recently....
Navigation
Tuesday
Apr292014

BYE BYE ACL- HELLO LONG RECOVERY

Who knew ACL's were so important? Ever try getting around without one? Not fun. I learned this all too well this past Dec 12th.  I was helping our school's high school girls basktball team practice. I cut in the lane to show them how to get open and my leg decided to keep cutting. Afer feeling and hearing a loud "pop" I knew I was in big trouble. Down I went to the floor knowing I was in for some major repair work in the near future.  I called my hubby and said "Get my crutches out, I just detroyed my knee."  An MRI a few days later confirmed my inital fear...ruptured ACL. I needed reconstructive surgery. 6-9 month recovery. No running for 4 months. Yeah, not the news I was wanting to hear. But knowing I recovered from a broken foot to run a marathon, I knew I had it in me to recover from this too, despite not "wanting" to do it.  These are the things that make you stronger...physically, mentally, spiritually.  Bring it on!

Surgery went well...the next 2 weeks were pretty awful. I was so touched by the friends that sent gifts, visited, brought dinners, treats, cards, CHOCOLATE!:) The love I felt from people was overwhelming. My kids made their own breakfasts and lunches, my husband worked overtime driving 4 kids around, doing dishes and filling my ice machine every few hours:) I was given the gift of time. Time to lay in bed and think, pray, contemplate, read, watch HGTV with my sister who came to stay with me...things I never make enough time to do...REST! I began journaling in notebooks to my children.  Notes I may have never taken the time to write! In looking back, I am thankful for that time. It truly was a gift. Albeit a painful one. 

Here I am over 3 1/2 months later...I started running a bit early and set the goal of running the Pat Tillman run last Saturday with a group of handicapped friends. I DID it! After an uncomfortable 1st mile (my mind told me to stop many times) I pushed on and finished the 4.2 miles with a sprint to the finish! It felt SO good to move like that again.  Thank you God for legs that work...thank you for surgeons who can repair broken parts...thank you for the will to fight on....thank you for the courage to push through pain. Thank you for perpective and healing and allowing me the gift to run so I can push those who can't.  

SO....on to the next chapter in life.  I have added to my list of painful experiences and I have added to my list of trials and obstancles conquered. It's in those times you find out who you really are and how strong you really can be. You find out what the meaning of truefriendship is-those who showed up out of the blue to comfort me.  My sister who flew cross country to stay and help me while Jay was gone.  These are acts of love. I am not used to being cared for or accepting gifts. I enjoy doing these things for others. It took learning humility for me to accept these acts of kindness.  It was a lesson I needed to learn. I will take these lessons learned and use them throughout my life to lift up others in pain. Bye Bye ACL- Hello a beautiful growing experience:)

Thursday
Feb132014

Post Marathon reflections...

Well....I did it! 4 long hours and 31 minutes and I was crossing the finish line.  The last 5 or 6 miles were pure misery...temps got up in to the 80's and I had done most of my training in the 60's.  The heat hurt.  BAD. Probably knocked 15-20 min off my goal time....but hey, I still did it!!! At one point around mile 22-23, my friend (and runner of 37 marathons) Jess tried convincing me to strip down to my undies to cool off (I had WAY overdressed)- and for a second I considered it.  A SECOND.  She must've thought I was nuts.  I would've rather collapsed of heat exhaustion than cross the finish line in my panties with my mortified family looking on!  Meanwhile, while I was panting and counting each step, she is cracking jokes and stopping to pick up Jolly Rancher candies and other discarded goodies en route.  I told her to stop making me laugh, it was consuming too much energy! 

