2015: A Review to Remember

So 2015 is over, new goals have been made and the new year has begun.  However, I can’t forget all of 2015, as it has helped mold me into the stronger individual I am today.

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At the beginning of 2015 I had made the decision that I wasn’t going to race much in 2015, and lot of things happened which made me change that decision very quickly.   It started with David and Laura calling me late one night asking if I wanted to drive to Temecula and race.   Raced the beast out there and ran the fastest and felt the greatest I have ever felt.    I took almost three hours off my previous beast course from the year before, so that alone was one hell of a motivator.   At that time I may not have felt like I had physically improved but I had and that race proved that.

So season pass was purchased and the race signing up began.   I wanted to get more than one trifecta, but my main goal was to see how well I did at races.   I wanted to see and prove to myself only that I could actually be decent at this thing called Spartan Racing.  I wanted to see where I stood.   I had been doing crossfit for a few months at this point and training for a 50k and realized I had gotten stronger and faster.

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May rolled around.   The Spartan Sprint at Ft Carson was there and the following day I would run a 50k in Cimarron, Colorado.   I had convinced several people from my CrossFit Box to go and run Ft Carson, told them it would be fun.   They were scheduled to run after my first lap so I planned running the second lap with them to make sure they were ok and didn’t want to kill me for making them sign up to go run a Spartan.    My foot had been bothering me but I hadn’t said anything to anyone so went out and ran the second lap anyway.     Little did I know that a few of them would fall in love with racing and be ready and willing to sign up for more races, and even getting their first trifecta.    Two laps done, a hail storm from hell running to the car with Heather, and on our way to Cimarron.    My toe nail was partially cracked at this point, gross yes I know but that’s what lead to the following situation.   I decided it would be ok if I just taped the crap out of it and ran the 50k.    Little did I know that by mile 26 or so, that my shoe would be filled with blood and I would have to take my first DNF.   See what was hard about this is that I was ready for the race, besides the toe nail, I was ready to finish.  Had my toe not hurt so bad and me not be able to walk, I would have pushed to the finish.   However, Heather talked some sense into me.   I decided I should be smart and save my race season.    I had to DNF.   Funny thing is when you get a DNF you learn, you grow, and you become stronger.   I realized that I needed to be smart about racing and take better care of myself so that I could do days back to back and be ok.  I had surgery on the foot the day I got back and was back to normal besides the huge bandage on my foot.

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Montana was the following weekend.  The Montana Beast is no joke.    And I decided my toe was healed enough to race that race.   Yeah no so much.  Laura was hurt as well so we hobbled through that course.    That girl is my best friend and we put up with each other that whole course.    We were beat up but we didn’t give up, we made it through one of the harder beast that there are out there.  Was so lucky to be able to run that race with her.

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The next biggest event for me was the Ragnar Trail, which I had decided to do an Ultra team.   My team consisted of Jeff, David, Heather, and myself.   It was a soggy race to say the least, it rained a lot and there was a lot of mud.    I felt good during the majority of this race, minus the wiping out on a switch back in the rain and mud.     It wasn’t terrible running that many miles and learned that I need to choose better shoes when its as muddy as it was.   I also learned that I should change my headlamp batteries before going out in the middle of the night.  Navigating trail in the dark with a cell phone light sucks, and can’t even explain how much of an issue it was because I couldn’t see much and it was a technical trail, so headlamp batteries will be refreshed before every night run.   Lesson learned.

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Hawaii, did I mention I got to fly to Hawaii and run a trifecta in a weekend?!?!?!   The thing about Hawaii, I had this brilliant idea that I should run Elite heat to get a taste for what its like.   This would be the first time I ran alone, first time I had to tackle some of the obstacles myself.   It’s funny, that when you don’t have help, you have to try and see what you can do alone.  Go figure some of the obstacles I never thought I could do alone, I did alone with ease.   The Z wall, the rig, the walls.   I had always relyed on someone else.   At the end of the race I felt amazing, I raced a sprint the fastest I have ever raced and placed top 15 out of over 50 women……  You don’t know how much that meant to me, and the journey I have had.  The fact that I have had so many people tell me that I am not good enough or in shape enough.    Carrie and I ran the super following that and the next day the Beast.   Hawaii was an amazing experience, to not only run a trifecta in a weekend, attend a Luau, sit on a beach and enjoy.

