"It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything." Chuck Pahlaniuk from the book, Fight Club.
I just finished reading this book recommended by a dear friend. It contributed vastly to my already eventful weekend soaked in blood, sweat and tears. It was a simple yet profound statement that posed many points of reflection.
I seriously considered the idea of taking a time off from racing; from joining any running event except the Milo Marathon which I do not want to miss. I thought of being out of runners’ sight. Not that I am famous but I thought it should merit an announcement because the kind of hiatus I had in mind would include distance from a few set of friends. It was one of those wild ideas to help me deal with hypothyroidism; part of changing my lifestyle that might aid my hormones going hay wire. The doctor did not suggest it. It could’ve been, in short, an act of desperation.I was so close to drastically slowing down and turning my back from the sport that changed my life in an amazing, unexpected, and a wonderful way and from the community that made a big, happy, significant difference in me.
Until I stood in front of the sea of runners and was given the task of leading a pack that wanted to have a 60-min 10Km finish. While running, I could hear a nagging voice in between heart beats asking if I could really let go of the high, the sense of fulfillment, the satisfaction, the challenge; of running. In that quick run good memories flashed before me and crying was the best response I could give. When I crossed the finish line my decision changed in an instant. I told myself, I could not leave running, not running.
For some this may be a recurring chapter and an annoying ranting. I’ve probably talked about my journey against the creeping consequence of hypothyroidism more than I should. The rationale behind had been to convey the possibility of hope and the fact that the illusion of having another choice than facing it head on is a grand fallacy. The roller coaster ride of a competitive runner gaining weight, palpitating at an easy pace and body’s refusal to respond to any work out is real, seems constant and never ending. But I knew that the escape plan was bound to fail, there was no eject button at my disposal and to completely abandon this battle was simply synonymous to death. If pain is one of the evidences of existence then I am most alive than any time ever.
I had another series of blood tests last weekend and they showed no sign of improvement despite consistent medication. My condition remains a puzzle to my doctors just like how this not so delightful humor of destiny shakes my soul. I cannot count the times when I accused the vacuum of reason the crime of treason.
There were good days and there were bad. There were seasons when I thought I was slowly going back to the rhythm but then waking up to a fall in another.
I mustered all courage to embrace this thorn of the flesh even if it leaves me bleeding. It’s a huge ego bruiser. I receive the punches, savor the wounds and feel the traces of my agony. I’ve been dancing with chances and hunches; with needles and apparatuses; with hopes and frustrations; with dreams and reality.
Running, my fantasy world has been redefined by this sickness. It almost splashed defeat to the walls of my well of joy and satisfaction but I will not let it smash my haven into pieces and do nothing while destruction unfolds before me.
The thing harmed by my condition is also one of the few things seeing me through therefore I’d stay and would keep running.
I've lost a lot, maybe almost everything about my old running life but that opened the door to be better and I'm getting in. Now I am free to do anything and I will. I will show up in races whether I am big or small; fast or slow; weak or strong. I will win or lose but will never be defeated.
So please bear with me, I just chose to fight. I chose to be happy :)