Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Grandma Didn't Run

Today's post is introspective and raw. I had one of those runs where I get in my head and this post is the result of that. I try to keep things positive as much as I can when it comes to living and running with RA. Off the road, I've had to deal with some negativity about the ways I choose to be active. Don't think for a second that I'm going to let RA or negativity stop me from doing my thing! Thanks for indulging me and for all your support.

Rock 'N' Roll Chicago Half Marathon
July 2018
Grandma didn't run.
No indeed, Grandma didn't run.
Even before she had rheumatoid arthritis, she never ran.
You couldn't see it.
Grandma didn't run.

That's what you said to me after my diagnosis.
Grandma didn't run.

Running. I've always been a runner.
Runner first.
Marathons and medals.
Finish lines.
So many finish lines.
Rheumatoid arthritis later.
A blow.
No.
You can't see it.
I keep running. 
Grandma didn't run.

Fighter. I've always been a fighter.
RA wages a quiet war. 
You can't see it.
Small victories add up.
I share my accomplishments to inspire others.
A little humility would be nice, you said.
Grandma didn't run. 
I'm still running. 

I line up at the start of the race.
At the finish, arms overhead in joy.
Another battle won.
My heart loves it.
Adrenaline in my veins.
Smiling, strong, me.

Looks like your RA is fine, you said.
Irony. Disbelief. Sarcastic.
Because you can't see it. 
Because I'm still running.
Grandma didn't run.

RA is stealthy. 
Slowly stealing from me.
I feel it. I see it.
My heart hurts.
Mobility. Endurance. Speed.
My knees in protest.
You can't see it.
Grandma didn't run.

I keep running. 
But now sometimes, I walk.


75 comments :

  1. What a moving, poignant piece! You are such a positive, determined person. No shame in walking. Keep moving - that is the point!

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  2. Beautiful piece but I'm sad you were moved to write it. Angry that your sis can't keep her toxic opinions to herself. Hugs.

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    1. It's just so odd and hurtful. But writing this helped me to be at peace. Run on.

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  3. Love this. I'll never understand why people don't support their friends and family that are fighting battles in whatever way they can. Good for you for keeping doing as much as you can. You are my hero! (And I can't wait to finally meet you in person next week!)

    -MCM Mama

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    1. I don't understand it either. Thank goodness for like minded friends!

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  4. So poignant and perfect.
    Nice response to frustrating situation xx

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  5. Beautifully written. I don't understand how your sister is responding to your way of dealing with RA, though - aren't we the generation who is supposed to build each other up?

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  6. The response from your sister sounds so frustrating, sorry you had to deal with it. But it sounds like you're not going to let it stop you!

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  7. What the hell did she even mean by that??? So Grandma didn’t run, but she still had RA! Isn’t that proof positive you should KEEP ON TRUCKIN’??!! Sisters can be quite stupid sometimes, can’t they?

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  8. Someday one of your boys will have a girl that will write, "Grandma Ran!" She'll be as inspired by you as we are!

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  9. Very nice. Keep trucking and keep moving. If you grandma didn't run, and RA still got her, you keep running!

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  10. The problem with "invisible diseases" and the irony of being a fighter, and the challenge of not being a complainer, is that many people just don't get what you deal with to do what you do. I'm sorry that it has to come from family. This friend is with you all the way. <3

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    1. It was really hard to wrap my head around her last comment. The jabs at my running are one thing, but to question my disease?

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  11. I'm so sorry for the negativity you have to deal with. I get a lot of it myself bc I don't complain/talk about it much with my friends and family. So when they see you marathon training, taking HIIT classes and on the go they question how bad can it really be. I choose to be active in spite of what is going on internally.
    You are an inspiration, keep on keeping on!

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    1. I knew you'd get it. It's such a shame that we can't do our thing without being judged. Do I need to spell it out for them?

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  12. This is actually a great reminder that we can't really see what people are going through just by looking at them --often. Don't judge a book by a cover, eh?

    We all age and we all have our struggles, and yes, some people have more struggles than others. The point, though, is to keep on struggling -- it's what keeps us alive -- and ultimately, younger.

    I'm not sick often, thankfully. And when I am, I generally don't complain too much. So Mr. Judy will ask how I am, but I don't think he usually gets it, because I still mostly just quietly do what has to be done -- because who else is going to do it?

    Obviously we don't want to go to the other extreme, either. I know it hurts, but in the end, it's not you that's the problem -- sounds to me like maybe there are some family dynamics going on there (like does sis think she doesn't get enough attention?).

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    1. "Don't judge people. You never know what kind of battle they are fighting." Great quote.

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  13. Beautifully written Wendy. I'm sorry such negativity from your sister is the "inspiration" for this post. I've said it before and will keep saying it - just keep being you and keep doing what you can. I draw inspiration from you! Keep moving forward my friend!

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    1. I keep saying it but I'll say it again--I won't stop until I can't go anymore.

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  14. This is a lovely piece of writing. Thank you for sharing it with us! For what it's worth, I find you to be incredibly inspiring, and I love reading about everything you do in the running and fitness departments. You make me believe that anything is truly possible! :)

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    1. You are too kind and I so appreciate your support!!

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  15. You are so inspiring! I know many of us can relate to the feeling of "needing" to run. I think it's awesome that you're not letting RA win this fight. I'm sorry you have to deal with people who doubt you or question why you do what you do. Just know you have plenty of supporters cheering you on!

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    1. I love our community of runners! It's all the support that I get from all of you that raises me up.