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After Hawaii, I decided to run another Ragnar Ultra.    Why do I torture myself in such ways? Because I love the challenge.   This was a rough one my hip was not happy with me and we had a lot of miles to run.    Of course I chose the hardest legs because that’s what I do, that’s me.   I had some break down points because I wasn’t able to run as fast as I would have liked to, and I was disappointed in myself.   I am thankful for amazing teammates like Laura, Josh,and Jeff that helped me get through this whole thing.    Jeff even stepped up and ran the last 10 miles with me, which trust me if he hadn’t done that I may still be out there, in my own head and not able to get through that ten miles of not so fun.

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Last race of the season for me was Dallas.   Alicia and I decided we would do two days of beasts back to back.   Why not right?  We drove down there might as well 🙂   Saturday would be open heat and have fun and then Sunday we would run Elite heat.    Saturday part of the course was closed due to rain, so it wasn’t that bad and we were optimistic about Sunday.   Then Sunday they opened the part of the course that was closed on Saturday, and it turned into the muddiest, most miserable day ever.   That part of the course added 7 miles and it was solid mud.  That girl and I stuck together which made it better than having to go through that alone and we decided yeah that sucked beyond words but was quite the learning experience.

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The final big bang of the year was a 24 hour crossfit competition.  That’s right working out for 24 hours straight.   I had an amazing team and we stayed strong for 24 hours, we all had our down points but we ended up placing 4th in the world.   Which is a lot to say and am proud I was able to be part of that.

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I didn’t talk about all my races here, I don’t need to I usually post, but these were my highlights of the year.   The ones that stood out to me the most.   I finished the season with 4 trifectas (15 spartan races), 4 ragnars( two of which are ultras), a DNF 50k, a couple half marathons, some 5k’s, some 10k’s, and some 15k’s, and placing 4th in the world for the 24hr AMRAP.   I raced  a lot, learned a lot, met a lot of amazing people.   This has to be the best race season of the year.

Next year will be even more epic, the training has become, life changes have been made.   There will be even more memories made this coming year.

I have goals, lots of them that I am going to achieve this year.   I have people who doubt what I have set as my goals, but I will get there.  I have lupus, but with every passing year it has effected me less and less.  Oh wait did I mention I hit remission this year?!?!?   Something that I never thought I would be able to achieve in my life.   I never thought I could get to the point where I was healthy again, but here I am kicking lupus’s ass daily.   Its just proof that if you put your mind to something you can achieve it, just takes a ton of heart, motivation, and don’t give the fuck up attitude.

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100% Success for All the Bad Days

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Do you realize that no matter how bad your day has been, or things that have happened that you have a 100% track record for making it through.  A perfect score, if you will.   No matter how bad the day may seem, or how terrible you may think everything is, you made it through to fight another day.   You made it through to take on the next challenge.

I know this may seem impossible some days.   Hell I have been there.   I have been in some dark places when I was sick.   Some places I never want to go back to when I thought my world was ending that God hated me and just wanted to punish me.   I questioned why I had Lupus, why I was so sick all the time.  What I did to deserve, the pain and suffering I went through for 5 years.   Why all my hair fell out and I felt like the ugliest girl around.   Why I gained weight and was not who I used to be before being diagnosed.

All these questions ran through my head on a regular basis, trust me I had a lot more bad days than good days in the past.   The good days were few and far between, but I took advantage of them when I could.   However the bad days weighed heavily on me, just like they would on anyone else.    Bad days I have realized are what makes us who we are.   It makes us the fighters that we are today.    I see it this way, God only gives you the battles that he knows that you are going to defeat.   He wants to see you succeed and is building you up by throwing the challenges at you.