But I did it...even with no sleep the night before, I must've ran the race about 50 times or more through my head before actually apporoaching the start line (funny how that is). Got up super early to make my gluten-free waffles (yes I brought my toaster to the hotel) and sat and wrote on my hands the people that I was running for.  My disabled friends at Hacienda, my nephew Zach, my dad who had just beat cancer, my handicapped friend Daniel, the orphans in Haiti....quickly I filled my hands with black pen knowing that I would probably need to glance at them throughout the day to fight through the pain.  We got to the start while it was still dark and hit the porta-potty about 50 times...only to get to the start line while the sun was rising to glance at my hands and see nothing.  Yep, nothing.  The hand sanitizer erased all of the people I was wanting to do this race for! I chuckled and showed Jess...knowing that they were all there with me, in my heart and I didn't really need them written on my hands after all.:)

Am I glad I did it?!?! YES, a BIG YES!  I accomplished a goal I NEVER thought I would! A MARATHON! Not only that but a marathon 7 short months after breaking my foot!  It took sheer discipline to train through the pain of healing...discipline I know my family and friends saw.  My kids monitored my weekly prgoress- "how long did you run today, mom!?" I loved not only telling them, but showing them how to set goals, how to fight for them and how to persevere through pain.  More than likely they will need to remember that lesson someday in their own lives.  I am thrilled that I was able to give them that gift!!! Will I ever run another one? The day one of my kids asks me to join them in one...I'll probably have to say YES again!

 

 

Sunday
Feb242013

A MARATHON? Are you NUTS?

Yes, you heard me right. A marathon. And yes, I am NUTS.  Less than 6 months ago I was still on crutches recovering from my mid- July's broken foot.  I must've shaken something loose in my head during that accident as well to agree to this next adventure!

It all began when I traveled to Green Bay in November to watch my husband play (and get beaten by, BOO!) the Packers.  While there, I had the joy of spending time with my sister and my niece and her family.  Jenny, my niece, a busy mom of 3 and full time nurse, entertained my crazy idea of running the Phoenix marathon with me this coming March 2nd.  "Sure, Bec, let's do it!!!"  "Alright, Jen, I'm IN!" I ran into my Orthodpedist, the team Dr., Dr. Wasliewski at the next home game and asked him if I was able to give it a go.  He said as long as I took 2-3 days off between runs to recover I could do anything I felt up to.  I'm not so sure that was what I was wanting to hear, but, I was "IN" so the training began.  

Two dear friends of mine offered to help me train since Jen lived in Wisconsin.  I ran my sprints, tempo runs and did cross-training throughout the week and then Kelly and Reagan met me for my long runs.  I'd take a picture of my GPS and send it to Jen keeping her posted on my progress.  We started at 6 miles for the long runs and worked each week adding a mile at a time, till I ran my longest training run last Wed, a 20 miler which I was able to run on the actual course.  OUCH!  My husband Jay ran the first 6 miles with me (what a guy) and then my friend Kelly hopped in for the last 14.  Jay turned to me while we were running and said, "You know, a few years ago you had trouble running a mile?" "Yes, I remember! And 6 months ago I was on crutches and couldn't walk!" We had a good laugh thinking back at how far I'd come!

A few weeks left into the training I got a call from Wisconsin.  It was Jenny, "Hey Bec, I hate to do this, but....I can't do the marathon.  My kids have been sick and I haven't been able to run in 2 weeks. There's no way I can catch up." GULP  That was the last thing I wanted to hear!!!:( I'd have to run alone for 26.2 miles! I didn't blame her, I felt bad she had to back out of a committment, it is not a fun thing to do.  And to be honest, there were a few weeks in training when I was thinking it was not for me as well.  So, I started the search to find a stand-in.  This is no 5k, so you can't ask just anyone, "Hey want to run a marathon in a few weeks with me?" I thought I was doomed.  Until...my amazing, phenomenal, outstanding (I could go on!) friend from college, Jessica Kelly, texted me..."Sure, I'll do it!" She had offered to run Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN last summer, but our families ended up leaving that day on a mission's trip to Haiti together, so that got tossed aside.  We ended up running hills in Haiti one day instead. HAHA! After my foot broke later that summer, I never thought I'd be able to take her up on her offer to run with me.  Jessica is no novice to racing.  This will be her 37th marathon (yes, you heard me right).  She has recently transitioned into triathlons and has done a number of races including last year's AZ Ironman.  I took my kids to volunteer during her race (on my birthday:) and we handed her chips and water on her marathon leg of the race.  It was such a joy to see her race...she truly has been an inspiration to me!  Jessica will be a priceless asset to me on Saturday.  She knows from trial and error how to prepare for and run a race.  I have already asked her a million (or more) questions about training, recovery and how to taper. Tapering (slowing your training in the final weeks before the race) stinks by the way! I really am getting excited to tie up my sneakers and hit the dusty trail! The bucket list will have one less item on it Saturday afternoon!

