A survivor (times 2) …

One year ago today I woke up early and headed for the gym. I did some speed-work and clocked my fastest 1/4 mile (7:13). Not to shabby! I went home and continued on with my typical morning routine. Then I headed to my dental cleaning. This would be that last time I would feel like myself for months.

Later that day I would find myself in an ER with symptoms I was all to familiar with. I was sick. And despite the fact that no one believed me I knew my body. I had meningitis. Again.

Today is the one year anniversary of my second round of meningitis. Still with so many questions left unanswered. That alone is a demon I must face every day. I have become obsessed with Facebook memories. Trying to find some clue as to how I got so sick so fast. Again. There is nothing there. Nothing. I finished a week of 100,000 logged on my Fitbit. I mention twitchy legs, crazy fast speed-work and a rest weekend. It was to be a well deserved break from my training that was going better than I ever could have hoped for. I was strong and healthy. Race ready. There was nothing in those memories that would indicate that I would become so sick in just mere hours. How can anyone’s brain be that swollen and they not show any signs or symptoms?!?! It’s baffling. Utterly.

There are days that I still feel like a ticking time-tomb. I’m not sure if that feeling will ever go away. The memory of this experience and the fall-out afterward will always be unsettling. The “unknowns” are worrisome at best. But I refuse to cave into fear and let it immobilize me. Life is too precious for that. I thought battling meningitis once was bad enough. Twice, just seems insulting. But I truly believe that life gives us lessons for reasons. Reasons we might not ever understand. And THAT gives me my peace. Trust me, I can easily focus on all the things that this illness has robbed me of. How disruptive it was to, not just my life, but my family’s and friends’ lives as well. I can resent the fact that I still don’t feel like myself and that I fear it happening all over again. I can focus on the anger I feel when I see my precious kids worrying about my smallest of ailments. Children shouldn’t have to worry like that! OH, if meningitis was a person I would have punched it in the throat long ago!

Anyway, as I see it I have two options. I can choose the road paved with anxiety, fear and bitterness … OR … I can be thankful that I even had a road in the first place.

Let’s face it, life is not always easy. Crap happens through no fault of our own. But life can still be beautiful. I’d be lying if I said this illness hasn’t changed me. It has. I am not the same woman who woke up on this day a year ago. I am, for better or worse, the Jennifer I was supposed to be on this day and in this moment. Meningitis helped shaped me. And I’m OK with that. I am an ever-evolving woman who accepts that change and defeat and pain are an acceptable way to form me into the woman I am meant to be. Meningitis was a pit stop. OK fine, TWO. But it wasn’t my final destination. God and the universe clearly are not done with me yet and that’s good … because I still have dreams. And as long as I have breath, scared or not, I will chase them.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are a survivor (times 2)!!!

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Places to go and people to see …

My gym doesn’t open until 7 am on the weekends. During the week it opens at 5 am. This is perfect for me and my crazy life. Except today. A 7 am open time has never bothered me before. I guess I’ve never been in a position where I needed to be in and out of there early on a weekend before. But today I do. I’m in a hurry. And yet, here I wait. Ugh.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you have places to go and people to see!!!

Running faster …

I’ve resumed interval training and the best place for me to do this is at the gym on the dreaded treadmill. Yes, I know that I can do it outside where it is less … um … horrible. But the treadmill gives me a consistency that I can’t seem to maintain on my own. I find it easier to transition into and maintain a faster pace. Maybe it’s the energy of the gym that helps me. Or the fact that, yes, yes I am racing anyone who dares take the machine next to me. Or perhaps it’s just my fear of being shot across the room like a stone in a slingshot that motivates me to up my game. Whatever it is, it works.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you run faster!!!

I tried something new and didn’t break my neck …

This morning I met a friend of mine and her daughter at the gym. They are joining and I went with them to help them get started. It was a fun morning trying all the machines and equipment. And I even tried something new myself! The elliptical machine! The only way I can describe this thing is that it’s a machine that mimics running without the pounding and forward momentum. I’ll be honest, prior to today, that thing scared me. Heck, until I got the hang of it, it still scared me. There are a lot of moving parts to this thing, even arm parts. Parts that I was convinced would cause me irreparable harm and/or knock me the heck out. But today I overcame all that about a half mile in on this thing. Once the panic wore off and I no longer felt like I was about to become a YouTube video gone viral, I realized it feels a lot like what I would think running on the moon would be like. Fluffy. Hoppy. Bouncy-ish. And I really liked it!

Well, I hope you all had a day where you tried something new and didn’t break your neck!!!

Proving my love … 

After this one NO ONE will EVER question my love for Libs. Not. Ever.

Libs wanted to cycle at the gym tonight. She had never cycled on a stationary bike so instead of going to pilates and yoga tonight we decided to cycle and run instead. I would run my miles while she cycled hers.

Now if you know me, this speaks volumes on how much I must love my child.

First off, I can not stand doing my runs at night. I am just too wiped out from my day to even go there. Not gunna even try. Nope. And there is only one thing that I hate more than running at night. It’s the treadmill. Day or night, I loathe that thing. LOATHE. Combine the two and then add in the hellaciously hot humid sweaty air in the gym and I am pretty much in hell. Yep. HELL.

But … I would do anything for that kooky kid.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you prove your love!!!

A rambling crazy person …

I have now had two early morning training sessions on the recumbent bike at my gym. These are LONG sessions because no matter how much faster I cycle (than I run) I still have to triple my training miles to try to maintain some semblance of running miles. So, needless to say, it takes a while. But thanks to some of my friends who I can text while I’m on the beast of boredom, I get through it.

To make these early morning sessions a bit more pleasant I have made myself my favorite cup of coffee to bring with me. Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend with unsweetened coconut almond milk, agave, cinnamon and vanilla. YUM! This is one perk of recumbent bike training. You certainly can’t drink a hot cup of coffee while running! Well … not safely anyway.

This little treat for myself has seemed pretty ingenious until this morning. I realized that my typical hyper mode of operating and the extra added caffeine probably wasn’t helping the boredom aspect of this whole ordeal. You want evidence? Just ask my friends who received about a BAZILLION texts from me before they woke up this morning. Trust me, I really believed every message I sent was very important when I typed them. And I mean … ALL. … OF … THEM.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t sound like a rambling crazy person!!!