I now live my life in the mindset that I can defeat anything that is thrown at me.   Take the bull by the horns and fight.    Yes, I have my weak moments when all I can do is cry, and just let it all out, however I have some amazing people in my life that are willing to pick me up and tell me to get my head back in the game.   So no, I am far from perfect, but having these people in my life is what makes my 100% track record possible.

So be thankful for those people you have in your life, that are willing to drop everything in order to help you out.   Realize that yes, the times that you are going through may be the hardest thing you have ever done, but you can do it.   You will triumph over whatever challenge you may be faced with currently.    Everything happens for a reason, you may not understand why, but there is a reason for it.  So live on, fight, and triumph.

Someone who meant the world to me who passed away a few years ago used to tell me this “Live your life, don’t have regrets, and fight like hell.”

And remember you have a 100% track record to date, no need to worry, you got this and will come out victorious.

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I Met You For A Reason

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People will always come and go out of your life.   Not always easy to determine the why that is surrounded by it, but there is a reason.    However this also a reason that person was brought into your life.   You met them for a reason whether it be good or bad, there is a underlying reason why that person needed to be brought into your life.

I have met many people in my journey from being basically on my death bed to turning it around and now being able to help others, and be healthy again.  Now on that note not every person that I have met have had a positive result in our meeting.   There have been bad.   The bad have taught me to be stronger.   The bad have taught me that not every person truly means well with their actions.   The bad has taught me that the one that pours the heart and soul into a friendship or relationship, will be the one that feels the hurt more, but will recover quicker in the long run.

In college I was alone and sick, so very sick.   If it weren’t for Nikki and Kristy, I probably wouldn’t be around today.   They saved me and got me to the hospital so many times.   They are both amazing individuals and am thankful to have them in my life today.   They saw me at my worst and are still around and my best friends.

I have met so many amazing people in my life and journey to healthiness.    The first on my journey has to be Nikki and Sean Davis.    I was convinced to run a tough mudder by a co worker, JC, who said it would be a good idea. (keep in mind I couldn’t run a mile without stopping to walk and that was beyond embarrassing to me).   Sean and Nikki Davis encouraged me when all I wanted to do was quit.   Encouraged me when every other individual in the gym was lapping me in a work out and I was struggling through the pain to get through one round.   Nikki also taught me to love burpees.

The next two I need to call out are David and Laura.  Both of these two are amazing and have helped me realize that I shouldn’t be embarrassed by the fact that I have an autoimmune disease that basically wants to kill me every single day.   They taught me to be more of a fighter and pushed my limits and beyond on more than one occasion.

I have COR, my race family as well.  All of you are amazing and not sure what I would do without every single one of you.   You may not realize but so many of you have touched my life in one way or another and for that I am beyond thankful.

So I ask you this.   Think back about all the people that have come and gone in your life.  They were all here for a reason, whether that be a blessing or a lesson.  You just have to realize which one it is, and keep moving forward to greater and bigger things.   It’s not always easy to let the bad ones go, especially if you care, but sometimes you have to burn that bridge in order to build new ones that get you to new beginnings.

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I know I didn’t name every person that has touched my life and my journey but the point of this was to get everyone who follows my blog , to get thinking.

 

 


Being A Human Barometer

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To quote a dear friend of mine, who also has lupus: “Mother nature be like:
“the cold weather is coming. Here Lupies wrap yourself in this barbed wire blanket while I make acid course through your bones and veins and don’t even try to blink or move your eyeballs or your hair. That’s right… your hair hurts! Try to imagine one thing that doesn’t hurt. Even your lungs hurt as you try to fill them with air.”
We should be able to hover. Then it wouldn’t hurt to walk! Haha…ugh! ”

I couldn’t have put what the weather changing feels like into any better words than what she did, and it makes perfect sense.   As this latest snow storm moves in, my body is screaming in pain.  Everything hurts.   Spent a good portion of my afternoon in tears, because yes I am in remission, yes I know I was given this disease for a reason.   But I just don’t want to hurt.   I just want to be normal somedays, because being strong all the time fighting this isn’t exactly easy.   I want to be normal, and not broken.

