Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than before.
The last time I really tried to run after the RA had comfortably set in, was in October of 2010. I was only able to run 100 meters at a time at a very slow and awkward pace. The freedom I had once felt was completely overtaken by severe pain, discomfort and a anger that I had never felt before. That was the day that It had become a reality for me. I would never run again. The doctors were right. My freedom, joy and the love of my life was gone. My soul was crushed. My heart was torn apart.
For the next 2 1/2 years from October 2010 to about Nov 2012 I had quietly accepted that I most likely would never be able to run again. Although I had a little hope inside me that never seemed to go away, I had accepted it. Throughout those 2 1/2 years I would rebelliously jump on my treadmill and try to run again. Each time getting smacked in the face by each joint in the form of screaming pain and angry inflammation. What had happened to me? All those years of sprints, muscles, weights, sweat, miles and determination had completely flip flopped to the form pissed off, swollen joints and weak tiny muscles in less than 6 months. I had gone from a healthy, strong, athletic 140 pound woman to a weak, thin, fragile little girl. How could I have let this happen?
People always say to live life with out regrets. But I honestly have a few. The thing I regret most is letting RA get the best of me both physically and mentally. For 2 1/2 long years I let it take control of my life. I handed my life over to it on a silver platter with out realizing what I was doing. But for those 2 1/2 years something inside me was building up. A feeling that I had never once felt before in my 23 years of life. It has no description. No name. It is a feeling only felt in those who have been stricken by torment and soul crushing tragedy. But when you feel it, you know its time.
For me, that time is now. I am doing things I never thought were possible again.
Next week I start running. Yes, I Joanne Wurm, a person with the Chronic Illness called Rheumatoid Arthritis, a disease that is known to debilitate and destroy the body and a killer of normalcy and even dreams, is training to run.
Now, I do know that my biggest challenge lies ahead of me. Not only physically but mentally. And if RA has taught me anything it has taught me to never, even in times of severe doubt, to EVER give up on your dreams. My dream has always been to run. And even when I was at my peak of performance I still had that dream to run. Now that I have been through hell in the form of chronic pain, the freedom I once felt takes on a whole new meaning. Life takes on a new meaning. And that meaning is my very own. It is my victory. It is my story. And it is my soul.
My story is only just beginning. And it has one hell of a first chapter.