When I tell people of this upcoming obstacle of mine, alot of people ask me why I am doing it.  I have a LOT of reasons why I am doing it.  I spend quite a bit of time volunteering at a place called, "Hacienda" in Phoenix.  It is a 24/7 care facility for paraplegic, quadraplegic and other handicapped individuals.  I have been visiting them almost weekly when we are in town for a couple of years now.  I have a wide variety of friends there: Joey- a boy who dove into a pool from roof and broke his neck, Tyeshawn- a boy who broke his neck playing football, Tye- a man severely burned by a campfire, Cassie- a woman on hospice dying of a brain tumor, Jibri- a man born with severe Cerebral Palsy, Scott- a man who broke his neck in a car accident, Danny- a man who is severely mentally handicapped...amongst many others.  These are the other people that inspire me.  I visit to bring them little treats from the "outside world," candy, chapstick, chocolate.  I come in and decorate their rooms for different holidays.  I read them books.  I massage their hands.  I pray with them.  I leave knowing that I brightened thier day, if only a little.  And they brighten mine, A LOT.  How can I go home and complain about the little things after I spend time with my friends who lie in a bed all day.  I bring my kids there to visit them, to teach them how to love and care for those who are sad and hurting.  I bring them there to teach them how to be appreciative and to be thankful for a body that is able to move and play.  Saturday morning, I decided I'm going to write all of their names on my hand.  When I am tired (I know I will be) and when I feel like quitting ( I know I will get there too) I will look down at the names of those who would wish to be in my shoes.  I'll say a prayer for them and I will RUN on!!!  

I also am running to motivate people to join me.  To set goals that seem unachievable and work hard toward them until they are attainable! This has not been easy.  This training has not always been fun.  I have had days when my knees hurt, ankles hurt, foot hurt, stomach hurt (need I go on?!) I have had illnesses to fight through.  I have had days and nights when I have had to fight back the self-doubt.  I have had to fight fear.  I have had to fight negative influences.   I have had days when I felt slow, tired, and wanted to quit.  There have been days when I didn't want to run, when I would force myself to lace the shoes up and go anyway because it was the right thing to do.  If I can do this ANYONE can!!!  

I am not running to beat anyone but myself.  I am not running to qualify for the Boston Marathon (although that would be sweet).  I am running to prove that a person who had a hard time running a mile after having 4 kids can run a marathon. I am running to prove that a person who has had a broken foot can fight back from an injury and not let it stop them.  I am running to show my friends at Hacienda that I love them and I will be carrying them with me on my hands and in my heart.  I am running with my bestie Jessica! And I can't wait to cross that finish line TOGETHER!!!!!!

Monday
Oct082012

PERSISTING THROUGH PAIN

Ever been on crutches?! Lots of fun, right? Well, I joined the ranks of those who have needed them this summer.  After a freak golf cart accident.  Yes, you heard it right, golf cart.  My 9 yr old son Jace was driving with his cousing Luke and they decided to play around just as I was jogging by and I was hit from behind and run over.  Literally.  My legs were crushed by the cart as I lay face down in the dirt.  For a split second I thought I may be paralyzed from the hit to my back.  In shock and crying ( the boys were too), my husband came running from the tee-box and asked what happened.  Good question! He scooped me up and off to the ER we went.  Couple of x-rays later, and we found the good and bad news.  Bad news- broken 5th metatarsal, good news- shouldn't need surgery.  Still high on adrenaline from the accident, my only concern was, "When can I run again?!" "Oh give it a few weeks, and you'll be back at it", was the reply from the small town doc in northern MN, where we were staying for a family reunion.  No problem, I thought as I (darn that adrenaline) refused to fill my prescription for Percocet. Jay still laughs when he thinks of my response to the pain meds offer, "I've had 4 kids, I like to feel pain." A few hours later( after all pharmacy's had closed) I begged Jay to help me, the ice and elevated did nothing to help the throbbing my entire body was going through.  At one point I begged him to hit my with a pan over the head and knock me out!