As the barometric pressure changes, the disease reminds me it’s still here.   Acid rolling through my veins, and my skin feeling like its on fire.  When moving or doing anything hurts.  You just want to sleep but you can’t.    Breathing hurts, and it doesn’t help that I got a cold last week.   So basically hacking up my lungs.

This is part of the disease I truly don’t like.   You would think after 9 years of being with the lupus, I would get used to it but I haven’t gotten used to this.   Yes these spells of hell are small and fewer than they used to be, but when they are here, it makes life a living hell for the time being.   Medicine doesn’t help, nothing helps.   So I write.

I write so I can maybe explain to others what it’s like.   I am sure it’s not easy to understand when I say even my hair hurts.   You may ask how can hair hurt??   Words can’t explain that part.

The most frustrating part of all this is I want to be deep into training for my next year’s events.  I should be running everyday and lifting.   When all I currently have had the strength to do today is survive.

I need to continue my training, but today is not that day.   Today I have to cave to the pain that is surrounding me.     The constant reminder that I have a disease that has no cure.

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I Am Thankful I Ended up With Lupus

Odd, that you may hear me say that I am thankful that I ended up with Lupus.   A chronic disease that has no cure.   A disease that is debilitating and painful in so many ways.  But you see that disease has made me who I am today.   It has made me stronger and a fighter.   It has shaped me into the woman I am today.

Fighting a chronic illness that doctors can’t control makes life difficult.   I was in constant pain, imagine getting used to EVERYTHING hurting all the time.   That’s the first 4 years of being diagnosed.  I just got used to hurting all the time, dealt with it.  Was angry and had a lot of hatred in my heart.   I was mad and didn’t understand why I got this disease.   I questioned the person I was asking why did I deserve this.   It took a lot of time and a lot of growing to realize that God had a plan for me.   He wanted me to get lupus to help others, and more importantly become a stronger woman.

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When I hit the realization that I needed to fight, my life did a 360.    I no longer spent my weekends curled up on the couch, crying, and in pain.   Instead I pushed and cried my way through painful workouts.   I raced, and I may have been one of the last people out there, but I was fighting a battle.    This battle was not easy in beginning.   I would put on a smile after the race, but I was in so much pain that I didn’t want anyone to know.   My body was fighting back, but I had a stronger will power to beat its ass to the ground 😉

I often reflect on who I was when I was first diagnosed.   I was the girl that the hospital staff knew on a first name basis.   I knew about their families and what their kids were up to.   I spent so much of my college and a couple years after in the hospital it was depressing.   During that time, not once did I think I would be able to run, exercise, and enjoy what God has to offer in this world.

Now looking back I have realized that the very difficult times I went through for so many years made me one hell of a fighter.  Now you present me with a challenge and I will gladly take it.  I spend my weekends being active, I spend my free time working out.   I have become stronger and healthier.    I am amazed what racing and the racing community has done for me.   I am thankful for all the people I have met through racing.    Those who have pushed me to limits and well beyond them.   Those who have touched my life in ways that words can’t even explain.

I have met and helped many with lupus and chronic illnesses and for me that is one of  the biggest wins of it all.   Because I know at one point in time in my life, I was in their shoes, thinking life was over and I had to deal with the hand given to me.

I have more goals for this up coming year.   Some may seem completely outlandish, but why the hell not.  I only have one life to live.  I might as well enjoy it as much as I possibly can.  So yes I am going to push myself, continue pushing myself.  8bca16633b3ef6508081bd14d94777b2


How do you get your confidence?

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Confidence is defined by Webster dictionary as belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance.

So comes the question, do you believe in yourself?  Do you know that you can do these things you are attempting or are you venturing into a dark area in which you don’t know.

Confidence is something that I am sure EVERYONE has struggled with at one point in their lives.   I am sure at some point you doubted what you were capable of doing and if you were going to be able to do what you put your mind to and succeed.

