She Works Hard for the Money

I am enjoying my job so much but I really am tired.  I always say I have never felt as tired as I do now but I know that’s not true. I worked just as hard when I was at Towson and even harder when I was in Urbino.  Now, I just feel tired because I am not used to having such a busy schedule.

I am still training for the 5K. I ran for twenty minutes the other night which was awesome.  I would really like to complete the run in 30 minutes.  I have a lot of training to do!  Tuesday, we are going to run the loop around the airport and hopefully get my time a little bit quicker. Wish me luck <3.


Seeing the Sun

It is an absolutely beautiful day today.  I spent the morning outside doing some gardening and sweeping off the patio now that most of the snow has finally melted. I was shocked at how good the sun felt pouring down on my face.   It was as if I suddenly had a new burst of energy.  I came inside, opened up my shades and my windows and let the light pour in.   I’ve written a few emails and I’m getting ready to go on a run.  So far, in my training for Iron Girl I have only been running inside on the treadmill. This will be my first experience venturing out on the road.
Today’s goal is to run a mile without stopping, even if I have to slow down to a jog I just want to complete my mile.  I know that eventually I will have to work up my endurance to running three-point one miles before I can build up my speed for the race.  It is extremely difficult for me to do.  I was born with cerebral palsy, a very mild form.  To put it simply my muscles do not grow at the same rate as my bones. They are extremely tight making physical activity very difficult for me.  The form of CP that I have is Diplegia, that means that it affects my legs mostly.  This is a static disease meaning that the disease itself will not get any worse but if I do not keep myself at a lower weight and exercise frequently I will have many problems with walking as I get older.   While my bones were still growing I had to have numerous surgeries to lengthen my muscles in order to keep them from causing bone damage.  I also had a physical therapist come out to my house a week to help keep me limber and in shape.  Now that I have stopped growing it is up to me to myself flexible.

This is why Iron Girl will be such a great accomplishment for me.  I will have finished something I never thought I’d be able to do and I’m not going to stop until I cross that finish line.

Running a Mile (or Three) in My Own Shoes

The old saying goes “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”

While I believe this is true, I also think that many times we take our own experiences for granted. I can easily wish that I was more athletic or had a better job or that I would get swept off my feet tomorrow but we all know that wishful thinking isn’t going to get us where want to go (unless of course you are Gisele– I really do adore that movie).

 I think that we should all try a little harder to reach our goals, to get what we want rather than spend our time trying to understand other people’s experiences.  Knowledge and understanding really do help us but is the knowledge that you gain from walking in someone else’s shoes going to help me achieve my goals.  The answer is no.

Let me explain.

Although having insight into another’s person life can stop you from being judgmental, give you a little motivation and save you from the “grass is always greener” syndrome, none of that matters unless you take what you’ve learned and run with it.

That is exactly what I am doing. I’m going out today to buy a brand new pair of running shoes and for the next five and a half months I am going to train as hard as I can for the Iron Girl triathlon in Columbia, MD. This race is for women only. Some will be completing the triathlon individually while others (including myself) are part of a three person relay team. 

I have never enjoyed sports or gym, let alone running. In fact, I particularly despised running the mile when I was younger.  So why am I participating in a 5K you ask?  I’m doing this for a lot of reasons but most of all because I want to learn about myself. I want to know if I am strong enough to see this through.  

Even though I have only just started this training process I have already learned something very important about myself and that is:

I could run a mile if my life depended on it…..but any farther than that I am out of luck. (haha).   This race is something that I am doing in honor of my father and people who have dealt with cancer in their lives and me.  I realized that for the longest time I never had anything that was mine. I never did anything that was purely for me.  I even graduated college early because I was trying to grow up too fast not because I really wanted to.

So in five and a half months, God willing, I will be crossing that finish line and finally be able to say I did this!  As much as I welcome understanding other people’s experiences and the knowledge that comes along with that I think, for now, I am going to try to understand my own. 

Xo Aly