this last week because of the swing in his blood sugar. I think about how he asked if I could lay with him after he woke up sweaty and thirsty at two in the morning. I think this could be it. Knowing that something is always there, something that brings challenge, something you can’t control, but you can control how you deal with it, stupid diabetes.

Nah, I think I’m nervous about my event, excited, but nervous.

True, I am nervous, and excited but when I really look at what’s eating at me today, it could very well be the reality of Type 1 Diabetes. I know it’s always there and I feel good about where I am with it emotionally, though I have to admit on the days that Logan has his doctors appointment, often times it’s a reality check. You know, it’s like using a pen light to look at something, you can see it just fine, but then someone hands you a high voltage flashlight and you’re like “Whoa! There it is”.

I know that as Logan grows things will change, an old challenge will be replaced with a new one, we will up his dosage, deal with an occasional high A1C, encourage him to use different fingers for his pokes so they don’t get so “chewed up” and pray. Pray every day that his organs stay in tact, that his eyes stay healthy and that we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing.

When talking about our lives with T1D, I have always said, “It’s like a marathon not a sprint, you have to pace yourself and fuel yourself so you can endure the long miles“. Funny thing is, I said this before I started running.

As I continued my walk around the lake, I was feeling so cold, the lake was frozen over and all I could think about was “Holy crap it is really cold… and where is everyone?“. No runners, no dogs…did I miss something, a coyote, or two? It was eerily quiet.

As I came around the corner I saw a few ducks coming in for a landing. I smiled to myself waiting to witness their slippery approach onto the ice. It looks like fun, at least to me, but I always wonder if the duck is thinking “Stop! stop! stop!” as they flap their wings ferociously while putting on their brakes.  I was surprised when they didn’t slide but actually splashed during their landing, somehow they managed to find a bit of open water. I bet that made them happy. Then it hit me, I need to find my open water.

Dec 7I kept walking, still so cold, it was that kind of chill that just grabs a hold of your bones and makes your body tense. (I have a feeling you are more than understanding how cold I was, I’m a bit obsessed with it today as I am still cold, even after two cups of coffee).

All I really wanted to do was go home and succumb to my mood. But I didn’t. I kept going and along the way I thought about the ducks, the open water, and how whether or not I could see it, like them, I always find a place to land. We all do.

When I finally met up with my friend she apologized and asked if I had been waiting long. I reassured her that I wasn’t  and I mentioned my lap, to which she replied, “Good for you!“. For some reason it softened my edges. She was so sincere. I told her not to be too impressed as it took a lot of convincing to get my butt out of the car. As she continued to praise my efforts, all I could think was, “I should have ran that mile, heck, in that same time I could have ran two“. I am my own worst critic.

We continued on our walk, I warmed up a bit, and quickly realized that I was not dressed properly for a walk. I am not prepared. I’ve gotten so used to running that I forgot to add a few more layers for today’s walk. I was also jealous of the cute, wool hat my friend was wearing. I bet it was warm and toasty. She interrupted my thoughts, probably uncomfortable with the way I was staring at her head, and asked me about my race in January and without either of us knowing, she helped me get to a better place. I was still cold, but something shifted.

I’ve been so frustrated lately with a lapse in my training because of IT band issues, and now with this lingering funk, I started to doubt myself and I was beginning to give in to it all. Maybe joining Eeyore’s’ team too quickly when I should have enlisted Christopher Robin.

Previous to our conversation she didn’t know how I was feeling, struggling with my own internal critic and coach, and I was grateful that she didn’t. Her words and kindness were perfect just the way they were, not too much, not too little. I say ‘too much’ because on some days I feel like, “if I see one more inspirational quote telling me I can do it I’m going to vomit“.

Some days just get like that for me, and I am probably the worst offender. I am a lover of words and quotes that touch, motivate and inspire us. But for me, some days are ‘suck it up‘ days and some are ‘hug me‘ days. I’m still trying to figure out which ones are which. I’m sure my husband will tell you that I’m more of a ‘suck it up‘ kind of gal. That being said, I am the first person to offer a hug. I’m a hugger, what can I say.

So ironically, as I’m typing this, my mom calls. Someone’s seven year old son was just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and they are beside themselves. There it is again. T1D telling me that it’s not going away. She continues to tell me that they’ve been to the ER multiple times and they don’t know what to do. She asks if she can share my information with them and talks about giving my brother’s info. as well.

There’s silence between us and she says, “It makes me so mad, another child…“, followed by more silence as I search for words of wisdom, and given my mood, I respond “Yep, some days it just sucks“. I surprise her, she laughs at my comment, because like I said, I’m a lover of inspirational quotes and she probably expected me to say “this too shall pass, or, everything will be fine“. Yes, everything will be fine but some days if it sucks, just say it, I won’t judge.

I’ve lost my train of thought, leaving me with how do I end this? Where do I end it? Well, in theory, it never ends. Once again T1D interrupts my train of thought, my life,  and it comes barging into a strangers life. In an instant it connects us.

This is where I am. Knowing that wherever I am, I find a landing, and along the way people join me at the best possible moments. For whatever reason, good, bad or in between, we are all connected. Of course, I prefer good.

In January, when I join hoards of other runners, I will know that fast or slow, we are all connected. We all have days that suck, some of us move through them, some of us move around them and some are still there, waiting, trying to figure out how to move.  In the end, we always find a place to land.

And now, another reality check, I have to go pick up my kids from school, stinky and all, because I have spent my morning being chilled and reflective when I should have been showering and cleaning. Though, this is the perks of living in a town that even when you haven’t worked out or ran that day, it’s o.k. to look like you did… aaaack and no make-up, o.k., that, well I’m not quite there yet, I can’t show up with not even foundation on. And I don’t know about you but I have a race to run, now lets get down to business and have some fun!

You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

-Christopher Robin To Pooh



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