Confidence can be burnt by words, by failure, by ourselves.    It can easily be destroyed by a single individual saying “oh you can’t do that”.  Or could that phrase light a fire under your ass and get you going.

Confidence, for me, hasn’t always been there.    When at my sickest, looking my sickest, I had no confidence in who I was or as a beautiful person.   I felt ugly, tired, and sick.   I didn’t show any confidence what so ever, because of the pictures I took, and how I looked.   I didn’t feel that I could physically do anything, because I was always tired.   My doctors continued to tell me to get used to living your life that way.   Kind of brutal but I believed them at that point in time.

I honestly can’t say I know the point in my life, besides the end of Tough Mudder, when i said I couldn’t do what I was doing anymore.  I couldn’t drink until I couldn’t feel the pain.  I was wasting my life away.

Upon making this decision, it’s amazing how confidence will begin to shine through, even though dim as can be and barely flickering.   I finally at that point realized I needed to live and believe in myself.    And that is when my confidence started to grow.

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I didn’t have all the answers.  I didn’t fully understand what I was going through in my life, but knew I didn’t want to be miserable anymore.

The biggest contributor to my confidence was and still is surrounding myself with great people, who will support you through your triumphs and failures as well.   These people are who will pick you up when you are down, and congratulate you when you succeed.

Using the confidence that I have gained throughout the years, I have now been able to do things I never thought I would be able to.   Hell I used to barely be able to run a mile, I couldn’t do it without stopping and walking.    Now I just recently signed up to run 50 miles, 50 times the distance I once struggled to do.

Confidence has been a big contributor to this.  You can see it in my face in my pictures from the past to the present.   You can see it in how I am now able to help and encourage others.

So remember this, no matter what you are going through, or troubles that you may have,  be confident and rely on those friends that you have in your life.  Remember that you don’t have to go through this alone.   There are people who are always out there willing to help get you through the hardest times.

I know I couldn’t have gained a single bit of my confidence if I didn’t rely on the people that mean the most to me in my life.   I know that my success have helped but so have my failures.

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End to a Great Race Season

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As 2015 race season ends, I felt it necessary to look back at this year.   With that helping me plan for the next year to come.  Because we all know I am not going to stop anytime soon, maybe when I am dead.

A little history, last year I struggled, almost died, and completed a trifecta.  It seriously took everything I was at that time to finish and not die, or feel like death.  I hated that I was one of the slowest people on the course.  I hated that physically I couldn’t do some things.   It’s the races I compete in that make me realize I need to work harder.

This past year has been amazing.   I started Crossfit at the end of last year, and that and my dedication to training has changed me as a “runner” or “athlete”.  Why the quotes?  I don’t consider myself either of those.  I consider myself Cassidy, who does this to survive and kick lupus’s ass every single day.   I fight my daily battle, even while I am in remission.

I originally at the beginning of the year didn’t plan on racing much was just going to work out, a lot.   Thanks to Laura and David, I was convinced I needed a season pass after they convinced me an hour before they left for Temecula to go to Temecula and race.   I still am apparently the one every turns to when they randomly need an extra person to go and race, because I struggle with that “No” word.

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Season pass, that means I race a lot.  Why not might as well get the most out of it.  Race a lot I did.   Had a lot of firsts, and failures, my first DNF.   The DNF was needed, it hurt, I cried, I was very angry.   I had trained so hard for that race and to have my damn toe nail break and poke through the side of my toe took me out, a damn toe nail.   Any ways, that DNF made me stronger, and a better person.   I realized that I am bound to fail, but not give up.  I will continue to go out and keep attempting.    My second DNF would be the grind pt test a few weeks ago.   I was feeling great going into it, and then my hip and IT band decided nope.   I couldn’t feel my leg and everything hurt after the first run.   When David and Laura pulled me for saftey reasons, I was mad and angry.  I had failed yet again, but failure makes you grow.

Since then I am now able to maintain a solid 9 1/2 minute pace while running without weight.  I also am able to maintain about an 11 minute pace with my ruck.  Grind PT test I am going to get you in a few weeks.   It’s quite amazing what failing will do to you.  I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be able to maintain that pace.  NEVER.

