I’m going to go ahead and bet that no one even remembers this, but about 300 years ago, I was blogging about running. I actually even ran about 12 or 13 times.
Running sucked, of course. But I loved it, of course.
I liked all the accessories I got to buy and wear. I liked my stretchy little belt that held my glucose meter and tiny boxes of Nerds. I liked the feeling of being done with running and then taking a shower and putting on sweatpants and eating hot food. I liked the methodology that was involved with working up to a goal, and seeing how each day got easier.
Things happened, though. At one point I hurt my ankles and had to buy weird black running socks, and I took a break. And then I started up again with the help of the awesome Mari Ruddy and Team WILD (RIP). And THEN I was unexpectedly pregnant, and my doctor wanted me to stop because I was new to running and my baby could have fallen out while I rounded a corner (or something). And that was TWO WHOLE YEARS AGO.
There are a number of things that have kept me from starting right back up again. It’s easy to point to my kid as one of those things, but as others have demonstrated, it’s not impossible to make time to run when you have a wee baby.
If I’m being honest about my unhealthy thought processes, I’ll admit that a thing that holds me back is resentment.
Every time I pass a runner on the side of the street (and in my neighborhood, it’s dozens a day), I think: “I bet that person isn’t worrying about his blood sugar.” Or, “I bet she’s not carrying an arsenal of juice boxes and test strips.” “I bet that woman got home from work and decided to go on a run . . . and then she just went on a run, like her life wasn’t possibly hanging in the balance.”
I have friends who pop up at the break of dawn to walk a few miles, and I’d love to go with them, but I’m afraid of waking up at 72 or 243 and then having to decline because, hey, I have diabetes and as much as I like to pretend it doesn’t affect me, it does. I’d have to stay home and eat, or bolus and wait. And probably bolus again and wait some more.
I know that it’s dramatic, and that I’m probably making more out of it than I should, but good God I hate being low, and that is a feeling that I directly equate with exercising.
My time doing the Team WILD thing (and, you know, all my other D-friends who are successful athletes) prove that it can be managed. I used to check 4 hours, 3 hours, 2 hours and one hour before heading out for a run. Then during the run. Twice. Then after. And I got good at it! I know it’s possible, but when I’m in the throes of self-pity, it’s another thing to get pissed about, and another reason to just hang out and watch Jeopardy after I get home from work and feed and bathe the Magpie.
Because just as quickly as I can recall the feelings of strength and freedom and pride that I associate with running, I can remember what it’s like to be 2 miles from home, weak and nauseated and crippled with cold sweats, worried that I’m going to lose consciousness on the side of the road because I didn’t pack enough glucose tabs or jelly beans to save my life and negate the calorie-burning benefits of exercise. How tragic I would look, laying there in my weird black compression socks, surrounded by empty Nerds boxes and trying to explain myself to the EMTs: “I’m getting healthy!”
I know the nagging fear — or the diabetes — is never going to go away. I just need to learn to manage it. Deal with the repetitive finger sticks and temporary basal rates and nauseating amounts of granola bars. I need to look it straight in the face, and then run. Far, far away from it.