I decided I was going to show my kids (and myself) how to be tough.  I figured out how to bike, do the elliptical and row (my favorite) on one foot.  I would call each of them over to watch me and tell them how to fight back from an injury and how to be tough.  "Mommy, be careful!", they all would remind me.  I was determined to keep fit physically and mentally while my foot healed.  It was invigorating to fight through the pain.  I wouldn't allow myself to complain or feel sorry for myself.  We had just been to Haiti and saw much worse.  I was SO thankful to be in a country where we have great quality medical care!!!!  In Haiti, if you are hurt, you often live the rest of your life that way! Crutches become your only option, IF you are lucky enough to have a pair.

Fast forward a few weeks later, hobbling on crutches, I finally see a specialist in Phoenix who tells me I won't be able to run for 8-10 weeks. WHAT?! But the guy in Minnesota said a couple weeks!? Deep down I knew he was right, I was barely able to walk in the boot without cringing and it still hurt like crazy.  Weeks slowly passed, still hobbling to the gym on my boot and finding a way to get my workouts in. My first run came at 8 weeks out, I did a mile on the treadmill and limped for 2 days after. "What are you doing? Get that thing in ice! Listen to your doctor!," my dear sympathetic husband would say.  This past week, I finally felt normal- 10 weeks later.  I put in 8 miles last week and it felt great.  I am looking at my calendar for the 1st time in months and planning what race I want to do next, a triathlon, a 1/2 marathon, maybe a full marathon in the spring?!  Thank God for healing.  

At the risk of sounding crazy, I will say I am thankful that I had a broken foot.  Here are my reasons: 1.  I am thankful it was me and not my kids or husband.  2.  I am thankful it was in America.  3.  I am thankful I was able to be a good role model for my children.  4.  I am thankful to now be able to sympathize with someone on crutches/ in a boot.  5.  I am more thankful than ever for a healthy body.  6.  I am thankful for the lesson it taught the boys on how dangerous a vehicle can be.  7.  I am thankful for a husband who took great care of me.  8.  I am thankful for a mother who came to help me unpack moving boxes while I hobbled on crutches.  9.  I am thankful for children who learned how to step up and make thier own meals and clean when mommy couldn't.  10. I am thankful that the injury was not worse and that is has healed.  11.  I am thankful because it taught me how to fight through pain and not give up.

There are ALWAYS lessons to be learned in any situation you go through in life.  It is up to us to discover what they are and apply them to our lives.  I hope I handled this inconvenient event in my life in a way that brought God honor and inspired other's to persist through their pain as well! Be tough!!!

Monday
Aug272012

NO excuses

Upon moving this past spring ( for the 12th time in 14 years, I might add) I discovered I had jeans in sizes ranging from 0-10.  Four pregnancies in 8 years will do that to you. As miserable as post-partum depression was (I suffered it with each child in varying degrees) it forced me to get off my butt and into the gym.  For that I am thankful! The doctor telling me my next step was to take anti-depressants made me cringe.  I knew exercise well enough to know that I needed that endorphin rush to lift my mood and spirits. I wanted a "natural high" and as soon as I began a regular workout routine I felt immensely better! Not only mentally, but physically as well!  I just felt like encouraging other mother's to do something good for themselves.  It will impact your whole family in a positive way.  NO excuses. Find a way to get moving! Click here for a great article talking about the proof of exercise in defeating depression