By the end of the race season here in a few weeks, I will have completed 4 trifectas.  Kind of crazy to think that I went from barely being able to do one, to achieving 4.    I did a lot of Ragnars, my other passion.    Two as ultra teams.

Who would have thought the girl, who when I started couldn’t even run a mile.   I had to walk a lot.    Amanda walked up to me at the Hot Chocolate this past week and said something very profound to me.  She said “Cassidy I remember when you first started working out and I was the one encouraging you to run a mile, while we trained for Tough Mudder.  Now look at how far you have come, it’s amazing!!”   That made my day, and made me realize that even though I have a chronic illness I am not giving up.

2016 is coming up.  I have goals and things I want to achieve.    I hate failure so everything I do will be to prevent failure.

1) Not die
2) 50k
3) 50 miler
4) Coin for Elites, which requires me to not be a sissy lala and actually run elites
5) MYSTERY goal
6) law school survival
7) GoRuck Challenge
8) Battan Death March Heavy
9) Crossfit Competition
10) climb that damn rope………..
11) and not die

I am not ready to share my mystery goal.  I know what it is and very close and dear friends know what it is, but not ready to share it as not going to lie, this goal scares the shit out of me.   I get in my head and yep scares me.

As silly as it may seem I really just want to achieve this list.   Even if its only one or two, I don’t care I just want to see what I am capable of next year.

Thanks for reading my rambling 🙂 and do this.   Go home or where ever you may be and write down what you want to achieve for 2016.

Training has started already, we shall see what 2016 brings.  download

 

 


Do We Really Need A Month to Start Raising Awareness??

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The whole reason I started my blog and sharing my story was to help others and raise awareness for Lupus and other autoimmune diseases.  Having a chronic illness will do several things to you.

I have lost my hair, my motivation, my vision, my ability to walk, my ability to be normal, and friends.   I think the hardest thing about having a chronic illness is that not many understand or want to understand what you are going through, it scares them.  Hell it scared me when I was diagnosed.   I was petrified because I knew what lupus was, my mom has it.  Losing friends and those you care about due to this was probably one of the hardest things to deal with.   During your sick time you need those friends, family, and support in order to be able to make it through.

I had previously lost my motivation.   I didn’t want to do anything and did the bare minimum to get by.   The minimal requirement to be functioning.  The bare minimum to be social.   The least amount of effort possible because I had no effort in me.

I lost my vision temporarily when my retina detached, but am pretty blind now.   I kid about it but seriously hate the fact that I am blind as a bat without my contacts or glasses.

My ability to be normal.  It’s hard for me to describe this from my perspective when I was super sick.  I lived in pain EVERYDAY.  It hasn’t been till recently that I knew was it was like to not hurt every day.   How it feels to have everything including your hair hurt.  On a side note I have ridiculously high pain tolerance now.

Because the drugs they give you for lupus are basically chemotherapy, I lost all my hair.   Not easy to lose all your hair when you feel and look ugly to begin with.   I was looking back at pictures and its hard for me to look at that, because I looked so sickly.

Then there is the other hand, what lupus has gained me.   I have gained lifelong friendships, strength, stubbornness, determination, a don’t quit attitude, heart, and love.    This journey started out pretty rough, very bumpy, and definitely not pretty.   But as the journey progressed, I have discovered many things about myself.  I was given this for a reason.   I need to help others.   I have gained strength, its amazing what you are willing to try when someone tells you that “you can’t do that you have lupus”.   I have gained my stubbornness which part of the strength but don’t mess with me trying to achieve a goal.  I am determined to beat this disease.  I am determined to show it that I am the boss, and have been successful so far, but the battle never ends and I will continue the fight.

October is Breast Cancer awareness month yes, but it is also lupus awareness month (depending on who you talk to), but do we really need a month to raise awareness?   I am beyond thankful that I am now in remission and have worked very hard to get to where I am at now.   I changed my diet and lifestyle.   I changed a lot in my life so that I could enjoy my life once again.