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  16. This made me cry. It really did.
    However hurtfully this is, and oh gosh it is SO hurtful on every level imaginable, you have the strength and courage to move beyond it and, as you say, do your own thing.
    I love love love your courage, your tenacity, your willingness to stay the course. You inspire us all, wherever we are in our own personal journeys.

    Grandma didn't run. But you do. [Insert love emoticon here].
    One of these days I will tell you in person, complete with mega-hugs.

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  17. Oh Wendy, I am so sorry you had to deal with this with your sister. That sucks. Thanks for sharing this with us. Hugs to you.

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  18. Well spoken, and yes, quite raw...but so real. There is a certain satisfaction in proving the naysayers wrong ;-) Keep fighting ((hugs))

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    1. I guess this begs the question--why would anyone try to bring down a person with a chronic illness/

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  19. Oh, that's beautiful, I'm sorry it came from a place of such sadness / meanness but I'm glad from reading the comments above that it's helped you to write it. I think you're brilliant and an inspiration. Keep on keeping on xx

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    1. You're too kind! It's much easier to write from a place of pain, isn't it?

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  20. Hi Wendy:
    Sisters. I find that I expect my sisters to understand the important things - since we all grew up together and have been thru so much together. It always amazes me when they don't understand - at all!

    Keep doing you! You are on the right track.
    Chris

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    1. That and when they completely try to break me down! What's that all about?

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  21. It makes me sad that your sister is not supportive. Family should really be there to uplift eachother.

    That being said, I hope that you can feel the support from all of us in the running community! <3 :)

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    1. Thank goodness for all of you! I don't know where I'd be.

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  22. This brought tears to my eyes. You write so well.

    You are a fighter and no matter what people think, you will do what is best for you (and your body.)

    I hope that means that you will run, write about running and share your successes and struggles.

    That's how you inspire others and make peace with your own demons.

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    1. It's so funny because I was running out of things to write about. I took that mini-sabatical in August. Inspiration hits you when you least expect it, right?

      Thank you for all your support. It means a ton.

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  23. You are so inspiring!!! Keep doing you, running and writing!! Thanks for sharing!

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  24. Exactly. Just because you persevere doesn't mean it doesn't hurt or it isn't hard. Keep doing what you love, the rest of us in the autoimmune disease community get it, it isn't easy, keep doing what you love till the day comes when we can't.

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  25. I'm sorry your sister is not supportive. Does she think you just want attention? She obviously does not understand your struggle. I think you are amazing and wish for more people to be like you! I see people everyday at work that come in with one disease or another and do nothing to improve their health. Don't stop what you are doing and don't for one minute feel bad about yourself! You inspire so many.

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    1. I don't plan on ever stopping! At least not because someone else thinks i should.

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  26. I love this! This is so raw and it truly just shows what your struggle has been. It's unfortunate that there are others are there who don't understand and it hurts even more when it's those close to us. However, just reading through these comments, I see that there are plenty of other runners who support you on your journey!

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  27. Such a great piece, and you have always been so open, honest, and inspiring. I'm sorry your sister can't seen what you go through. I'm glad that writing this gave you peace! You know we've all got your back!

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    1. I think that if I shared how I was really feeling, not only would it bring me down, no one would want to read it!

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  28. So beautiful and so sad at the same time. I love it. You are so inspiring!! I don't exactly get your sister???? Does she just want you to be okay??? But says the wrong things?? It must be hard to have this ongoing struggle and then to have to deal with comments that can be so hurtful. I'm so sorry.

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    1. Thank you. I'm not sure what the issue is. But I really appreciate the support from everyone here!

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  29. Thank you for your honesty. Lack of understanding from our loved ones pains the most. Anyone suffering with chronic diseases struggle so much with understanding from others. If only they could all walk in your shoes if only for a day. The struggle is real.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading...for commenting.. and for your understanding!

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  30. I found you today on Meditations in Motion and so glad I did. I have spinal stenosis and have had two fusions, but know that if I stop moving and working out, I will be worse. I do not allow myself the luxury of stopping. I choose life upright for as long as possible. I will be 74 in a few weeks.
    Thank you for your inspiration.

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! I'm with you all the way--my dad has spinal stenosis and has terrible pain from it. But he keeps on going. He's my inspiration.

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  31. Awww, Laurie, I loved this! Beautiful you not being trumped by RA. we all age and things change, but I love how you have chosen to do what you love, in spite of the diagnosis. It hasn't defined you. Good on you!

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    1. It would be so easy to succumb to the fatigue and changes in my body. But I know that won't do me any good.

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  32. And I called you Laurie. I'm so sorry! Wendy. Call it exhaustion and a tough day. :) I still loved your post. :)

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  33. Hugs my friend. I'm sorry your sis is giving you grief. But you know what? Your grandchild will say "grandma ran!" and you'll be his/her inspiration.

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    1. The intent of this was to share how tough it is to have an invisible disease. It's interesting the way different people respond to me--everyone has different expectations of what a person with a certain disease looks like.

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  34. Why is it that the wounds of family cut deeper?
    I honor you for your choice to stay active in spite of the obstacles.

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    1. The most important thing is to take care of myself.

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  35. Beautiful post- moving poem! It takes courage to speak your truth. Sometimes family members are the hardest to be completely open with. I have degenerative disc disease. Despite the pain, I always feel better when I am cycling. Keep moving forward, I believe. Every step until the last one.

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    1. Thank you! I plan to keep going. Until I can't. You too.

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