Friday, September 04, 2009

Andy Warhol's Got Nothing On Me...

And neither does President Obama! Introducing the "Yes We Can":

OK, perhaps I've had a little too much free time this evening...I admit it. In between doing my mountain O' dishes and laundry, I was trying to come up with some kind of catchy title and pix for a blog post! It was either altering the Andy Warhol Campbell's Soup can painting, or trying to find some kind of picture demonstrating the word "commitment" that would be funny, yet not tasteless to the population of people I serve in my job...AKA, the psychiatrically committed. I settled on mocking Andy. although he'd probably FIT in the latter category as well. :-)

Well..."Woot?!?" you say. "What is all of this energetic *yes we can* and *commitment* got to do with anything? As a matter of fact, when has the CHEESE ever been energetic or committed (not commitable, COMMITTED) about anything?" Oh, and also, "Do we really care?"

I suppose the answers for the mass collective (all two of you who read this drivel) to the above questions would be in this sequence: Nothing, never, and no.'re gonna hear about it anyway. Because I'm just like that...annoying to the core!


Oh, sure...NOW I've got your attention. NOW your questions are along the lines of, "But how is the CHEESE and her fat arse that follows her going to possibly WALK 13.1 miles without stimulating a coronary?" Simple...I've got a plan. But first (**as always, que the background music and prepare yourselves for drooling boredom**), I should provide you with a little background information.

Long, long ago in the land of BrainCheeseville, I used to be athletic. Oh, SHUDDUP already! I was. I *used* to play competitive basketball on a college woman's team as well as softball...and I *used* to run/jog several times a week. Then, life took over, a career ensued, relationships fell into chaos...and I started drinking like a sailor, only I didn't have a boat...or maybe the drinking came along and the other things fell into place. I really can't recall...I was drunk. :-)

In 2001, I convinced myself and a naive friend it was time to "get back in shape" and, what better goal than to walk the Seattle Half Marathon walk? Well, oddly my friend fell for my grandiose notion and we began training for the event. And then we walked it again in 2002, and again in 2003 (I have the finisher medals to prove it, dayumit!).

I doubt YOU will recall (but I remember it as though it were yesterday...or at least a horrible PTSD flashback), but I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis on TAX DAY 2003. Life changed that year around me and in me, but I tried to ignore the information as best I could. I was determined to *carry on* just as I had prediagnosis...blindly and ignorantly. And I proceeded to walk the Half Marathon Walk that year as well...of course, without proper training and without paying homage to the MS gods. I also proceeded to become sicker than I had been in many years...AKA, severe MS relapse...which lasted many weeks.

My neurologist at the time advised me not to *take on* such an endeavor was too stressing for my body...I had to learn to accept my limitations...yadda, yadda, yadda. I switched neurologists to Dr. SWWNBN, who also said the similar advice. Although, I think Dr. SWWNBN basically said I was fat, old, and had MS...the makings of a perfect storm (she didn't REALLY say that, but that IS what I heard).

For the past 6 years, I have been resting on my haunches...waiting...mumbling to myself...wondering if I would EVER feel "better than this" again. This past year and summer, I ceased waiting. I made a conscious decision to MOVE from my place of inertia, finally (it only took me 6 years...give me a break!) understanding it was the WAITING that might kill me...not the movement. It was the waiting in my mind (for the other shoe to drop, etc.) that was slowly corroding away my joy.

After completing my 100 mile summer walk, I decided I needed a new goal to focus on...the Seattle Half Marathon Walk popped in my head. Why not? Why couldn't I? Why yes, I think I can! Hence, the *Yes We Can* up above in the picture...took me long enough to get to that, huh? LOL

Now, I'm certainly not saying EVERYONE should sign up for a 1/2 marathon walk near you...and I'm not even coming close to saying ANYONE should live their life following the blueprint I am using. ALL I'm saying is (or my infamous line, "I'm just sayin"), Life has an unusual learning curve while THROWING curves at us. It has taken me 6 long and painful years to reach a place where I can see life and my identity is NOT Multiple Sclerosis. It is a part of me, but it is something that is becoming a smaller and smaller part...because I've finally chosen to see around it and through it.

"Oh, sure," you say. "It's easy to talk all big pants about MS when you feel GOOD, now isn't it?"

And I answer, "Well, HELL yes it is!"

But I feel *good* right now because I had to choose it. And I'm fairly certain I would feel *good* these days even if I were flat on my back in a world-spinning, pain-inducing, leg-dragging, fatigue-splitting RELAPSE (but I would PREFER not to test that theory at the moment either). I wouldn't feel WELL, but I could still feel *good* about how I am choosing to focus my life and direction these days.

I've got 3 (long) months to train for my goal in November...but mentally, I've been training for this event all of my life. I've pulled a few mental muscles along the way and I've even abandoned my mind's workouts for weeks or months at a time. The important thing for me is to not focus on where I am at currently, but where I intend to BE and how I am going to get there.

Wish me luck...I've now officially committed. Or, at the very least, watch with amusement as I bumble along THIS new path!...


Webster said...

Good Luck! Have fun with your training. Google Zoe Koplowitz for some interesting reading - she did the New York City marathon and proudly finished in last place ... several times. That might give you some motivation, not that you need it.

Bubbie said...

Oh damn! Where the hell are my pom poms when I need them? Yeah Team Cheese!!!

PedestrianCrossing-Colleen said...

Congrats on the ability, desire and stamina!!!! I'm jeolous too! Tho I have mostly "benign" MS I have that darn foot drop/heavy foot. My own Left Foot. I get to a mile and my foot is dragging. Does anyone have a half marathon walk, one mile at a time, over 13 days?? LOL

Spaz Attack said...

Holy Cow Batman -- Batgirl has left her cave!
Today, YOUR Wind Beneath my Wings has inspired and uplifted me. Congrats girl -- I can feel your rush of enthusiam and passion. From my viewpoint it appears the key to igniting your passion began with your committment to following the eating plan in the metablism mircle diet -- your agree? In turn you had more energy to walk. Rounded a corner, low and behold you began reaching healthy goals.
You go girl! May the Force be with you!

Kelli said...

This is great. Go for it gal. Keep us informed on how the training is going.

Joan said...

Woot???!!! WOW! You go girl!

Dan Digmann said...

You will be awesome! Stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize. Go be a champion!

Peace Be With You said...

This is what I love about your posts. I finish reading them with a smile on my face. Thank you!

Raini said...

Good on ya'! I'm so happy to hear about setting your goal and working towards it! Maybe I'll be inspired to get off my @55 :)

I especially like the "It has taken me 6 long and painful years to reach a place where I can see life and my identity is NOT Multiple Sclerosis. It is a part of me, but it is something that is becoming a smaller and smaller part...because I've finally chosen to see around it and through it."

We all need to remind ourselves of this from time to time. Please keep us posted on your progress.

Herrad said...

Hi Linda,

Please go to my blog and pick up your award.

Have Myelin? said...

I love this. I'm happy for you Cheese. =)

Anonymous said...

If you have not read "The Long Walk" by Richard Bachman please do. It is extremely motivational - in a Stephen King sort of way!


Denver Refashionista said...

Good luck. You sound great!