On Taking Shortcuts

Okay, so, this week I did an interview about real life tips and tricks for living with RA for a magazine.  I also read an article in the Wall Street Journal about the Balloon Ladies that are part and parcel of RunDisney Disney races.

I read the article, originally, because I was really really really (yeah, really really) terrified of getting swept from the Disney Half in January.  Despite the fact that I’m training harder than I think I’ve worked for anything in a long time, I’m still very paranoid about getting swept.

The more I read, the more the details started to irritate me.  There are mornings that I really don’t feel like working my toes into my Vibrams… mornings when my toes and heels hurt enough that I’m not really sure if I can make my 30 or so minutes that meet the training schedule…  When I feel like I would just as soon say hang training and soak in a hot bath and maybe curl up and go back to sleep until way past 4 am. There are days when I do forgo the training that I know I need to be doing (like Wednesday this week when it was 50 degrees and rain and cold and wet and yuk and I KNEW that if I ran I would get practice in the rain, but I knew, too, that I would end up catching something because my immune system sucks so much.  But I do it.  Because all of a sudden it really really matters to me.

I read that there are “races” where (if you aren’t keeping pace with the other runners) you can be driven further up the race course and let out so you can finish and cross the finish line STRONG!  I’m not an elete runner.  I will never be an elete anything.  And I can barely think of myself as a runner at all given that 80% of the time I’m going at a fast walk.  But I’m putting in the miles and I’m pushing myself beyond my own limits and stretching those limits.  I don’t think I could participate in a “race” where your butt gets to sit on a bus or a car or even a gulf cart and you can hop out and breeze across the finish line next to someone who has slapped their feet down on every single inch of the course.

The interview I did was for an article on living life with RA and some of the short cuts that you do to get by.  Things like… using a dog brush to brush your hair because it has a different kind of grip than some of the brushes in the human section.  Things like asking for help when you need it, resting when you need to, wrapping keys in rubber bands to make them easier to turn, or copping out and buying a car with a keyless ignition.  When I was talking to the neat lady doing the interview, I wasn’t thinking of what I do to get by day to day as cheating.  I still don’t really think I think it is… but

So, I’m kind of trying to decide if the shortcuts that I’m willing to take (buying chopped garlic and bagged salad greens already ripped up) make me a hypocrite when looking at the shortcuts that really have me upset (getting on a sag wagon and riding a mile or so or more down the “race” course).

So here I am… listening to Disney Christmas music in October… thinking about what Disney Christmas music I want to get for my iPod… and stewing over whether I’m being a purest for the way I’m looking at this or if I should chill just a bit.  I am thinking that I should be able to stay ahead of the balloon ladies and finish in an upright and fabulous fashion.

I’ll still worry about the balloon ladies… but I’m going to my best to kick my own butt in this and carry myself over the finish line… clad in my Figment horns and wings!


2 responses to “On Taking Shortcuts

  1. I have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis and have had to make adjustments to my life because of the pain. I try not to see the shortcuts as “cheating”, but as a way to save my energy for things that matter the most to me. I think you are an inspiration!


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