March 27th, 2020
Just Keep Going
Written by Kathy Carre, Ontario
Get up, get dressed and get out there, even when you don’t feel like it! You won’t regret it!
I almost didn’t join this challenge because I was afraid that I would let myself down. I first learned about A Great Canadian Running Challenge from my friend Tammy. She posted it on Facebook, and I stared at that post for about three days. A tug of war ensued inside me…would I fail? Would I give up? Would I be able to commit? What if I announce I made the commitment and then quit for everyone to see. I am keeping it real here!
I knew I needed to do SOMETHING more for my health.
I have fibromyalgia, and I have difficulty with exercise. Swimming helps if you can find a therapeutic pool that is heated higher than the standard pool norms. I was able to do it for a while but had to quit because the temperature was too cold. I would come home in tears feeling worse than before my swim sessions.
But walk 1000KM in one year? Maybe I can do that.
I have a history of difficult walking attempts from my past. It still isn’t always easy. I make jokes about going slow…but I am getting a little faster. I used to beg Mike to MAKE me go around the block with him to help me build strength. Often, I would end up leaned into his shoulder in tears just a short distance from our home. Living with fibromyalgia is hard! It is a REAL thing that not everyone accepts. But I have had it ever since I was a child. I won’t go into all of my history living with fibromyalgia but suffice it to say that I have had it for well over 50 years. In recent years I almost gave up finding medical help, but I didn’t give up! I researched our whole province, and I found an amazing doctor who has fibro herself. She has helped me very much. You can find the right doctor, but it is your choice to heed the advice. You choose what medication you are willing to take or NOT take, and YOU choose to do what works for you. It is complicated. What works for one does not work for the next person.
Having fibromyalgia and other health-related issues, it was scary to embrace this challenge. But something told me to go for it. I was scared shitless to start this. It will surprise no one here, that Mike was by my side from day one. Since he was already walking every step with me, I convinced him to officially register. That is when the fun REALLY began! Here we are in March…at the time of writing this, I am almost in the 700k club! WHAAAAT! If you have fibromyalgia and you sit, stand or lay down for too long…you will have lots of pain. Moving is hard too…but moving is better for you. So I choose to move! Even when it means after every walk, having to have a hot bath filled with Epsom salt. I do whatever I have to do to be able to sustain this new lifestyle.
Every single morning, we wake up and have a choice on how we are going to live our life.
I believe that every single day we wake up in the morning with a choice of how we want our life to be that day. Living intentionally is the best choice for all of us! We are currently living in a trying time where the unknown can really weigh on us. I carry that weight, just like the next person does. So choosing is harder! But we have to keep going. We are missing the liberty to spend time with our family and friends. We are missing the chance to see and hug our grandchildren. And now, the choice to stay “up” is really hard while we carry this weight.
But what is the other option? To stay inside and worry more? To give up? To let it beat us down? NO! Mike and I are being very intentional in bringing fun into each and every day. We carry the same worries as everyone else. But we know that getting up, getting dressed and SHOWING up in life is more critical now than ever as we deal with the unknown. Walking every single day is making us stronger, mentally and physically. It is a priority now!
Where does my motivation come from?
Right inside of me, at my very core. I want to be healthier than I have ever been in my life! I want to be happier. I want to set myself up to have joy and laughter in my life…every single day. Even now, when we are socially isolating, we still have a life purpose, and I intend to carry on with all the things that give me passion. I am a children’s author, and I will continue to create. I love children so very much, and I will continue to connect with them online by doing readings while they are out of school. We all have the power within us to make a difference, to live our purpose and to do all the things we love; we MUST take care of ourselves, physically, emotionally and spiritually (whatever that means to you). We need to keep moving.
I also find my motivation in this great group of participants striving to reach 1000km in one year. I appreciate everyone who shares their journey…whether it is a good day or a challenging one!
Our three grandchildren are my biggest WHY…to be able to keep up with them, to be able to watch them grow, and to be able to be my healthiest so that I can enjoy every precious moment with them!
And my Mike. What can I say? We are 64 and 68 years old. We look forward to many more healthy years together. On July 21st, we will be celebrating our birthdays on the same day (yup, the same day). He pushes me when I don’t feel like going. We LOVE being outside!! Honestly, this has brought us even closer than ever! We love walking along this path together. His goal is that I achieve mine. We have friends who want me to achieve my goal of climbing the crack in Killarney …as badly as I want it! How can I lose?
Here’s to 2020KM in 2020! I intend to reach my new goal!
Meanwhile, I am getting stronger, healthier and happier. WIN WIN WIN. Keep going, everyone…you CAN do this. Our group is full of extraordinary people with heart issues, with central nervous system issues, with personal struggles and other health issues…and they show us every day what real courage is.
Keep running, walking and jogging. JUST KEEP GOING, Everyone! You are so worth it!