Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Life Is Full of Choices

This is the last BTAT before the Philly Marathon, so I thought it fitting that it be about Choices. BTAT was inspired by something Obi-wan says to anyone and everyone, that whatever you/he are going through in life, it still beats the hell out of the alternative (you know, NOT life). So, at least you go that going for you.

One of the other very common Obi-wan-isms is what he has told me, my siblings, our friends, the neighborhood kids and other impressionable youth: Life is Full of Choices. I don’t think I quite grasped this until just a few years ago (I’m slow) but now I get it. It’s all a choice.

Happiness is a choice. Health is a choice. Loving the life you lead is a choice. Loving those around you is a choice. Being ok with who you are is a choice. Appreciating what you have is a choice.

I could choose to get down on myself for not being able to train as much as I wanted to due to my seemingly never-ending flareup, but I’m not going to choose that. I could choose to whine and complain that I have it so hard because I have this chronic disease that makes life challenging for me at times, but I’m not going to choose that. I could choose to take the easy way out and drop out of the marathon before I even try because I’m scared of what might happen in the later miles, but I’m not going to choose that.

Life is Full of Choices. And life is too short to be unhappy with your choices.

I choose to try. I choose to get over it. I choose to move on. I choose to do absolutely everything in my power to have an awesome race and let the chips fall where they may. I choose to run until something stops me or I reach the finish line. I choose to be happy.

There are so many things that are not up to us to decide, so many things out of our control. Why not take charge of the things that are IN your control and make your life amazing? Have the life you’ve always wanted. Choose it. Makes steps to achieving it.

Remember, the Choice is yours and no one else’s. Choice is a powerful gift. Use it.

Life is Full of Choices and that’s why it’s so much better to be here than there. Happy Better Than the Alternative Tuesday, everybody.

Now go out and run!

Keep Calm and Carry On: DON’T PANIC

When I started this whole blogging thing, I had a few goals in mind. #1. To share my knowledge about running, exercise in general and the human body with others #2. To be the change I want to see in the (IBD) world #3. To inspire people to be healthy.

I didn’t want my blog to be all about me and my own fitness journey and my IBD. Rather, I wanted it to be a place where I use my experiences to paint a broader picture about how to be the best runner/athlete you can be. I am totally on that journey and I hope that you are, too. I guess I don’t do too bad a job at that since one reader commented on a post where I mentioned my Ulcerative Colitis, “I didn’t know you have UC!”

But today I can’t think about anything else but Philly. So, today is all about me Being the Change I Want To See In the World and being open about my struggles with Ulcerative Colitis. If it’s not your thing, sorry for the detour in the blog. I’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow!

Between the added stresses that life seems to be constantly throwing my way (and everyone else’s, I’m sure) and my continued flare-up, I’m totally panicking about Philly. I just want to run. I want to be able to show up to the corrals and to have my pace be the only thing I’m worried about, not how many POJs are out there on the course. I want to worry about my clothes and my hair and how I will look in my pictures (don’t lie, you worry about this, too), not how I can communicate with my husband if I’m in trouble out there on the course like I was in Jersey.

So, today I am doing my best to Keep Calm and Carry On.

Image courtesy of Amazon.com

Did you know that phrase has its origins in WWII Britain? Yeah, that certainly makes me pause when I start to panic. What’s a little bathroom trouble when you’re comparing it to being bombed by Nazis? Eeek.

There are lots of places I am looking to for perspective because, in the long run if things get really bad, I will just do the half. I mean, I’m not obsessed with times and places and I certainly don’t beat myself up if I have to drop down to shorter distance because of my chronic medical condition. It’s not like I’m quitting. I know I will finish and that’s really the most important thing to me.

I mean, in the end, finishing is all that really matters. Ask Maickel.

But I DO wish I could race it without a care in the world.

Dr. Boz and I have a Plan. Not that I want to have to use The Plan. It involves a not-so-pleasant day of not-so-pleasant things, although the result will be that I can run virtually worry-free where the POJs are concerned. But, still, I don’t want to have to use The Plan.

I guess I wish I wasn’t sick. Isn’t that what it comes down to? I wish I didn’t have to deal with all this crap (Ha! That never gets old). I’m not one to panic about working out. In fact, it’s usually the one place where I feel most at peace and relaxed but it’s now something I get anxiety about, especially if it’s in a group setting. Or a new place. Or not near a bathroom. Or something I have to do for work where people are counting on me/paying for my time. So frustrating.

Ugh. So, I’m Keeping Calm and Carrying On and reminding myself of Maickel’s courageous finish and others who are “running” other “marathons”, experiencing things much, much worse than anything I’ve gone through. Perspective.

I will cross the finish line no matter how long it takes me or how many miles I decide to cover, given how I’m feeling that day. I will have a picture like these to show you in a little over a week:

 

Keep Calm and Carry On, everybody.

Now go out and run!

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: The Do-Over

Happy BTAT, everyone!

I don’t golf. I have tried. I hate it (sorry golf-lovers, it’s just not for me). My people are not a golfing people. Anyway, there is only one thing I love about golfing: the Mulligan. There are conflicting reports of where this time-honored tradition came from, but the long of the short of it is that a Mulligan is a Do-Over.

I’m a big fan of the Do-Over.

I love the idea that I can change my mind. And I do. Often. I mean, hellooooo? I am back in school in my thirties so that I can earn a degree in physical therapy and I am a good ten years plus older than everyone else in the room. Little late to the game? Sure. Better late than never, though. Big-time Do-Over.

I love having the freedom to try, screw up and try again. There was a great article in the New York Times recently that highlighted one principle’s theory that children need to learn that failure is ok and that it teaches them strength of character, a trait often missing in children and adults who have never ever failed. I can’t say that I love the feeling of failing, but when I try again and succeed, that success is so much more celebrated.

I love that forgiveness is in abundance in my life. I forget things, especially now that I have school brain, and the amazing people in my world are so incredibly forgiving when I completely flake out. Thanks for the endless amounts of Do-Overs, everyone!

I love that if I suck at something, I can always try again. I have the Philly Marathon in 5 weeks and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous. Running during my first serious colitis flare-up in New Jersey last May was such a terrible experience for me that I’m nervous Philly will be more of the same. I thought Jersey would be my PR and it was anything but. I guess the only way to wipe the slate clean is to attempt a Do-Over. Thankfully, Dr. Boz and I have a plan in place and new drugs doing there thing well in advance so that this attempt to PR Do-Over will be a successful one. If not, there’s always next spring. But isn’t it great that one crappy (haha! great pun) race doesn’t define my entire running career? Love it!

Whenever I think of Do-Overs, I think of City Slickers when Mitch (Billy Crystal) and Ed (Bruno Kirby, oh RIP) console Phil (Daniel Stern) by telling him that, although he married a monster and slept with the check-out girl at his father-in-law’s store, he can still have a Do-Over, just like when they were kids. Awwww. He just has to do it for himself. I love that. I couldn’t find that scene, but here’s another gem (PS. Did you know that’s the very hot Jake Gyllenhaal playing Billy Crystal’s son?!):

Anyway, life kind of is just one big Do-Over, if you think about it. We are constantly changing, or wanting to change, who we are, what we look like, how people see us. If you want to redefine yourself, your life DO IT. Don’t wait. Don’t care what people will say. Go with your gut.

And that’s why life is so much better than the alternative, because of the Do-Over. Hooray for a fresh start.

Now go out and run!

Have you had a life Do-Over? Where did it take you?