In Pieces





This is a special Saturday post in honor of today being the start of Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week. Congress made December 1-7 of every year a week to bring awareness to Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (sexy, right?) and the people who live with these diseases.

If you’d like to participate in this week’s events, please reach out to your local Congressperson to invite them to become part of the Crohn’s and Colitis Caucus. Tell them my story. I won’t mind. 

This is my (abbreviated) story from the past two and a half years. 


It’s weird to think about things in terms of “a year ago, I was…”

So much has happened in the past six months, I still can’t even get my mind around it all. The enormity of it overwhelms me sometimes so I just put my head down and plod forward.

Like a mule.

I got baggage.

I feel like I’ve lost little pieces of myself along the way, literally and figuratively. Maybe they were pieces I didn’t need because I don’t feel as bogged down as I did a year ago, but it hasn’t been an easy road.

Ulcerative colitis took my health and my running for almost two years.

Poison in my body for a year.

One year spent almost entirely on a treadmill because I was so sick.

Married to the treadmill.

And then came the big one. My colectomy. My colostomy bag. The end of being a whole person (in body, not in spirit). No turning back.

Little, innocuous purple spot.

Post-op surgery #1. That purple spot seems A WHOLE LOT bigger now.

4 drains coming out of my body. A stoma I couldn’t look at for days. Barely able to walk. My life changed forever.

Mom took me for a walk every day until I could walk far enough to see the beautiful mural on my floor.

I felt like a freak. I didn’t want anyone to see me, see my stoma. But then my loved ones asked and I suddenly didn’t seem to mind. They marveled at my new “gear” and how fast I was recovering and I started to find my strength again, without my colon and with my new bag.

Ladies and gentlemen, this was Rosebud. She gave me my life back.

I ran outside again. I started my doctorate program. I got back to the business of living. The love of my life gave me the confidence and support I so desperately needed to push forward.

10 mile race? Piece of cake!

And I finally showed the world what colon-free and kicking ass looks like!

Catch me (& Rosebud) if you can.

I felt brave and strong. Until I was in the ER. Until they didn’t know why. Until I was faced with surgery #2 before I was ready.

The ER is not the place to be with a stoma, I promise you.

And then I was back on 14 North. And my Mom was here again, holding my hand, brushing my hair, protecting me. It was like a nightmare.

And she walked me again. And she and my Dad and JB talked me down from the ledge day after day. No matter what anyone said or did, I felt broken.

In pieces.

Back to the drugs.

Here I am. Two months post-op from my second surgery. Five weeks from my last procedure. Feeling like myself again.

No bag. Just scars. Getting healthier every day.

No bag. Just scars. Getting healthier every day.

I feel like I’ve been to Hell and back. Back for all the world to see. To tell other patients that there’s life after surgery. That this disease DOESN’T have to hold you back. That only YOU hold you back.


I would have never gotten through it alone. I tell everyone about my disease, my surgery, my journey because I refuse to hide.

I will NOTbe silenced. I will NOT be ashamed of my disease. I will NOT be the reason someone else suffers.

I have colitis. I had a colostomy bag. I have a J-pouch now. And I have am a BADASS.

Thank you, Run Stronger community, for your unwavering support. Thank you for sharing your stories with me. Thank you for sharing mine with others. Keep up the good work.

Now go out and run!

Friday Fitness News: It’s DECEMBER?!?!!

I can’t believe it’s December. I can’t believe my PhD applications are in. I can’t believe it’s time to get a Christmas tree. I can’t believe I ran a marathon less than two weeks ago. What happened to November? Ready or not, here we come, December!

So, what’s news this week? Well, a lot actually. End-of-the year articles are starting to sprout up all over the place and the media world seems to universally taking stock of how fit/not fit we all are as the year comes to a close. The other stuff is pretty much all about what to buy your favorite fitness buff for the holidays. I’m going to try and get some science in here, so bear with me.

And we’re off!

  • If you’re in NYC, the free fitness opportunities abound. luluemon athletica SoHo has 12 Days of Fitness that kicked off this week and my family at the E. 66th St. store have paired with Flywheel Sports UES on E. 67th St. to offer free spin classes every week for the month of December. No excuses, people.
  • It’s not fitness, but I’m digging the Groupon for Omaha Steaks ($45!) that’s available today.
  • Rockettes have great legs (trust me, I train one of them), try some of their favorite exercises. I train my Rockette a little differently, but I’m loving that Melinda featured the clam shell and bottoms up!
  • Exercise is good for your brain. And everything else.
  • Don’t believe everything you see in magazines, Photoshop use is rampant. Some are even trying to get Congress to pass a law that would have magazines disclose their use (or overuse) of the much-loved skinnyfication tool. Thoughts?
  • Did you know the size and COLOR of your plate affects how much you eat?
  • Bondi Bands add levity to just about any workout. Great stocking stuffer.
  • December 1-7 has been declared the FIRST EVER Crohns & Colitis Awareness Week by Congress via Senate Resolution 199. Hug and IBD patient today! Hug me!
  • My professional opinion as a trained and nationally certified fitness expert is that this article makes very important and accurate points about form, or lack there-of. I’m not going to knock it entirely since it gets people moving, but enough experts weigh in to maybe make you think…

That’s all I got, guys. I hope you’re having a great Friday and have all sorts of motivating fitness plans this weekend. I’m going to probably sleep and run and study. In that order.

Now go out and run!