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I want awareness to be raised about the less common diseases such as Lupus.   I want research to be done so we could work towards a cure or medicine that isn’t so toxic to the patient.  I want solutions.  I want to help those that are suffering.   I want those that are in pain everyday to not be in pain ever again.   I want people to understand instead of running away from the diagnosis (don’t worry you can’t catch lupus from me 😉 ).

So many things I would love to have for those diagnosed.   One step at a time and sharing my story is only the beginning.

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STOP! What are you thankful for today?

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Most times all of us, myself included, are way too busy to stop and think what we are thankful for.     Life wraps us up so much sometimes, that we don’t take that few moments to be thankful for something, anything.

Everyone, no matter how rough your life may be, has something or someone to be thankful for.  We all have that something.  So what is your something?   What do you want to thank God for giving to you?   What has been brought into your life that you are truly thankful was brought in?  What have you accomplished that you are thankful for?

I am asking you to take a moment, pause the hectic life that you may have, and think for just a moment what you are thankful for.   Tomorrow has not been promised to us, we each need to live each and every day to the greatest that we can.   Thank those that have helped you, be thankful for everything, anything, and nothing.

That being said I am thankful for my health today.   I had a terrible dream last night about being back in the hospital.   As many know I lived in the hospital a lot when I was sick.   It’s not exactly the best or most comfortable place to be.  It’s miserable, its a sign that you are really sick, and struggling to be okay, to be alive.    I hated being in the hospital every single time.  I hated the fact that I was so sick, that there was nothing I could.   Hell, at times there was nothing the doctors could truly do.  I never want to go back there.   I never want to be weak and sick.   I never want to rely on a doctor to make me better, when I know what I am doing is working.

Secondly I am thankful for everyday I wake up, no matter how rough of a day it may be, we were given another day to experience life to its greatest.   To accomplish the dreams that we had.   To accomplish the goals that we want to accomplish.   Be thankful for this day given to you and go out and live and accomplish everything.   Set your mind to a goal and go out and achieve it.

So stop for a few minutes, and think of what you are thankful for.   Thank those you need to, let them know they mean a lot to you.

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Four Years in the Making

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This coming weekend, I will once again run Tough Mudder.   Tough Mudder holds a special place in my heart since that is the first ever OCR race I ran, and it seriously about killed me.   I am pretty sure I came close to dying that day four years ago.   But it also made me realize that I didn’t want to live my life that way.

I will always run Tough Mudder, I will always show up for this race, because if it weren’t for it I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I look back at the pictures from that day and think wow, I really was not happy.   I wasn’t healthy.   Lupus was killing me slowly.

I am not who I was 4 years ago, I have grown to be healthier, stronger, and happier.   This has been a fight, a struggle, and some days felt pointless.  But every day no matter what I got up and fought the best that I was able to do.

Doing Tough Mudder every year is proving that I have beat the battle that I am fighting, and will continue fighting.    I am not going to stop the fight until they find a cure.   There are many others out there that don’t know if they have anything left in them to fight, but I want to help others get up and do whatever it may be to start the fight.  No matter how small.   We all had to start somewhere.

I started on the first hill at Tough Mudder four years ago when my little brother Alex, basically had to pull me up the hill crying because my body was already fighting me.   My little brother didn’t let me quit and I have to thank him for pushing me to finish.   He is an amazing individual and if it weren’t for him and Shannon I wouldn’t be where I am today, I probably would have given up.   They stuck with me and listening to me cry and complain for a really long 8 hours on the course, but for that I am thankful.

Fast forward to today, I will have 5 trifectas this year and two laps at tough mudder, on top of 2 ultra marathons, and numerous other races.  That’s right ultra marathons!   Go figure I would go from barely even being able to walk a mile, let alone run an ultra marathon.   Hard work, dedication, and heart do truly pay off.  No I am not the fastest one out there, no I will never win a race, but I have the biggest heart and determination to achieve what I put my mind to.