This is not the post I had planned to write today. Today I planned on basking in the glow of completing my first 5k after 5 months of training, and being told 2.5 years ago that I’d never run again. I planned to share my determination and mind over matter attitude with all of you, in hopes that I could encourage a few of you to also shun your doctor’s “nevers”.
Instead, I am nursing a broken heart and neurological stress migraine. A friend of mine, Ryan Horn**, who has recently struggled with mental health issues went missing four days ago. Conversations around his disappearance have gone from fear to heart break to downright angry.
But just as I can not change the way my body functions due to my disease, he can not change the way his mind functions due to bipolar disease. When a person is sick, you can not be angry with them, it is out of their control.
As I awoke yesterday to the pre-dawn black, I had every excuse in the book to forfeit my spot in the run. I had a terrible migraine, I’ve been flaring for three weeks, and my heart is broken. With a few encouraging words from my hubby, those soon became every reason in the book to do the run.
When you let the disease steal moments from your life, that’s when it wins. Would my migraine and joints hurt on the course? Yes. But they’d also hurt if I stayed in bed.
Icing my head the whole way there, I continued to doubt myself, right through the first 200 meters of the race - wanting to puke. As the morning light streamed over the Pacific ocean, clarity and calm came over me. I wasn’t just running for myself, I was running for every one of you, I was running for Ryan, I was running because right now I’m healthy (sort of) enough to.
I felt no pain on the course, I wasn’t winded in the least bit, and I finished incredibly strong. When you find greater meaning in the little things, it can be a powerful motivator to move past the hurt - both physical and mental.
**If you live in the Portland, OR area and would be willing to print a flier and put it in your car, or join the search and rescue efforts, please like the MISSING PERSON - Ryan Horn Facebook page, and get more information. Thank you in advance.