Marathon #7 – 26.2 for Pam
As a small child I seemed to always be throwing up. In the later part of elementary school, it was stomach aches. By high school it was colds, the flu, and pneumonia. In college I thought maybe I was getting an ulcer. I was sick more than most, but not so much to really connect the dots. And then when I was 19, there was blood in the toilet. A lot of blood. There were doctors to see and drugs to try while I got sicker. A few months later there was the colonoscopy that would finally give me the answer. I had Crohn’s Disease. It’s impossible to know how much my earlier illnesses were a sign of my eventual diagnosis. But it was still good to have a name to put to the misery I felt. I was put on high doses of steroids. My face grew round and my weight skyrocketed. But I got better. For a while.
Years passed with an endless cycle of remission – illness – steroids. The steroids wreaked havoc on my body while saving my life – damaging my organs, my bones, and my self-esteem. Periods of illness grew longer and remission grew shorter. Diabetes, arthritis, osteopenia, and asthma came along for the ride.
For most of my adult life I just survived. I kept my illness mostly private and my inner circle small. But one day the stars aligned and I was introduced to Team Challenge. And my world changed. I wasn’t an athlete and I was (am) horribly out of shape, but they gave me a plan and amazing coaches like Marc and taught me how to fly. Now I’m surrounded by friends and I’ll happily tell you anything you want to know about life with a chronic illness. I have 10 events under my belt and more to come.
But the raw truth is that I’m still sick. Some days are good, some not so much. When I’m able, I’ll be out with Team Challenge raising awareness and money for a cure. I’ll push my body to do things that are small for others and a mountain for me. When I’m not able, I know that my Team Challenge family will be out there carrying my hopes and dreams with them.
Thank you Marc. For being my coach, my inspiration, and my friend. Thank you for 26 marathons and making me feel like my small successes are just as big.
Running 26.2 for Pam!
Marathon 7 – Recap